The Rise of the New Christianity

Philip Jenkins

in The Next Christendom

Published in print May 2002 | ISBN: 9780195146165
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834341 | DOI:
 The Rise of the New Christianity

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This chapter presents an analysis of the growth of the new Southern Christianity in relation to population growth in Southern countries, which is expected to surge dramatically in the middle term (the next fifty years) before coming to resemble more those of the older industrial nations. This is contrasted with the situation in Europe (and Japan), where the population is declining. The impact of Southern population growth on the world’s religious structures is discussed in terms of the problems of quantifying and predicting church membership, and the possible future demographics of Christian communities are discussed, including those of the steadily growing and huge metropolitan complexes that are likely to exist in the South by 2050. The next three sections of the chapter look at declining religious identification (dechristianization) in Europe, and at what may happen when Southern peoples face continuing pressure to migrate North to Europe and North America (in particular the United States), bringing their religious and cultural patterns with them. The last section discusses Christian America, and the fact that the United States is home to a remarkable number of religious denominations, which, overwhelmingly, are traditions within the broader stream of Christianity.

Keywords: Christian America; Christian communities; dechristianization; demographics; Europe; Japan; metropolitan complexes; migration; North America; Northern Christianity; population decline; population growth; Southern Christianity; Southern urban populations; United States

Chapter.  11424 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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