The New Faces of Christianity: Believing the Bible in the Global South [Paperback]

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Overview
"Jenkins digs deeper into the primary literature and engages firsthand a vast and colorful field to mine rich veins of Southern Christian experience, penetrating a very different worldview and providing help for Northern Christians who want to understand it better,"---America. "Meticulously researched, recommended,"---Library Journal. 272 pages, softcover. Oxford Unversity.

Publishers Description
Named one of the top religion books of 2002 by USA Today, Philip Jenkins' phenomenally successful The Next Christendom permanently changed the way people think about Christianity in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Now, in this brilliant sequel, Jenkins takes a much closer look at Christianity in the global South, revealing what it is like, and what it means for the future. The faith of the South, Jenkins finds, is first and foremost a Biblical faith. Indeed, many Christians identify powerfully with the world portrayed in the New Testament--an agricultural world very much like their own, marked by famine and plague, poverty and exile. In the global South, as in the biblical world, belief in spirits and witchcraft are commonplace, and in many places--such as Nigeria, Indonesia, and Sudan--Christians are persecuted just as early Christians were. Thus the Bible speaks to them with a vividness and authenticity unavailable to most believers in the industrialized North. More important, Jenkins shows that throughout the global South, believers are reading the Bible with fresh eyes, and coming away with new and sometimes startling interpretations. Some of their conclusions are distinctly fundamentalist, but Jenkins finds an intriguing paradox, for they are also finding ideas in the Bible that are socially liberating, especially with respect to women's rights. Across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, such Christians are social activists in the forefront of a wide range of liberation movements. Anyone interested in the implications of these trends for the major denominations, for Muslim-Christian conflict, and for global politics will find The New Faces of Christianity provocative and incisive--and indispensable.

Item Specifications...


Pages   252
Dimensions:   Length: 8.7" Width: 5.7" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   0.85 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 12, 2008
Publisher   Oxford University Press
ISBN  0195368517  
EAN  9780195368512  


Availability  138 units.
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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > World > General   [35342  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > Globalization   [1764  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General   [31520  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General   [6817  similar products]



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Reviews - What do our customers think?

A Fascinating Snapshot by an Informed Photographer  Jun 1, 2008
Here Jenkins continues to offer us eye-opening reports from the field of contemporary Christianity and its ever-changing face. Though heavier in anecdote than analysis, this is a superb addition to this recognized scholar's growing corpus.
 
Fascinating study of Christianity in Africa and the global South  Dec 26, 2007

This book is a companion volume to Jenkins' highly successful "The next Christendom" which looked at the position of Christianity in the global south. As numbers of Christians remain static or fall in the Western nations but grow significantly in Africa, Asia and South America, the Christianity that these nations exhibit can be very different to that with which we are familiar. Jenkins explores, mostly using Africa as an example, how Christianity is experienced in the global south, including the significant focus on healings, demons, witchcraft and persecution, all within a framework of a world like that of the Bible, marked by plague, poverty and exile.

Jenkins shows how Christians in the global south are reading the Bible with fresh eyes, taking new messages or highlighting areas that for post-enlightenment westerners have lost their power. Some of the behaviour and theology of these churches made for uncomfortable reading for me as a western believer but it was a fascinating reminder that Christianity is a global religion and that we are often very different from our neighbours on the planet, and yet the Bible can speak to us all in our own languages. It's a worthwhile and thought-provoking book and an excellent companion to "The Next Christendom".
 
Fresh Eyes to the Biblical Text  Sep 9, 2007
In his concluding chapter Jenkins writes, "Bringing fresh eyes to the [biblical] text suggests new ways of reading that can immeasurably enrich the modern encounter with the Bible, to find things that one never noticed before. Arguably, too, it may give a better sense of the original spirit in which the biblical books were written and read than can any number of scholarly commentaries" (p. 184).

In this book, Philip Jenkins explores the alternative, fresh, and different ways the Christians of the Global South read the Bible. When referring to the Global South Jenkins means Latin America, Africa and Asia. According to Jenkins the hub of Christian thought and theology has moved from the Global North, specifically Europe and America, to the Global South. Jenkins' work is not only well-researched but extremely enlightening for the Western Christian. In many ways the Global South lives in societies and states that are much closer in cultural proximity than Euro-Americans.

Though his book is full of thought-provoking insight, Jenkins concludes Western Christians could learn from the Global South in three areas:

* Rethinking the role of the Old Testament
* Rediscovering ancient means to responding to suffering and calamity. (e.g. wisdom literature and apocalyptic texts)
* Reevaluating the subject of healing.

His chapter entitled "Poor and Rich" was worth the book itself. Not many books leave a grand impact upon a reader's paradigm, but this book did just that for me. This would be a book worth reading again. As Jenkins so appropriately writes, " `Reading from the South' can help free biblical passages and even whole genres from the associations they have acquired from our own historical inheritance" (p. 189).
 
Well Said  Aug 16, 2007
Philip Jenkins' "The New Faces of Christianity" pivots upon how people read the Bible. Some prefer a very literal reading, and others insist that the Bible is something to interpret. That alone would not be much to say. Jenkins' contribution is to map the variety of interpretation and to point out which parts of the Bible inspire the greatest variety of response.

Jenkins' opens by talking about the frustrations felt by many African leaders. In so many words, those African leaders are confounded by the insistence by Christians in developed countries to read the Bible as a metaphor. "Why do you give us this book," he quotes, "and then tell us not to believe it."

Sure enough, the stories of desert peoples struggling for water, fighting pestilence and plagues, and generally scraping by with hunger never far are all aspects that remain true in much of the world. Jenkins calls that a reason why the Bible is a different text to people in the developing world.

Now that I have read this book, I want to explore my Bible and look at some books that I never gave much attention to. I am really eager to read Amos, for example, and to look at Daniel and Revelation. I really feel glad to have read this book because it has made me excited about reading my Bible.
 
New Knowledge on a Critical Topic  Jun 29, 2007
Jenkins' treatment of the emerging shape of Christianity in Africa and Asia (not much on Latin America) is a major contribution in several respects:
- Following on his previous book, The Next Christendom, it's an eye-opener on the astonishing growth of Christianity in the global South. Many think that Christianity is nearly unique to the Americas and Europe: there is much more happening, and it is encouraging.
- Theologically, the book provides insights on the Bible as it is read in Africa and Asia that provide rich new perspectives for our own Bible study in the West. New insight into the universality of the biblical message.
- One must ask what are the implications for Christian missions launched from the West. Do Africa and Asia still need us to teach them the Word? They are well on their way, and indeed are evangelizing in Europe and America themselves.

Tremendously thought-provoking and worthwhile. A major contribution to the field.
 

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