The Christian Revolution

Philip Jenkins

in The Next Christendom

Published in print May 2002 | ISBN: 9780195146165
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834341 | DOI:
 The Christian Revolution

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This first chapter of the book introduces the transformation that is occurring in Christianity worldwide. It describes how, over the past century, the center of gravity of the Christian world has shifted inexorably southward and forecasts that this trend will continue apace, so that, in contrast to earlier predictions that Western (“European”) Christianity (seen by some as the ideological arm of Western imperialism) is in its dying days and that Islam is the global faith of the future, Christianity should enjoy a worldwide boom in the twenty-first century. The different sections of the chapter discuss the new tradition of Christianity in the South–pointing out that most writers are neglecting this reality, and focusing on Western Christianity; the implications of this for theology and religious practice since Southern Christianity is far more conservative, even reactionary, and supernatural (charismatic, visionary, and apocalyptic); earlier predictions forecasting the death of orthodox (Western) Christianity, which did not allow for the globalization of the religion; the possible rise of a new Southern Christendom and the conflicts and struggles that this might cause; and the future responses of Northern/Western and Southern Christians to the rise of the Southern Christianity.

Keywords: charismatic Christianity; Christianity; conflicts; death of Christianity; global Christianity; globalization; Islam; Northern Christianity; reactionary Christianity; responses; Southern Christianity; supernaturalism; traditional Christianity; visionary Christianity; visionary Christianity; Western Christianity

Chapter.  5947 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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