Neither the most ardent advocates of Christianity nor its bitterest critics predicted the transformation of the faith that has occurred over the last century. At the same time that Christian practice plummeted in Europe and was decimated in the Middle East, it grew explosively in Asia, Oceania, Latin America, and sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the massive scale, kaleidoscopic diversity, and stunning speed of these changes, they were largely ignored by Western scholars, who expected everyone to follow them into Enlightened secularity. To gain a “big picture” perspective on what actually happened after the collapse of Colonialism, we will read some of the best work done in World Christianity, including work by scholars who were writing about it “before it was cool.” At a smaller scale, we will try to encounter World Christianity for ourselves by attending to specific leaders, moments, and movements. We will listen to music, watch engaging films, and attempt, as much as we can, to dialogue with Christians from the emerging centers of World Christianity.
If you are not enrolled in a degree program but wish to register for this course, use the Online Registration for Special Students and Auditors.