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The Great Emergence: How Christianity Is Changing and Why Paperback – September 1, 2012
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. North American Christianity is presently undergoing a change every bit as radical as the Protestant Reformation, possibly even as monumental as its natal break with Judaism. And it's right on schedule. Tickle, author of God-Talk in America and PW's founding religion editor, observes that Christianity is holding its semimillennial rummage sale of ideas. With an elegance of argument and economy of description, Tickle escorts readers through the centuries of church history leading to this moment and persuasively charts the character of and possibilities for the emerging church. Don't let this book's brevity fool you. It is packed with keen insights about what this great emergence is, how it came to be and where it may be headed. Tickle issues a clear call to acknowledge the inevitability of change, discern the church's new shape and participate responsibly in the transformation. Although Tickle's particular focus excludes the dynamic forces of Asian, African and Central/South American Christianity, this is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the face and future of Christianity. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
*Starred Review* Long an astute observer of religion, Tickle examines a phenomenon she refers to as the Great Emergence, a once-every-500-years trend within Christianity, in which a new and “more vital” form of the religion emerges. She believes such a development is happening now. To make her case, she examines the complex history of Christianity from Copernicus’ heretical idea that the earth circled the sun to the sixteenth-century Great Reformation to the Catholic Counter-Reformation. She also examines the effect on religion of great nineteenth- and twentieth-century cultural and social upheavals including those wrought by Darwin’s Origin of Species; Faraday’s field theory, which became foundational for the technology we all take for granted today; and the theories of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Albert Einstein, and Joseph Campbell. She explores the impact that the rise of the automobile has on Christian worship and church service while also making brief forays into the origins of Pentecostalism, the influence of Karl Marx, Buddhism, Alcoholics Anonymous, recreational drug use, and the changing roles of women and, hence, the notion of the traditional family, in society since World War II. Somehow all these diverse strands come together in a seamless fabric that, at fewer than 200 pages, is small but full of big ideas, a remarkable achievement of synthesis and thoughtful reflections. --June Sawyers --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Phyllis Tickle’s The Great Emergence is a broad-strokes description of how the Christian religion has gotten to where it is today and how it is currently going through another historical transformation. Tickle uses sophisticated language and some lite references to roughly survey of the evolution of changing authority behind Christian beliefs, including the authority of the Emperor Constantine to form a Bible and clear doctrines, of monasteries which preserved the Bible and doctrines through the Dark Ages and thus anchored them in culture, of the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch and the Roman Pope, and of the Bible as the “Word of God.” She also goes about briefly showing how Christianity debunks its own authorities about every 500 years (not on a strict schedule, but as cultural conditions change and in unison with cultural changes). She concludes with some very specific formative points of the new Emergent and Emerging Christianity, which is in process, but sadly those points get smothered in a lot of other discussion unless one is paying close attention.
Somewhat wordy, but well worth reading. Tickle’s book helps me to get a handle on the history of church and institutionalized religion and their relationship to several elements of current culture that are changing both church and religion. She also gave me some very specific ideas of some forces that are clearly influencing and forming the Christianity of the next 500 years.
This is a great book for the sincere spiritual seeker coming out of the Christian tradition. www.ChristopherAune.com
She is excellent in stating her thesis, and then bringing the past in to secure a thorough and pointed factual posit to defend her point.
The best part is her grasp of what IS going on in North America primarily, but the world as well, culturally, as it ties into religion. The Emergence is started and upon us. As she says " the cub is now full grown" what it does and where it goes, is for us to watch!
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