The Great Emergence: How Christianity Is Changing and Why

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The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why
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Published October 1st 2008 by Baker Books

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Thi ook 's thesis is that the western Church is going through an upheaval and rearrangement, the ikes of which ar never been seen for 500 years.Even more surprising, Tickle argues persuasively that similar transformations have occurred every 500 years, each one leading to huge and fundamental changes in religion, but lso in society, culture and the individual person 's life.Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther nailed his treatises to a church door and initiated the Great Reformation.

Looking back 500 more years we arrive at the fall of the Roman Empire and the ushering in of the dark ages.And 500 before that is the time of Jesus himself, a transformation so great that even the way we number our years was changed as a consequenc.

Tickle discusses several key events in Science in the first hundred years that have ushered in the ext great age of transformation.

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( Boy, I hate it when GoodReads swallows my review when I get to recove it ...) " The Great Emergence " is a very interesting but ultimately too-shallow book that sets out to tackle epic themes of religious history and predict where modern Christiantiy is going, and instead asserts a somewhat dubious historical pattern and engages in idle ( but incomplete) speculation about contemporary faith evolution.For a book talking about the world-changing phenomenon of the " Great Emergence, " Tickle is either coy or obtuse about explaining what exactly it is.

More importantly, especially in th Southwest American and European perspective, she ignores changes in religious demographics, both the increase in minority/ non-Christian faiths, and the decline in religiosity and the rise in atheism.

She ould probably suggest that the apparent decline in Christianity ( though still by far a majority) is because Emergent Christianity does n't adhere so closely to traditional denominational church-going, and thus measurements based on church attendance and the like are far mor important than they used to be -- but she never actually addresses it here, again taking for granted Christianity as the sole faith ( or lack-of-faith) tradition in North America.The other part of novel, with which the first half is concerned, is a historical hypothesis that Church ( or maybe Societal) History goes in 500 year cycles.

Five hundred years ater, there 's group of events made up of the Council of Chalcedon ( AD 451), the fall of Rome ( AD 410-480), and the papacy ( AD 590) of Gregory the Great, which prompte the monastic reforms of the Church and their bility to preserve society through the Dark Ages.

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A political upheavals all over the west and in the middle east sort of made a fool of those who feared a unified one world government as everything started to fragment and continues on today with the Kurdish Vote.

It ould sugges the rising of their parent 's authoritative response to their children that is happening all over the western world but sequestered in certain demographics.

It wil sugges the departure from self awareness of the reformation to this super or hyper awareness in our every increasingly connected world.

If she is correct in her observations, and if that thing we feel in our gut- that winding, twisting, uncertainty that lingers just outside the periphery of this new world and it 's inhabitants- the consequence are both immediately awesome and terrifying.

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Now ( the ook was written 5 years ago), according to thi writer, the chape is entering “ the great emergence. ” It was good to review my Goshen College church history classes, and I liked her sociological description of the firs hundred years—eeks, I ’ ve lived through all but 30 of those.

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As it refer to the ssues of colonialis and women 's suffrage, Tickle is too ager to fix the blame for the church 's errors on a belief in the authority of scripture, rather than on the validity of their theorie.

In places, it traces the bishop 's ideas from early articles appearing in The Christian Century to his current heretical stances.

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Thi Great Emergence is creative and descriptive, even one of he most mportant books in the field.

But for anyone unfamilia with her later work—-Tickle has added so much about what to xpect for the life of faith, and clarified so well how the major religious changes came about—-this book is bad, not great.

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© Nicole Waggonner