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Wuthnow (director, Ctr. for the Study of Religion, Princeton Univ.; After the Baby Boomers: How Twenty- and Thirty-Somethings Are Shaping the Future of American Religion) examines the American Christianity of today in relation to globalization. Using new surveys, interviews, and recent statistics, he demonstrates that American churches are still highly influential and very interested in global outreach, both in terms of organized humanitarian relief and personal short-term mission trips by small groups from local congregations. He repudiates the recent idea that it is now the non-Western churches that are vibrant and active while American churches are more drawn in and locally focused. As they become more globally oriented, these churches face challenges such as balancing service with spirituality and overcoming the historical legacy of the perceived cultural imperialism of the past; however, expanding opportunities for effective engagement around the world will continue to grow. A well-researched book that challenges many popular assumptions about the demise of the Christian West. Recommended for both students and general readers.
—C. Robert Nixon