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The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity

(The Future of Christianity Trilogy)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  1,201 ratings  ·  105 reviews
The first edition of The Next Christendom has been hailed as a landmark in our understanding of modern Christianity. In this new and substantially expanded second edition, Jenkins continues to illuminate the remarkable expanion of Christianity in the global South--in Africa, Asia, and Latin America--as well as the clash betwen Islam and Christianity since September 11. Amo ...more
Paperback, 316 pages
Published March 19th 2007 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published March 31st 2002)
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May 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Jenkins has given his readers much to consider in The Next Christendom. Starting with statistical evidence that the heart of Christianity no longer lies in the West, but that it lies in the South on the continents of South America and Africa, and in the East in Asia, he paints a picture of current day Christianity that is very non-white, and poor. This revelation alone is enough to cause me to pause, and to begin to reevaluate much of my perspective on worldwide Christianity. Jenkins says, "If w ...more
Douglas Wilson
Jan 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Jun 09, 2012 rated it it was ok

The Next Christendom, by Dr. Jenkins, is a book about the Christian faith thriving not in the West, but in the global South. He argues, “Christianity is now rooted in the Third World, and the religion’s future lies in the global South.” With his statistics, it is difficult to disagree with Jenkins. In the first chapter, titled “Christian Revolution”, Jenkins observes that within the past century, Christianity has shifted from “white” nations to Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Even furthe
[Name Redacted]
May 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A compelling corrective which demonstrates the ways in which modern Western claims (particularly by academics and secularists) about the impending "death" of Christianity are in fact based on ethnocentrism and cultural myopia. Such claims, as Jenkins demonstrates, fail to take into account the explosive growth of Christianity in Africa, Latin America and Asia over the last few decades -- growth which is generally ignored because it is occuring among peoples whom claimants (perhaps subconsciously ...more
Brendan Dunn
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lots of “wow” moments. More compelling when describing the current state of the global church than when it’s predicting what the church may be like in 2050 (the author agrees). Heartily recommended for Western readers: the church today is probably not what you think it is.
Joseph Sverker
Jenkins reveals many interesting aspects of the New Christendom, the Christendom often ignored, neglected or simply dismissed by the "Old" christendom. He might rely a little too much on a clash of the civilisations view of religion and political development, but the conclusions are nonetheless very interesting and I'm sure that he is right that the religious map will look very different and that it will affect the development of the world over all as well. It will be very exciting to see what w ...more
Oct 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Next Christendom is a book of incredible scope. And, this is an updated edition which changes content based on a decade or so of history. This is a major undertaking completed for a second time in one man's lifetime.

There are aspects of the book that are hard for me, as a conservative Christian, to swallow. The author is very open in his definition of "Christianity," but such openness is necessary for the content of the book. He also gives an historical overview of the different belief syste
Leandro Guimarães
Again a case where I wish I could give 4,75 stars, or assign stars to different aspects of a book.

Jenkins presents a convincing case that Christianity will dominate the future of humankind. Lots of data, and well-interpreted data too. I only wish he wasn’t so acritical towards neopentecostalism, Romanism and other heresies, because he ends up loosing the dimension of the quality, influence and endurance of faith.

Crucially, he states the future of Christendom stems from the so-called ‘Global Sout
Jul 08, 2007 rated it really liked it
This was a great book. I learned so much about current world trends in Christianity, much of which I never would have guessed. As a westerner, it's easy to think of Christianity in the world as being primarily shaped by what happens in the Christian west. But it is becoming more and more true that the shape of world Christianity is being determined by it's growth in the developing world. What an eye-opener!
Aaron Hale
Apr 04, 2017 rated it liked it
This book does a really good job at showing discussing the current shift in "Christianity" in the light of historical Christendom. The only fault I would add, and the author agrees in the book, is that no real distinction is made between types of Christians. The reader needs to be careful to remember the narrow gate and road. Not all who call themselves Christian are. Keeping that in mind this book has very deep and useful insight about the future of Christianity in our world.
Oct 20, 2011 rated it liked it
There was was some really good, useful, and encouraging info in this book. However, Jenkins lumps anyone who puts on a cross necklace in with being a Christian. Many of the health and wealth congregations that Jenkins talked about in Africa and Asia probably don't exist by the time I'm writing this review. No substance. On the whole its a recommended read but with a discerning mind.
provacative and engaging.
Jesse Broussard
Sep 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: excellent
Jenkins hits his point from all available angles at least twice, but is nonetheless a very satisfying and surprising read.
Tanner Hawk
Dec 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Very interesting and paradigm-shifting for me.

"Over the last century, however, the center of gravity in the Christian world has shifted inexorably away from Europe, southward, to Africa and Latin America, and eastward, toward Asia. Today, the largest Christian communities on the planet are to be found in those regions. If we want to visualize a typical contemporary Christian, we should think of a woman living in a village in Nigeria, or in a Brazilian favela" (p. 1-2).

