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The New Faces of Christianity: Believing the Bible in the Global South

av Philip Jenkins

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248180,687 (3.94)3
Named one of the top religion books of 2002 by USA Today, Philip Jenkins's phenomenally successful The Next Christendom permanently changed the way people think about the future of Christianity. In that volume, Jenkins called the world's attention to the little noticed fact that Christianity's center of gravity was moving inexorably southward, to the point that Africa may soon be home to the world's largest Christian populations. Now, in this brilliant sequel, Jenkins takes a much closer look at Christianity in the global South, revealing what it is like, and what it means for the future. The faith of the South, Jenkins finds, is first and foremost a biblical faith. Indeed, in the global South, many Christians identify powerfully with the world portrayed in the New Testament--an agricultural world very much like their own, marked by famine and plague, poverty and exile, until very recently a society of peasants, farmers, and small craftsmen. In the global South, as in the biblical world, belief in spirits and witchcraft are commonplace, and in many places--such as Nigeria, Indonesia, and Sudan--Christians are persecuted just as early Christians were. Thus the Bible speaks to the global South with a vividness and authenticity simply unavailable to most believers in the industrialized North. More important, Jenkins shows that throughout the global South, believers are reading the Bible with fresh eyes, and coming away with new and sometimes startling interpretations. Some of their conclusions are distinctly fundamentalist, but Jenkins finds an intriguing paradox, for they are also finding ideas in the Bible that are socially liberating, especially with respect to women's rights. Across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, such Christians are social activists in the forefront of a wide range of liberation movements. It's hard to overstate how interesting, how eye-opening, how frequently surprising (and sometimes disturbing) Jenkins' findings are. Anyone interested in the implications of these trends for the major denominations, for Muslim-Christian conflict, and for global politics will find The New Faces of Christianity provocative and incisive--and indispensable.… (mer)
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    Clouds of Witnesses: Christian Voices from Africa and Asia av Mark A. Noll (kathleen.morrow)
    kathleen.morrow: Both analyze and discuss Christianity in non-western settings.
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This is what I thought its predecessor, 'The Next Christendom,' would be: an actual depiction of Christianity in its new heartlands. Jenkins is particularly good on resisting the academic urge to paint post-colonial people as liberationists; he doesn't ignore the liberatory strands in African or Asian practices, but also frankly admits that the Christianities found around the world are only rarely the kind you find in north-east American Episcopalianism. I don't like that, but it seems to be a fact, so better to know about it than pretend every African bishop is a womanist eco-warrior. ( )
  stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |
While The New Faces of Christianity focuses especially on the new expressions of Christian faith, it nevertheless is fascinating, indispensable reading (together with The Next Christendom) for all global-thinking Christians. The religious world is shifting far more rapidly than most North Americans are aware. In both works, Jenkins renders profound encouragement to the worldwide body of Christ, and with this book, the subtle admonition to preach and teach the Word, faithfully and context-creatively, could hardly be more eloquent.
tillagd av Christa_Josh | ändraJournal of the Evangelical Theological Society, J. Scott Horrell (Sep 1, 2007)
 
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Named one of the top religion books of 2002 by USA Today, Philip Jenkins's phenomenally successful The Next Christendom permanently changed the way people think about the future of Christianity. In that volume, Jenkins called the world's attention to the little noticed fact that Christianity's center of gravity was moving inexorably southward, to the point that Africa may soon be home to the world's largest Christian populations. Now, in this brilliant sequel, Jenkins takes a much closer look at Christianity in the global South, revealing what it is like, and what it means for the future. The faith of the South, Jenkins finds, is first and foremost a biblical faith. Indeed, in the global South, many Christians identify powerfully with the world portrayed in the New Testament--an agricultural world very much like their own, marked by famine and plague, poverty and exile, until very recently a society of peasants, farmers, and small craftsmen. In the global South, as in the biblical world, belief in spirits and witchcraft are commonplace, and in many places--such as Nigeria, Indonesia, and Sudan--Christians are persecuted just as early Christians were. Thus the Bible speaks to the global South with a vividness and authenticity simply unavailable to most believers in the industrialized North. More important, Jenkins shows that throughout the global South, believers are reading the Bible with fresh eyes, and coming away with new and sometimes startling interpretations. Some of their conclusions are distinctly fundamentalist, but Jenkins finds an intriguing paradox, for they are also finding ideas in the Bible that are socially liberating, especially with respect to women's rights. Across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, such Christians are social activists in the forefront of a wide range of liberation movements. It's hard to overstate how interesting, how eye-opening, how frequently surprising (and sometimes disturbing) Jenkins' findings are. Anyone interested in the implications of these trends for the major denominations, for Muslim-Christian conflict, and for global politics will find The New Faces of Christianity provocative and incisive--and indispensable.

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