When documentaries explore Christianity, they have little
difficulty finding diverse manifestations of faith and practice. A global survey also reveals a surprising diversity when it comes to the content of the Bible.
The Zion Christian Church—an African-initiated church that's powerful in South Africa—traces its origins to John Alexander Dowie, a 19th-century Scottish spiritual entrepeneur who founded the city Zion, Illinois.
The author's breadth of vision has enormous implications for how we
understand the nature of Christian truth and the relationship between
indispensable core doctrines and later theological interpretations.
Earlier this year, a group of English bishops charged that the nation's Christians faced systematic discrimination that endangered their right to hold public office. Some even warned that anti-Christian hostility amounted to open persecution, which could provoke civil unrest. Pope Benedict, meanwhile, charged that new British statutes clearly violated natural law.
Kingdom Without Borders: The Untold Story of Global Christianity, by Miriam Adeney. Adeney, an anthropologist, draws on her rich experiences around the world to describe encounters with Christians living in a bewildering variety of cultures and social environments, detailing how they live and preach their faith.
When the World Missionary Conference gathered in Edinburgh in 1910, it would have taken real optimism to identify Korea as a prospect for major Christian growth. Through the 20th century, though, Christian growth in Korea has been astonishing.
I was perilously close to becoming an agnostic—at least about certain statistics. Specifically, I really didn’t know the data on Christians in China, and for a while I was not sure if anyone did. Only now, perhaps, do we have the glimmerings of an answer to one of the most pressing questions in global religion: just how many Chinese Christians are there?
Demography drives religious change. That bald comment is too obvious to be worth making, but it’s surprising how little attention demographic factors receive in most histories of religion, particularly of Christianity. That neglect means we miss a very large part of the story.
This has been a dreadful year for the Roman Catholic Church in Europe. Across the continent, churches are suffering from sexual scandals of a kind long familiar in the United States. European media commonly present the picture of a systematic church crisis and ask how—or if—the church can recover. Will the scandals irreparably destroy Catholic authority?
Once upon a time, Europe lived in an age of faith, which found buoyant expression in the massive popularity of pilgrimage. Pilgrimage shrines flourished across Europe, some drawing millions of followers each year, and new pilgrimage destinations emerged regularly to meet the demand.