Chapter

The Global Christianity Paradigm

Robert Wuthnow

in Boundless Faith

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780520259157
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520943063 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520259157.003.0003
The Global Christianity Paradigm

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The paradigm shift that has occurred in recent years in understandings of global Christianity has correctly emphasized the numeric increases in population in certain parts of the world outside of the United States and Europe and thus has drawn attention to the vitality of new churches in those regions. However, in making their claim, proponents of the new paradigm have oversimplified the complexity of these developments. They have relied too heavily on population projections and used categories that are ambiguous at best and misleading at worst. Instead of focusing on the cultural connections among different parts of the world, they have emphasized demography to the exclusion of these connections. The emerging formulation has been influenced by two interesting background stories—one about secularization and one about colonialism—that have made it attractive but also problematic. The chapter discusses all the paradigms of global Christianity.

Keywords: demography; global Christianity; secularization; colonialism; cultural connections

Chapter.  12748 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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