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Whose Religion Is Christianity? The Gospel Beyond the West
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2003 / Paperback
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(PUBEerdmans)"One of this generation's most significant Christian intellectuals touches upon virtually every major missiological question: Christian expansion and tradition, conversion and syncretism, religious pluralism, personal renewal and social transformation, etc. Should be in all classrooms,"---Christianity Today. 128 pages, softcover.
A native of Gambia, Lamin Sanneh is the D. Willis James Professor of Missions and World Christianity and professor of history at Yale Divinity School. His many books include Encountering the West: Christianity and the Global Cultural Process and Abolitionists Abroad: American Blacks and the Making of Modern West Africa.
"Lamin Sanneh is both a formidable scholar and an elegant writer. To nobodys surprise, then, Whose Religion Is Christianity? is a thoughtful, learned, provocative, and truly stirring analysis of the growth of global Christianity, including its phenomenal rise in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in missions, in the impact of the Bible, in the relationship between religion and politics---in short, for anyone interested in how Christianity stands in the twenty-first-century world." -Philip Jenkins
"Lamin Sannehs accessible dialogue about world Christianity offers a clear vision. Having listened to questions from his students and colleagues, he prints them and answers them. Because 60 percent of the worlds Christians live outside of the United States and Europe, we need a view that contrasts globalization and mission, guilt and faith, confusion and confession. This small volume should be the first anyone reads to see that view. All interested persons, including experts, will find these pages eye-opening." -Frederick W. Norris
"The astonishing religious changes of the twentieth century have produced a post-Christian West and a post-Western Christianity. Historical and cultural factors often prevent those who live in the post-Christian West from seeing the true face of world Christianity. This intriguing little book disperses these fogs to reveal the new contours of Christianity in the world. The argument moves at a cracking pace, and Lamin Sanneh characteristically provides plenty of supporting information in a highly readable form and with the freshness of perspective we expect from him. A most valuable statement of the place and nature of Christianity in the world." -Andrew F. Walls
Many historians of religion now recognize that Christianity is a global faith whose most vibrant expression and growth are found today in the non-Western world. But no one explores this reality and its implications for modern life with the depth of learning and personal insight of Lamin Sanneh.
This book is unique in the literature of world Christianity, not least for its novel structure. Sannehs engaging narrative takes the form of a self-interview in which he asks questions about the cross-cultural expansion of Christianity and provides insightful answers and meaningful predictions about the future. This technique also allows Sanneh to track developments in world Christianity even while giving attention to the responses and involvement of indigenous peoples around the world.
Sannehs own background and lifelong involvement with non-Western cultures bring a richness of perspective not found in any other book on world Christianity. For example, Sanneh highlights what is distinctive about Christianity as a world religion, and he offers a timely comparison of Christianity with Islams own missionary tradition. The book also gives pride of place to the recipients of the Christian message rather than to the missionaries themselves. Indeed, Sanneh argues here that the gospel is not owned by the West and that the future of the tradition lies in its "world" character.
Literate, relevant, and highly original, Whose Religion Is Christianity? presents a stimulating new outlook on faith and culture that will interest a wide range of readers.
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