Cover image for The future of Christianity
The future of Christianity
McGrath, Alister E., 1953-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Oxford ; Malden, Mass. : Blackwell, 2002.
Physical Description:
xii, 172 pages ; 24 cm.
The twentieth century : challenges and failures in the West -- The transformation of religion : the reshaping of Christianity -- New ways of being church : trends for the future in the West -- Challenges : some future issues -- The Christianity of the future : a tentative overview -- The two nations : the disillusionment with academic theology.

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Material Type
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Item Holds
BR121.3 .M34 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Christianity is the world's largest religious grouping. It has undergone massive change in the twentieth century, and seems poised to undergo major transformations in the next. In this important and timely book, one of Christianity's most prolific and respected writers examines these changes, and their implications for the future.

Author Notes

Alister McGrath is currently professor of theology at Oxford and principal of Wycliffe Hall. He is a consulting editor, general editor and author of several books. He lives in Oxford, England.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This book is part of the Blackwell Manifesto series, which is designed to stimulate discussion of timely and controversial issues. McGrath (Oxford Univ.) is a prolific interpreter of the Christian traditions. After examining some of the failures of the past and critical challenges of the present, he concludes that Christianity will survive but will undergo significant reshaping of form and substance. Its future will be characterized by a diminishing role in the West but an increasing significance in the non-Western world. In discussing the key factors transforming religion, McGrath offers a fascinating examination of globalization and the marketing and "McDonaldization" of Christianity; he provides a provocative treatment of the threat of fundamentalism, the fault lines between Christianity and Islam, the future of ecumenism, and the possible languages of faith. He explores emerging forms of church and elaborates on a likely future for Pentecostalism, Evangelicalism, and the three major Christian traditions. In one intriguing section, he investigates the disillusionment with and marginalization of academic theology and offers a proposal for organic (a la Gramsci) theology. Twelve pages of notes, a short index, and a list of Web sites are provided. Readable and accessible, this significant book should be included in libraries with collections in religion and Christianity. Suitable for all readership levels. R. L. Massanari Alma College

Table of Contents

1 The Twentieth Century: Challenges and Failures in the West
Catastrophe: The Armenian Genocide
Stalinism: The Enforcement of Atheism
The Nazi Crisis: The Failure of "Culture Protestantism"
The 1960s: A Crisis of Confidence
2 The Transformation of Religion: The Reshaping of Christianity
Globalization of Christianity
Decline in Western Europe
The Remarkable Case of Korea
Resurgence in Africa
Transformation in Latin America
3 New Ways of Being Church: Trends for the Future in the West
The Death of the Western Denomination? The Marketing of Christianity
The McDonaldization of Christianity
The Community Church
Willow Creek
The Cell Church
A Community in Exile
4 Challenges: Some Future Issues
The Threat of Fundamentalism
The New Faultlines: Islam and Christianity
The Future of Ecumenism
The Language of the Faith
5 The Christianity of the Future: A Tentative Overview
Is there a future for Protestant denominations in the west? Roman Catholicism
Eastern Orthodoxy
6 The Two Nations: The Disillusionment with Academic Theology
A Case in Point: Biblical Studies
The Marginalization of Theology
The Longing for Spiritual Authenticity
"Academic" Theology is Western Theology
A Strategy for Recovery: The Organic Intellectual
Web Sites relating to this work