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The Changing World of Christianity: The Global History of a Borderless Religion Paperback – April 16, 2010
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«In the last few years, thanks to scholarly work by such people as Philip Jenkins and Mark Noll, the world has come to understand a major change in the demographics of Christianity that has happened in just the last 50 or 60 years. Christianity, in short, is booming in the Southern Hemisphere, Africa and Asia, while it has become a dwindling voice elsewhere - especially in Western Europe. But it's still hard to picture, region by region, what has happened. A new book from a man who teaches at Pepperdine University in California provides exactly that clear picture in a highly readable and helpful form. ‘The Changing World of Christianity: The Global History of a Borderless Religion’, by Dyron B. Daughrity, is a great follow-up to the work by Jenkins, Noll and others. One of the useful thing this book does is to straighten out all the people who believe that Islam is now and will be forever the largest religion in the world. Indeed, about 33 percent of the world's population now is Christian versus about 21 percent who are Muslim. And, Daughrity notes, because of birth rates and other factors, that isn't likely to change significantly for the next several decades at least. When I give talks about the religions of the world I often ask people which religion has the most adherents and inevitably someone will say Islam. I hope all those folks will read this book. One thing I especially like about this book is that it breaks the world into various regions and considers the current religious makeup of each - with maps and tables - to help us see things more clearly. This is a comprehensive view of not just Christianity but also how Christianity fits into the picture of all the world's religions. And it helps us understand how the tiny band of early followers of Jesus planted the seeds that have resulted in one-third of the globe's population today identifying themselves as followers, too.» (Bill Tammeus, National Catholic Reporter)
«‘The Changing World of Christianity’ is laden with good information from many diverse sources, and it represents a striking achievement. Daughrity should be congratulated for creating an informative, provocative introduction that brings some order to this bewildering new frontier in the study of Christian history.» (Keith Huey, Mission Dei: A Journal of Missional Theology and Praxis)
«This interestingly written and well documented book (...) consists of nine descriptive chapters organized, except the introductory one, according to a geographical key - namely, Middle East, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. [...] It is not easy to write a textbook about world Christianity, covering both the past and the present (...). Still, the book by Daughrity, well researched and interestingly written, presents the enormous factual material concisely and yet clearly. Maps, statistical data, index, copious endnotes, and a set of a few questions after each chapter help readers to comprehend the
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The organization and clarity of the book is especially deserving of praise. The separation of the chapters into geographic cultural blocks makes perfect sense and allows readers to easily be able to turn back to a section for later reference. Every chapter is designed to provide a solid foundation for understanding the various regions of the world. Daughrity accomplishes this by defining the region up for discussion, placing it in its proper historical context, giving a contemporary analysis, and finally supplying a few questions to the reader for further discussion.
The same praise could be extended to the maps and figures placed at the beginning of each chapter. These are an invaluable resource for offering a visual demonstration of the global phenomenon that has become World Christianity. It is simply impossible to pick up this book and not be convinced that the geography and ethos of Christianity has undergone significant transformation in the past century.
There is no doubt that Daughrity has a powerful and uncanny ability to bring this subject to life through his writing. For those teaching courses on World Christianity, this is a great book to replace outdated and disorganized texts. And for those coming to the subject for the first time--look no further because this is the one book you need on your shelf!