Chapter

Coming Home

Philip Jenkins

in The Next Christendom

Published in print May 2002 | ISBN: 9780195146165
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834341 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195146166.003.0009
 Coming Home

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This chapter discusses possible responses of the global North to the rise of a new global Christianity emanating from the Southern churches, where the future of Christianity may well lie. Although no one expects a literal Southern invasion of Europe or North America, and traditional Christianity is weakening in large sections of the North, it is indeed being reinforced and reinvigorated by the Southern churches by means of immigration and evangelization. Various aspects of this scenario are discussed, including: the fear of a “Black” planet, where Whites have a conspicuous global minority; Catholic politics and the fact that the Catholic Church has long had to deal with trends that other religious communities are only now beginning to face since the majority of the world’s Catholics have been in the South for a generation; support from the global South to Northern religious conservatives on gender, sexual, and moral issues, to which the African and Asian churches have highly conservative attitudes; and the possibility of the evangelization of the North by Southern Christians, both through missionary work and immigration. Numerous European examples of the latter are given, and there are also examples in Canada, although the situation in the United States is very different owing to the fact that the country has never experienced the same kind of secularization as Europe and American Christianity is alive and well.

Keywords: Canada; Catholic Church; Catholic politics; Europe; evangelization; gender; global Christianity; global minority of Whites; immigration; missions; morality; North America; religious conservatism; sexuality; Southern Christians; Southern churches; United States

Chapter.  8019 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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