This two-volume reference, an extensively expanded and updated new edition of the one-volume 1982 work, presents a comprehensive overview of contemporary Christianity in all its many versions and in both its religious and secular contexts. Describing and analysing a wealth of information about the extent, status, and characteristics of twentieth-century Christianity worldwide, the work takes full note of Christianity's ecclesiastical branches, subdivisions, and denominations, and treats Christianity in relation to other faiths and the secular realm. It offers an unparalleled comparative study of churches and religions throughout the modern world. Vast amounts of previously unpublished data on the current global situation of Christianity, on religion in general, and on the world's countries and peoples has been incorporated. Expanded extensively into two volumes, this new edition is enlarged in comparative scope as well, giving greater attention both to other world religions and to the secular realm, and describing more fully the range of Christian attempts to relate to both areas.
It summarizes the religious and secular makeup of all 251 countries of the modern world and includes political, economic, demographic, linguistic, ethnic, and cultural data in narrative text as well as in tabular and graphic forms. In addition, it offers an expanded discussion of the past history and current disposition of Christianity and addresses its future prospects well into the twenty-first century. Taken as a whole, the work provides a thorough, objective, and timely survey of the Christian world as well as of the world in general. Helpful apparatus, including a bibliography, glossary, directory of names and addresses, and sidebars, photographs, maps, and diagrams enliven the text and enhance its accessibility for specialists and nonspecialists. It will be of great value to academics of many disciplines, clergy, administrators, and those who work in Chrtistian and other religious organizations around the world, as well as to anyone interested in current affairs.show more