Cover image for Saving Christianity : new thinking for old beliefs
Saving Christianity : new thinking for old beliefs
Wakeman, Hilary.
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Publication Information:
Dublin : Liffey, 2003.
Physical Description:
viii, 171 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


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BT77 .W28 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Foreword by Bishop Willie Walsh. A radical and provocative challenge to Church beliefs. A major reason For The current crisis in Christian churches, Hilary Wakeman argues, Is that their doctrines are simply not believable. In this readable and though

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Wakeman--one of the first women ordained a priest in the Anglican Church-- candidly, commonsensically discusses one great predicament of the contemporary Christian church. Moderate Christianity is dying because churches are unwilling to consider their beliefs honestly and openly. She persuasively argues that to survive beyond the next generation, Christianity must find ways compatible with a twenty-first-century sensibility to express old truths. Much of her discussion is seen from her Irish perspective as rector of a parish in County Cork, yet it applies to Christianity in the broadest sense. For example, she lists the reasons so many people are leaving the institutional church to practice a faith that chooses from one religion what it can't get from another; clerical scandals, ecclesiastical authoritarianism, and competition for free time are all factors. Many will be disturbed by her conclusions, especially her rational interpretations of such Christian basics as the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, and the Trinity, but this is a brave book that asks what the meaning of truth is and dares to venture answers. --June Sawyers Copyright 2004 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Wakeman is not well known in the United States, but she edited works on women priests and prayer in the past, and is founder of the Julian Meetings for contemplative prayer. Looking principally at the United Kingdom, Wakeman frankly acknowledges the dire diminution of the Christian Church in number and influence. She also offers remedies that will seem radical in the extreme to many readers, including jettisoning the Church's unattractive power structures, its paternalism, and the arbitrary imposition of antique doctrines. Wakeman's form of Christianity would center on small, nonhierarchical groups for prayer and reading, microcommunities that would acknowledge and celebrate members' lives. While her perception of crisis may not seem relevant to the United States, where conservative churches grow in population and power, Wakeman sees the future of Christianity as following two strands-the reactionary and the progressive. This book is her effort to show a new path to moderate or liberal Christians worldwide who have walked away from the "mainstream" churches. Highly recommended. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.