"European Christians reinte
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book advances a fascinating thesis, that even whilst the Western world heads towards post-Christendom, Christianity is actually growing and expanding as a worldwide phenomenon. This next Christendom is moving southwards, flourishing in the non-Western regions of Latin America, Africa and Asia. It is also evolving into a different kind of Christendom, less culturally Eurocentric and more charismatic and evangelical. The book devotes much attention to these new and vibrant expressions of the ...more
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book offered a well-researched and comprehensive look at the trends of Christianity that are taking place across the globe today as well as a look back at the movement of the church and its impact and influence throughout history. The main idea behind the book is that Christianity will look much different in the next generation as Christianity expands throughout the global South, transitioning from a white and European religion based out of the Catholic church or the Reformation to one that ...more
Tyler Brown
Jul 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Jenkin’s thesis is that the global south (Africa, Latin America, and Asia) are, and will continue to become the most numerous and influential Christian areas. The history he covers was really enjoyable to read. Dozens of stories of church heroes that don’t get mentioned in most church history courses.

Two flaws ran through the book. First, although Jenkins often qualified his projections, much of the book is simply conjecture about what the church will look like in 20-50 years. Demographic findi
Justin Evans
Jenkins discusses his topic, non sine causa, sed sine fine. This is a real Goodreads star rating: the book is great, but I didn't like it very much, because it's an exceptionally well-organized data dump. Did you know that Christianity will probably be a non-Western religion pretty soon? Here's your statistical proof. That's pretty much it, though it is entirely skimmable, so you can find the specific datum you're looking for. But if I never read the phrase "Demography shows..." again, it will b ...more
Nicholas Lewis
Jenkin's book is full of statistical facts concerning the broad movements of Christianity around the word but one would find that these "Christian" movements are not specifically orthodox Christians but a variety of nominal and downright heretical "Christians" which seems to disparage the thesis of the book rather than uphold it.
Je lis donc je suis
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Philip Jenkins is a favorite author for me from a church history point of view. This book takes church history and church present and analyses notable trends while asking what they mean for the global Church. Given that we are a number of years out from the publish date of the book, it's interesting how spot on much of the author's analysis was. This book is still very relevant.
Jul 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Christianity's gravity is moving south. This book predicted that the next pope would come from the global south. This book was also helpful in understanding the broader African diaspora, which we have been working with at one of the schools in my area.
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Christians are the dominant religion, then - no Muslims are the dominant religion, now Christians are making a comeback but none of the Christian denominations agree with the other's beliefs or doctrines which ensures fighting, fighting, fighting - the thing they are best at.
Caroline Abbott
Apr 11, 2020 rated it liked it
I read this for my church history class. It described well that the majority of Christians are in the Global South - what we used to call third world. Interesting.
Daniel Anderson
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
An encouraging book for sure!
Eric Black
Dec 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Philip Jenkins is a historian who should be read.
Lucas Miller
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first met Philip Jenkins shortly after starting graduate school. He was a research fellow at Baylor University's Institute for the Study of Religion. He has since transitioned to teaching at Baylor full time, but back in 2010ish he was just a regular and welcome visitor. I had gone with a class to see him give a talk on a topic that was largely an extension of the thesis of The Next Christendom. After the lecture, professor Jenkins came back to our class and we were able to ask him questions a ...more
Roger Miller
Mar 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
Ten Chapters in this massive book, if you read the firs two chapters and the last two; you will get all the meat out of the book. I loved the beginning that documented how Christianity is waning but the south ad east Christendom is booming. What I did not like about the middle is; Jenkins political and biblical views; much of what he calls cultural I am certain the bible calls heresy. Often the author; decries the objections of the western church of the southern church as unfounded in areas of p ...more
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: school-reading
“Christianity is never as weak as it appears, nor as strong as it appears” says Philip Jenkins as he ends this important book on global religious trends. Whatever might be the presence of religion in one’s life, the numbers cannot be ignored. Christianity has gone through its largest boom period in history over the last 100 years, and the pace is only quickening. Due to an often patronizing Eurocentric viewpoint, this fact is usually overlooked in the Northern Hemisphere. Most of the new Christi ...more
In The Next Christendom, Jenkins begins by giving statistical evidence that the heart of Christianity is no longer in the West, but rather, in the southern continents of South America and Africa, and also in the East in Asia. He says the majority of Christians today are non-white and poor. He even says a “white Christian” will become an oxymoron. Throughout the book, Jenkins challenges the myth of Western Christianity. Jenkins points out that in spite of Muslim domination, in A.D. 1200 over half ...more
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John Philip Jenkins was born in Wales in 1952. He was educated at Clare College, in the University of Cambridge, where he took a prestigious “Double First” degree—that is, Double First Class Honors. In 1978, he obtained his doctorate in history, also from Cambridge. Since 1980, he has taught at Penn State University, and currently holds the rank of Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of the Humanities. He ...more

Other books in the series

The Future of Christianity Trilogy (3 books)
  • The New Faces of Christianity: Believing the Bible in the Global South
  • God's Continent: Christianity, Islam, and Europe's Religious Crisis

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There's something great about a paperback book: They're perfect book club choices, you can throw them in your bag and go, and they've been out in...
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“Christianity is never as weak as it appears, nor as strong as it appears.” 0 likes
“Submission to a “Christian state” can easily turn into a willful refusal to acknowledge the flaws of that regime, and to connive at official corruption and violence.” 0 likes
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