The Next Christendom By Philip Jenkins Essay

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The Next Christendom by Philip Jenkins is a non-fiction work about the growth and changing of Christianity from a predominately Western religion to a religion that is becoming more concentrated in the South. In the opening portion of the first chapter, his goal is already made clear when Philip Jenkins states that, “the center of gravity in the Christian world has shifted inexorably away from Europe, Southward to Africa and Latin America, and Eastward, toward Asia,” (1). He goes on to emphasize that this shift will only continue in the coming years, as he expects and has backed his claims with research, the Westerner Christians have slowed their growth while the Southern Christians have been and will continue to grow in number.
Interestedly, and against popular belief, Jenkins discusses in “Standing Alone” the growth of virtually all Christian churches. He credits the Southern growth to economic and cultural conditions and “the churches’ elastic ability to adapt to local circumstances,” (56). The people have begun to view the Christian church as a place of refuge from economic hardships and for the people who experience social sufferings. He then concludes by saying, “in many cases the major European-orientated churches successfully adapt and incorporate native ways into local liturgies and worship styles. In other instances, though, the result is the formation of wholly new churches, in a way that might have horrified the missionary founders… traditional-minded…

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