In this new and substantially expanded Third Edition, Philip Jenkins continues to illuminate the remarkable expansion of Christianity in the global South--in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Drawing upon the extensive new scholarship that has appeared on this topic in recent years, he asks how the new Christianity is likely to affect the poor, among whom it finds its most devoted adherents. How should we interpret the enormous success of prosperity churches across the Global South? Politically, what will be the impact of new Christian movements? Will Christianity contribute to liberating the poor, to give voices to the previously silent, or does it threaten only to bring new kinds of division and conflict? Does Christianity liberate women, or introduce new scriptural bases for subjection?
Acclaim for previous editions of The Next Christendom:
Named one of the Top Religion Books of 2002 by USA Today
Named One of the Top Ten Religion Books of the Year by Booklist (2002)
Winner of the Christianity Today Book Award in the category of "Christianity and Culture" (2002)
"Jenkins is to be commended for reminding us, throughout the often gripping pages of this lively work...that the history of Christianity is the history of innovative--and unpredictable--adaptations."
--The New York Times Book Review
"This is a landmark book. Jenkin's thesis is comprehensively researched; his analysis is full of insight; and his projection of the future may indeed prove to be prophetic."
"A valuable and provocative look at the phenomenon widely ignored in the affluent North but likely to be of enormous importance in the century ahead.... The Next Christendom is chillingly realistic about the relationship between Christianity and Islam."
--Russell Shaw, Crisis
"If the times demand nothing less than a major rethinking of contemporary global history from a Christian perspective, The Next Christendom will be one of the significant landmarks pointing the way."
--Mark Noll, Books & Culture
At the beginning of the 21st century, the World Christian Encyclopedia reported that out of the two billion Christians alive today, 820 million of them live in Europe and North America, while Latin America has 480 million, Africa 360 million and Asia 313 million. Given the current international growth of Christianity, by 2025 there will be 640 million Christians in Latin America, 633 million in Africa, 555 million in Europe, and 460 million in Asia. Jenkins (Hidden Gospels) quotes these numbers to demonstrate that Christianity is still alive and well in the world and that it is thriving most in Third World countries. In a meticulously researched study, Jenkins examines the reasons that Christian churches are booming in these countries. One of the main reasons, he argues, is that Christianity in these developing nations focuses less on doctrine and church politics and more on the ways that religion weaves itself into daily life. These fledgling churches, he says, are more likely to emphasize prophecy, miracles, mystical experiences and dreams than they are to become embroiled in arguments about the ordination of women. Moreover, Jenkins asserts, Christianity is developing alongside Islam in many of these nations, leaving open the possibility that religious wars like those of the 13th century might be a fact of life in the middle of the 21st. While there is little that is very startling or new in Jenkins's study, his well-researched claims nevertheless serve as a clarion call for anyone interested in the future of Christianity.