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A New Christianity, But What Kind?

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The article examines Philip Jenkins's popular thesis that "Southern Christianity" represents a conservative return to a pre-Tridentine Christendom. While acknowledging the importance of Jenkins's emphasis on the demographic shift of the Christian population from the "North" to the "South" and its vast implications for the church's mission, the article argues that the form of Christianity that is taking place in the so-called Third World, at least in Asian Roman Catholicism, is anything but a return to the pre-Tridentine Christianity. The various phenomena that Jenkins notes such as healing, prophecy, popular piety, and a literalist reading of the Bible, should be viewed within the new context of the church's commitment to renewal and mission in terms of liberation, interculturation, and interreligious dialogue.


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