Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Book Review--Great Emergence

The Great Emergence: How Christianity Is Changing and Why (emersion: Emergent Village resources for communities of faith)
The Great Emergence: How Christianity Is Changing and Why by Phyllis Tickle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Great Emergence by Phyllis Tickle is a sociological study on the history and possible future of Christianity.

This text is unusual for its inclusion of and respect for both Catholicism and Orthodoxy in its 163 pages of exploration on how Christianity has changed, from just prior to the Reformation until today.

Its basic thesis is that society, and as a result, the church, changes drastically every 500 years, beginning with the rise of Monasticism about 500 years after Christ, with the transition periods being the most disruptive.

She talks about the effect of a myriad number of things on Christianity including such diverse phenomena as Charles Darwin, Alcoholics Anonymous, Rosy the Riveter and Leave it to Beaver.

The book really is a hopeful one all in all, of the survival of Christianity and even leaves us, in the footnotes, with a prophesy by Joachim of Fiore, that divides Christianity into bi-millennial units emphasizing the Father (from the beginning of time to the birth of Christ) , the Son (up to the year 2000), the Holy Spirit (from 2000-4000) and a glorious union of the three from the years 4000-5000 AD.  

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2 comments:

TACParent said...

This is interesting. I've read similar things in other books. As we evolve so does our faith.

Dymphna said...

Very true. The Church on earth is made up of human beings, and can't help but be influence by the times, one way or the other.

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"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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