By Philip Jenkins
What does the longer term carry for eu Christianity? Is the Christian church doomed to break down lower than the burden of globalization, Western secularism, and a flood of Muslim immigrants? Is Europe, briefly, close to changing into "Eurabia"? although many pundits are loudly predicting simply the sort of state of affairs, Philip Jenkins unearths the failings in those arguments in God's Continent and gives a way more measured overview of Europe's spiritual destiny. whereas frankly acknowledging present tensions, Jenkins indicates, for example, that the overheated rhetoric a couple of Muslim-dominated Europe is predicated on politically handy myths: that Europe is being imperiled via floods of Muslim immigrants, exploding Muslim birth-rates, and the dying of eu Christianity. He issues out that on no account are Muslims the single new immigrants in Europe. Christians from Africa, Asia, and jap Europe also are pouring into the Western international locations, and bringing with them a colourful and enthusiastic religion that's supporting to remodel the face of ecu Christianity. Jenkins has the same opinion that either Christianity and Islam face genuine problems in surviving inside of Europe's secular tradition. yet rather than fading away, either have tailored, and are adapting. convinced, the church buildings are in decline, yet there also are transparent symptoms that Christian loyalty and devotion live on, whilst associations disintegrate. Jenkins sees encouraging symptoms of constant Christian devotion in Europe, specially in pilgrimages that allure millions--more in truth than in bygone "ages of faith." The 3rd publication in an acclaimed trilogy that comes with the following Christendom and the hot Faces of Christianity, God's Continent deals a practical and traditionally grounded appraisal of the way forward for Christianity in a quickly altering Europe.
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Extra resources for God's Continent: Christianity, Islam, and Europe's Religious Crisis
The cultural and political markers separating Catholics from non-Catholics have diminished steadily over the decades, to the point that values and social attitudes have become closely harmonized. So, of course, have birth rates. And the process of assimilation has had a global impact, as the pluralistic values of American prelates and scholars have transformed the wider Catholic Church. Though in retrospect we regard the assimilation of American Catholics as inevitable, it would have appeared incredible in the 1920s or 1930s, quite as astonishing as any modern suggestion that Europe’s Muslims would within a few decades share many of the values of their 24 God’s Continent old-stock neighbors.
In terms of belief, most simply, several different surveys regularly ask people in various nations how important religion is to them. S. ﬁgure in 2002 was about 60 percent. The average ﬁgure for Europeans was 21 percent, though of course with national variations. The ﬁgure for Italy was 27 percent, Germany 21 percent, and France and the Czech Republic 11 percent. Unlike the United States, moreover, religious disaffection is not merely expressed in nonparticipation in church activities. A signiﬁcant number of Europeans declare themselves atheist or nonreligious.
39 Apart from the implications for religious practice, Muslim accommodation to European norms is critical for all future demographic projections. Barring major new immigration, visions of Muslims achieving majority status in Europe within this century assume extraordinarily high and continuing rates of population growth. Moreover, the very high birth rates of “Muslim” communities would have to continue steadily on this incredible up-slope through the end of the century, despite all the pressures for cultural assimilation, particularly as they affect women.