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The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity [Paperback]

Philip Jenkins
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity (Future of Christianity Trilogy) Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity (Future of Christianity Trilogy)
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Book Description

13 Nov 2003
By the year 2,050 only one Christian in five will be non-Latino and white, and the center of gravity of the Christian world will have shifted firmly to the Southern Hemisphere. The Next Christendom is the first book to take the full measure of the changing face of the Christian faith. Philip Jenkins shows that the churches that have grown most rapidly in Africa, Asia, and Latin America are often more morally conservative and apocalyptic than their northern counterparts. Mysticism, puritanism, faith-healing, exorcism, and dream-visions--concepts which more liberal western churches have traded in for progressive political and social concerns--are basic to these newer churches. And the effects of such beliefs on global politics, Jenkins argues, will be enormous, as religious identification begins to take precedence over allegiance to secular nation-states. Indeed, as Christianity grows in regions where Islam is also expected to increase we may even see a return to the religious wars of the past, fought out with renewed intensity and high-tech weapons far surpassing the swords and spears of the middle ages.

Product details

  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: OUP USA; New edition edition (13 Nov 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195168917
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195168914
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 15.4 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,530,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description



About the Author

Philip Jenkins is Distinguished Professor of History and Religious Studies at Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of many books and articles, including Hidden Gospels, Pedophiles and Priests, and The New Anti-Catholicism. He lives in State College, PA.

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The end of the twentieth century was marked by an obsessive compilation of retrospective lists, which assessed the greatest moments and the most important individuals of the previous hundred years. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fly Perched on a Wall... 31 Oct 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One of the beauties of scholarship is the ability to analyse a 'foreign' culture without the need to immerse oneself completely in it. As a Nigerian, who was brought up as a Christian, I am foreover intrigued by Christianity's appeal to my non-Christian ancestors. Philip Jenkins' The Next Christendom probes my childhood religious milieu and excels in its analysis of 'Southern' i.e. non Euro-American Christianity. In this marvellous book, I could recognise the traditions in which I was raised and how they relate to Western Christianity.

Jenkins' basic premise is that Christianity is no longer a strictly Euro-American religion. He argues that Christianity's centre of gravity has shifted to the Global South i.e. the developing world. The faith has metamorphosed to accommodate non-Western cultures and, in doing so, has prospered beyond David Livingstone's wildest imagination. Jenkins buttresses his main point with ample statistical and demographic evidence. For example, he offers statistical projections showing that in 2025 only 2 of the 10 countries with the largest Christian communities will be Western (USA and Germany).

Of course statistics do not tell the entire story. Why did non-Western (usually conquered) peoples accept the White Man's religion? If Christian proselytising in the 19th century was driven, at worst by, imperialist/racist attitudes to non-Europeans, and, at best,by European paternalism, why then did Christianity persist in the Third World after the collapse of the European empires? Jenkins posits that the reasons are varied: from a desire to imitate the West to an all-too-obvious explanation - many Africans and Asians believe the Christian message.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prepares you for a new world 4 Jun 2003
In this fascinating book, professor Philip Jenkins proclaims that there is coming, within this 21st century, a new Christendom. The first chapter looks at the Christian Church of the past, and shows that the popular conception of a Christian West surrounded by a purely non-Christian world is fallacious; that Christianity took root in other parts of the world than Europe, and survived there all the way to the present. After that, the book looks at the spread of Christianity in the so-called "Third World," the same parts of the globe that are experiencing the fastest population growth.
Having (to my satisfaction, anyway) shown that soon many times more Christians will be living in other parts of the globe than Europe *and* North America combined, the author then goes on to suggest that this new phenomenon will potentially change the very face of Christianity. Prepare to see a new Christianity, one as different from the modern, Western Church as the Medieval Church was from the Church of the Roman Empire.
I must say that this is one of the most fascinating books that I have read in a long time! The author punctures many comfortable ideas about the Church, and prepares the reader for the coming of a new world, a world that will not look like the one we have now. If you are interested in Christianity, or even just in trends that are bound to affect the world you live in, then you must get this book!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Biggest Uncovered Story of the Last Century 26 Mar 2002
By A Customer
Phil Jenkins has written a blockbuster. An iconoclastic professor at Pennsylvania (US) State University, Jenkins argues that the rapid growth of Pentecostal Christianity around the world (both within and alongside existing traditions) will literally reshape the world. This movement is a mere 100 years old. In a post-modern world, religion returns to center stage, and Jenkins has already turned on the spotlight. This is a must-read for all futurists--including the armchair variety such as myself. After reading Jenkins' seemingly airtight analysis, it is difficult to give credence to any author suggesting the passing of Christianity.
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