God's Continent: Christianity, Islam, and Europe's Religious by Philip Jenkins

By Philip Jenkins

What does the longer term carry for ecu Christianity? Is the Christian church doomed to break down lower than the burden of globalization, Western secularism, and a flood of Muslim immigrants? Is Europe, briefly, close to changing into "Eurabia"? even though many pundits are loudly predicting simply one of these situation, Philip Jenkins unearths the issues in those arguments in God's Continent and gives a way more measured evaluate of Europe's spiritual destiny. whereas frankly acknowledging present tensions, Jenkins exhibits, for example, that the overheated rhetoric a couple of Muslim-dominated Europe relies on politically handy myths: that Europe is being imperiled through floods of Muslim immigrants, exploding Muslim birth-rates, and the loss of life of eu Christianity. He issues out that certainly not are Muslims the one new immigrants in Europe. Christians from Africa, Asia, and japanese Europe also are pouring into the Western nations, and bringing with them a colourful and enthusiastic religion that's aiding to remodel the face of eu Christianity. Jenkins consents that either Christianity and Islam face actual problems in surviving inside Europe's secular tradition. yet rather than fading away, either have tailored, and are adapting. certain, the church buildings are in decline, yet there also are transparent symptoms that Christian loyalty and devotion live on, whilst associations collapse. Jenkins sees encouraging symptoms of continuous Christian devotion in Europe, specifically in pilgrimages that allure millions--more in reality than in bygone "ages of faith." The 3rd publication in an acclaimed trilogy that incorporates the following Christendom and the recent Faces of Christianity, God's Continent bargains a pragmatic and traditionally grounded appraisal of the way forward for Christianity in a speedily altering Europe.

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In such circumstances, it would be tempting to graph the accumulating statistics of decline to determine just when, in a few decades, the sole surviving parishioner would be forced to turn out the lights on the last church. Of course, Americans have, besides the mainliners, a plethora of thriving and well-attended alternative churches: most European countries do not. 26 Godless Europe? 27 Any number of indices demonstrate the weakness of European Christianity. In terms of belief, most simply, several different surveys regularly ask people in various nations how important religion is to them.

Pope John Paul II When American Christians discuss the moral state of their nation, especially if they are from the conservative or evangelical end of the religious spectrum, they commonly assume that the Christian faith is in steep decline in the United States. Such an approach amazes American liberals, who worry instead about trends to theocracy, and it staggers Europeans, who are constantly impressed by the vigor of American faith, no less than its confident public expression. In Europe, in contrast, it is tempting to conclude that Christianity is sick or dying.

At the height of postwar enthusiasm in 1966, the Catholic Church in France ordained 566 men, compared to just 90 in 2004. In the 1990s alone, the number entering French seminaries fell from 1,200 to 900. The famous seminary of Saint Sulpice, near Paris, is built to accommodate two hundred pupils if the demand was there, but today it actually houses only fifty. Many are from global South nations such as Vietnam and Rwanda, which outsource to Europe the task of clerical training. Even Ireland’s once-booming seminaries have to cope with much smaller enrollments.

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