Chapter

Seeing Christianity Again for the First Time

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/10.1093/0195146166.003.0010
 Seeing Christianity Again for the First Time

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This final chapter starts by considering Christianity in relation to the future, with particular regard to the new centers of population and the allocation of religious resources to the South. It points out that, for various reasons, including a lack of priests or clergy, the interest and commitment of many Northern/Western churches toward the global South is far less than it once was and that this problem is particularly serious in the Catholic Church. It also points out that Christianity, despite being and likely to continue being the largest religion in existence, now receives short shrift in Western education, especially as regards the voices of autonomous Southern Christianity; it notes that a case can be made that understanding non-Western Christianity is necessary for understanding the emerging world and is also a good way to teach diversity. The impoverishment of Southern Christians is also addressed and the fact that this should place urgent pressures on wealthy Western Christian societies to assist these poor. The last part of the chapter discusses the fact that looking at Southern Christianity gives a new perspective on something very familiar: the way that the newer churches read the Bible, which makes Christianity look like a wholly different religion from the faith of the prosperous advanced societies of Europe or North America.

Keywords: Bible; Catholic Church; Christianity; Northern churches; poverty; Southern Christianity; Western Christian education

Chapter.  4594 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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