Dr. Philip Jenkins
The Reinhold Niebuhr Institute of Religion and Culture presents Dr. Philip Jenkins
The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity
Dr. 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 Mystics and Messiahs (all OUP). He lives in State College, PA.
Oxford University Press tells us that "Philip Jenkins' The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity is the first book to take the full measure of the changing face of the Christian faith. Jenkins asserts that by the year 2050 only one Christian in five will be a non-Latino white person and that the center of gravity of the Christian world will have shifted firmly to the Southern hemisphere. Within a few decades Kinshasa, Buenos Aires, Addis Ababa, and Manila will replace Rome, Athens, Paris, London, and New York as the focal points of the Church. Moreover, Jenkins shows that the churches that have grown most rapidly in the global south are far more traditional, morally conservative, evangelical, and apocalyptic than their northern counterparts. Mysticism, puritanism, belief in prophecy, faith-healing, exorcism, and dream-visions--concepts which more liberal western churches have traded in for progressive political and social concerns--are basic to the newer churches in the south. 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--as recent conflicts in Indonesia, Nigeria, and the Philippines reveal--we may 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."
Jenkins shows that Christianity is on the rise again, and to understand what that rise may mean requires a new awareness of what is happening in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The Next Christendom takes the first large step towards that new awareness."
A summary article by Philip Jenkins from the Chronicle