Christianity in the Twentieth Century: A World History

Brian Stanley. Princeton Univ, $35 (512p) ISBN 978-0-691-15710-8
This ambitious work by historian Stanley (The Global Diffusion of Evangelicalism), professor of world Christianity at the University of Edinburgh, surveys narratives of 20th-century Christian activity around the globe. At the dawn of the 20th century, evangelical Christians in the West were confident that the “global diffusion of Christianity from its Western heartlands” would be a “universal triumph of the Western civilizing creed,” Stanley writes. But then global Christianities flourished in ways Western Christians had not envisioned. Stanley surveys these changes in thematic sections. The chapter on human rights examines how Christians in South Africa supported and opposed Apartheid, as well as the role of Protestant and Catholic churches in Canada’s system of residential schools for indigenous children (now regarded as violating the human rights of a generation of First Nations people). The chapter on Pentecostal Christianities considers the development of missionary communities in Ghana and Brazil; the chapter on ecumenism looks at ways Christian practices of worship changed throughout China and the Indian subcontinent. At times the array of Christian organizations (there is a three-page list of abbreviations provided) and the rapid jumps between locations can feel bewildering—yet the author provides reader-friendly transitions into and out of each theme. This comprehensive work is ideally suited for an undergraduate course or study group. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/09/2018
Release date: 06/01/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 504 pages - 978-0-691-19684-8
Open Ebook - 504 pages - 978-1-4008-9031-6
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