The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity by Philip Jenkins

By Philip Jenkins

The explosive southward growth of Christianity in Africa, Asia, and Latin American has slightly registered on Western awareness. Nor has the globalization of Christianity--and the big non secular, political, and social outcomes it portends--been effectively understood. Philip Jenkins' the subsequent Christendom: the arrival of world Christianity is the 1st e-book to take the complete degree of the altering face of the Christian religion. Jenkins asserts that through the yr 2050 just one Christian in 5 could be a non-Latino white individual and that the guts of gravity of the Christian global may have shifted firmly to the Southern hemisphere. inside a couple of a long time Kinshasa, Buenos Aires, Addis Ababa, and Manila will substitute Rome, Athens, Paris, London, and big apple because the focal issues of the Church. additionally, Jenkins exhibits that the church buildings that experience grown so much speedily within the international south are way more conventional, morally conservative, evangelical, and apocalyptic than their northern opposite numbers. Mysticism, puritanism, trust in prophecy, faith-healing, exorcism, and dream-visions--concepts which extra liberal western church buildings have traded in for revolutionary political and social concerns--are easy to the more recent church buildings within the south. And the consequences of such ideals on international politics, Jenkins argues, can be huge, immense, as spiritual id starts off to take priority over allegiance to secular geographical regions. certainly, as Christianity grows in areas the place Islam is usually anticipated to increase--as contemporary conflicts in Indonesia, Nigeria, and the Philippines reveal--we may even see a go back to the spiritual wars of the previous, fought out with renewed depth and high-tech guns a long way surpassing the swords and spears of the center a while. Jenkins indicates that Christianity is at the upward push back, and to appreciate what that upward push may perhaps suggest calls for a brand new expertise of what's occurring in Africa, Asia, and Latin the US. the subsequent Christendom takes the 1st huge step in the direction of that new expertise.

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A converted China would have provided a cultural beacon for Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and ultimately the whole of Asia. But of course, it was not to be. The Jesuit cultural compromise fell apart at the end of the seventeenth century, when the Society’s enemies succeeded in turning the popes against them. Within a few years, Jesuits came under repeated attack for permitting the Chinese to worship ancestors, canonizing Saint Confucius, and includ- Disciples of All Nations 33 ing the names of pagan gods in the translated scriptures.

Their numbers and their zeal both grew mightily after each successive revival in the West, especially when such an event coincided with a spectacular tale of exploration and martyrdom. Also, for all their association with imperialism, nineteenth-century missionaries did make important concessions to native cultures. Crucially, Protestants from the very first recognized the absolute necessity of offering the faith in local languages, so the Bible was now translated, in whole or in part, into many African and Asian tongues.

By 1700, China had around 200,000 Catholics, many of whom were well-placed politically. The Catholic missions in China can be regarded as one of the great mighthave-beens in world history. If China had been converted in the seventeenth century, the impact on the future history of Christianity would have been incalculable, as would the effects on the religious balance in Europe itself. A converted China would have provided a cultural beacon for Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and ultimately the whole of Asia.

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