The New Faces of Christianity

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

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Christianity is growing so rapidly in the global South that soon Africa may be home to the world's largest Christian population. But what sort of Christianity will that be? In Africa, Asia, and Latin America, Christians live in settings very close to the social, cultural, and intellectual milieu in which the New Testament itself was written. For this reason, Philip Jenkins argues, they read the Scriptures with a freshness and authenticity impossible in the prosperous societies of North America and Europe. At first sight, the rising Christianity of the global South appears fundamentalist and deeply conservative. But at the same time these new Christians draw conclusions from scripture that are innovative, creative, and socially liberating, in their impact on social structures and gender relations. In fact, this Biblical enthusiasm is embraced by exactly those groups often portrayed as the victims of reactionary religion, particularly women, and a Biblically-rooted Christian feminism enjoys growing influence. Their fundamentalism does not deny or defy modernity, instead the Bible supplies a tool to cope with modernity, and to assist the most marginalized members of society. This, says Jenkins, is precisely the reason for Christianity's explosive growth. Many Southern churches take very seriously the supernatural world-view that pervades the Christian scriptures, with the recurrent themes of demons, possession, exorcism and spiritual healing. Yet readings that appear intellectually reactionary encourage believers to engage in far-reaching social activism. Across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, churches seek both deliverance and liberation - deliverance from evil supernatural forces, and liberation from oppressive worldly structures. Such examples challenge our conventional division of religion into conservative and liberal forms, and make nonsense of our concepts of "fundamentalism."show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 164 x 234 x 24mm | 521.63g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Annotated
  • 0195300653
  • 9780195300659
  • 1,005,111

About Philip Jenkins

Philip Jenkins, one of the world's leading religion scholars joined Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion as Distinguished Professor of History and Co-Director for the Program on Historical Studies of more

Review quote

This fascinating book is a masterly look at what makes Third World Christians tick. It is urgently needed...a real classic: a compelling and important read...a delight to behold. * Contemporary Review * In this compelling sequel, Jenkins probes more deeply the differences between northern and southern Christianity, examining various elements that characterize Christian life, especially belief in the Bible,...Jenkins's prescient religious histories offer brilliant insights on the state of modern Christianity. * Publishers Weekly * [He] has done it again...Turn a new page by reading Philip Jenkins, as someone who expertly canvasses all our ifs and buts. * Revd Dr David Martin, Church Times * This book by Jenkins... show[s] that Christians of the South are ripe for arriving at many new and vibrant readings of the Bible, * Howard Peskett, ANVIL *show more

Table of contents

I. Shall the Fundamentalists Win? ; 2. Power in the Book ; 3. Old And New ; 4. Poor and Rich ; 5. Good And Evil ; 6. Persecution And Vindication ; 7. Women And Men ; 8. North And South ; Notes ; APPENDIX ONE: Psalm 91 ; APPENDIX TWO: The Epistle of Jamesshow more

Rating details

132 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 23% (30)
4 39% (52)
3 30% (39)
2 7% (9)
1 2% (2)
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