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The New Faces of Christianity

$8.00
title:
The New Faces of Christianity
subtitle:
Believing the Bible in the Global South
author:
Philip Jenkins
pages:
252
binding:
paper
published:
2006-September
publisher:
Oxford University Press
ISBN:
9780195300659
Qty:

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. Fundamentalism in the South 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. Jenkins provides examples that challenge our conventional division of religion into conservative and liberal forms, and make nonsense of our concepts of "fundamentalism."

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