Alpha Enterprise: Evangelism in a Post-Christian Era

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Overview

The Alpha Enterprise explores the development, growth and impact of the most widely used evangelizing program of recent decades. The Alpha course is run in over seven thousand churches in the UK and over five thousand in the USA. Across the world some four million people have graduated through the course in over 80 countries. Alpha is truly the fastest growing evangelizing initiative, creating widespread support as well as stirring strong criticism.

Stephen Hunt critically examines the content and working philosophy of the Alpha course through the experiences of the churches that have run it, as well as the individuals who have experienced it first hand. Hunt charts the history of the program, its use of group dynamics and media, how it links with the charismatic movement, how it deals with issues such as homosexuality, how it is run not only in churches but in prisons and universities too, and concludes by measuring Alpha's impact and success.

Engaging with debates regarding postmodernity, globalization, McDonaldisation, consumerism, and secularization, and based on real-life surveys, The Alpha Enterprise sheds new light not only on evangelism but on contemporary Christianity in general and how it engages with a post-Christian culture.

Contents: Foreword, Martyn Percy
Introduction
Developments so far
Alpha: towards a sociological framework
The charismatic movement and its significance for Alpha
The Alpha program
Critical views of Alpha
The survey in the churches
Group dynamics
Searching issues
The supply-side of Alpha
Who joins Alpha?
Is Alpha working?
Alpha in the 'hard places'
Is Alpha homophobic?
The holy spirit weekend
Conclusion
Index. Professor Christie Davies, University of Reading, UK

Author Biography: Stephen Hunt, Reader in Sociology, University of West of England, Bristol, UK

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780754650355
  • Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/1/2004
  • Pages: 286
  • Product dimensions: 9.21 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
1 Alpha : developments so far 9
2 Alpha : towards a sociological framework 21
3 The charismatic movement and its significance for Alpha 43
4 The Alpha programme 57
5 Critical views of Alpha 75
6 The survey in the churches 91
7 The group dynamics of Alpha 107
8 Searching issues 133
9 The supply-side of Alpha 145
10 Who joins Alpha? 159
11 Is Alpha working? 173
12 Alpha in the 'hard places' 197
13 Is Alpha homophobic? 221
14 Holy Spirit weekend 233
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