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The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  1,080 ratings  ·  96 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
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
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.
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!
G.M. Burrow
Jun 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Jarrod Phipps
A somewhat rhetorically over-the-top, but useful resource for learning about current Christian trends worldwide.
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
Jan 27, 2011 marked it as to-read
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One of these fields of argument is being constructed primarily by historians, anthropologists, theologians, and popular Christian writers, and has taken shape around notions such as “world Christianity” and “global Christianity.” Those participating in this discussion hold that while Christianity has always been global in its ambitions and self-conceptions, there is something about its recent growth, particularly in the global South, that i
Roy Howard
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first chapter of this updated edition will send tremors down the spiritual spine of every North American Christian who has ears to hear what the news that the global shift in Christianity portends for us. What Jenkins states will be old news to those who have been paying attention, but to many others it will be disturbing. For all of us, the compelling research presented here about the ongoing decline of the church in Europe and North America alongside the steady rise in Africa, Asia and Lat ...more
Apr 25, 2011 rated it liked it
History classes in the United States, it seems, tend to have a thematic flaw. They focus on the history of the West at the expense of the rest of the world. Besides learning some information about ancient civilizations like the Hebrews and Egyptians, history teaching generally takes a turn from the Greeks to the Romans to Europe, and finally, the United States. This happens in all types of history classes, including Church History. The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity by Phili ...more
Johnny Brooks
I like reading the work of futurists and speculating alongside them about the coming events. Philip Jenkins is not a futurists, but his book The Next Christendom does make future predictions about the Christian religion.

His view is a shift in the religion from being ruled and dominated by the Global North to the South. Mainly Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

Lots of numbers in the book. Recitation of statistics, again, again, and again. Makes for some dry reading.

However the historical recap of
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
Glenn Williams
May 29, 2011 rated it liked it
This is not a riveting, fast, page-turning book about how the world will come to an end, but it does describe a fascinating journey about the historical development of Christianity throughout the centuries, both its highs and lows, and how it has shaped modern Christianity. Jenkins provides a meticulous look at the shaping influences on how Christianity spreads, including how increasingly it is returning to its roots in what he calls The Global South. Until recently, the overwhelming majority of ...more
K. Smith
Aug 31, 2012 rated it liked it
It is hard to rate this book because it was a MUST READ and yet it was one of the most boring, hard to get through books I have ever forced myself to finish. Seriously important, seriously fascinating when it comes to concept, and absolutely necessary for anyone who is at all religiously-minded and concerned about the coming generation and century in terms of religious fervor. And yet it was so boring!!! I feel that Jenkins could have written one amazing essay, or series of essays, and it would ...more
Christopher M.
Aug 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a book about Christianity through the eyes of the historian, the one who sees the trends, the ebs and flows, and forecasts how these will go. As such, here is what this book is not: it is not a theological work, separating the wheat from the chaff, defining true religion. But what it is, is a fascinating observation about the direction of Christianity, particularly in regard to its invasion of the global south. The idea of a desperately poor black or latino Pentacostal or Roman Catholic ...more
Nov 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While this book first came out around 10 years ago, Jenkins seems to have added quite a bit to the 2011 edition. He offers a clear and comprehensive look at the trends shaping Christianity on the different continents of the world, charting the explosions in Africa and Asia and the emergence of Protestantism (of both the evangelical and Pentecostal varieties) in Latin America along with the trends (of both growth and decline) in Europe and North America.

It's an excellent book and a fascinating lo
Apr 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the Goodreads blurb says, this book documents the explosive growth of Christianity (Catholic, Protestant and Pentecostal) in the nations of the Global South in the last 100 years and discusses the consequences for global history, and how this has been going on under the radar, for the most part, of Western media and intellectuals. The first edition (the one I read here) was published in 2002 and so was written prior to 9/11 and America's subsequent engagements in Afghanistan and Iraq. A versi ...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
“In the seventeenth century, Thomas Hobbes described the papacy as “no other than the ghost of the deceased Roman Empire, sitting crowned upon the grave thereof: for so did the papacy start up on a sudden out of the ruins of that heathen power.” 0 likes
“charismatic people movements that seek to change their world through the translation of Christian truth and the transfer of power. These grassroots movements are a combination therefore of a spiritual factor (the Spirit of God), a people factor (the transfer of power to the marginalized), a truth factor (the application of the gospel to the pressing questions of a people group and culture) and a justice factor (a mission to change one’s world in response to the gospel).” 0 likes
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