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World Christian Encyclopedia: A Comparative Survey of Churches and Religions in the Modern World
     

World Christian Encyclopedia: A Comparative Survey of Churches and Religions in the Modern World

by David B. Barrett
 

Here is the completely updated and greatly expanded new edition of a classic reference source—the comprehensive overview of the world's largest religion in all its many versions and in both its religious and secular contexts.
Now in two volumes, the Encyclopedia presents and analyzes an unmatched wealth of information about the extent, status, and

Overview

Here is the completely updated and greatly expanded new edition of a classic reference source—the comprehensive overview of the world's largest religion in all its many versions and in both its religious and secular contexts.
Now in two volumes, the Encyclopedia presents and analyzes an unmatched wealth of information about the extent, status, and characteristics of twentieth-century Christianity worldwide. It takes full account of Christianity's ecclesiastical branches, subdivisions, and denominations, and treats Christianity in relation to other faiths and the secular realm. It offers an unparalleled comparative study of churches and religions throughout the modern world.
This new edition features a vast range of new and previously unpublished data on the current global situation of Christianity, on religion in general, and on the political, demographic, economic, and social characteristics of the world's cultures and peoples in 238 countries. Each volume is filled with essential information, from historical surveys of denominations to country-by-country profiles of churches and believers. The text sets the current status of Christianity into a rich historical context, and assesses current trends and future directions.
Many tables, charts, diagrams, photographs, a directory of names and organizations, a glossary, index, and other features ensure accessibility for specialists and non-specialists alike.
The Encyclopedia will be of great value to academics of many disciplines, clergy, administrators, and those who work in Christian and other religious organizations around the world, as well as to anyone interested in current affairs.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for the First Edition:

"Most impressive. Brilliantly produced and arranged, this will undoubtedly be a standard reference work for years to come."—Library Journal

"Nothing less than a tour of considerable force. A bench mark in our understanding of the true religious state of the planet."—Time

"An outstanding compilation of data relating to Christianity throughout the world[for] all academic and public libraries. Highly recommended."—Booklist

"An impressive, country-by-country, denomination-by-denomination and year-by-year survey of most of the worlds religions."—The New York Times

Library Journal
The subtitle is not a misprint: it does say "AD 2200." This epitomizes the major dilemma of this encyclopedia: the reader cannot tell what is being reported as an empirically derived fact or accepted by theological faith. The editors of this multivolume work (Barrett, missiometrics, Regents Univ.; George Thomas Kurian, coeditor of Encyclopedia of the Future; and Todd M. Johnson, director, World Evangelization Research Ctr.) state in the introduction that their approach is empirical and scientific (rather than normative, philosophical, or poetic) and covers the totality of global Christianity, yet the underlying theme is the evangelization of the world. Volume 1 offers a global overview of Christianity, with relevant data. The introduction begins with the statement "The phenomenon of Christianity is here described and analyzed from some 40 standpoints, into 40 parts." What follows is an infuriating use of categories, subcategories, and sub-subcategories, which divide and subdivide parts to give the statistics the appearance of being scientifically derived. To make matters more confusing, the authors invent, and freely use, a maddening and confusing array of neologisms such as geostatus, globalistics, and futurescan. All this leads to lists and lists of statistics and facts. Among these: in the year 14.5 billion B.C.E., God created dark matter and black holes, and beyond the "eschatofuture" of 10 to the 100 power year (the year google), God creates infinite parallel universes. On a more human level, readers are told that the "structures of sin" for the Decade of Evangelism (A.D. 1990-2000) had a total cost of $9.250 trillion U.S. dollars. There is no workable index for findingthe facts or the statistics listed. Volume 2 is an alphabetized listing of the world's countries, and each entry is a readable narrative about its history, "liberty," and religions populations. This is the most useful of the volumes, but it suffers from the shadow of doubt cast by the first volume concerning the reliability of the encyclopedia's facts. Volume 3 can be best described as an explosion of numbers, categories, cross-listings of what the editors define as "miniprofiles" of at least 10,000 distinct religions, 12,600 peoples, 13,500 languages, 7000 cities, and 3030 major civil divisions in 238 countries. What results is hundred of pages of utterly confusing statistics, some highly suspect, culturally biased, and anthropologically useless (such as categorizing people by using moribund race-defining terms as Australoid, Negroid, and Mongoloid and further subdividing those into "stylized colors" such as black, grey, brown, red, tan, white, and yellow). There is a need for a comparative survey of world Christian churches and other religions. This is not it. Not recommended.--Glenn Masuchika, Chaminade Univ. Lib., Honolulu Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195079630
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
03/01/2001
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
1730
Product dimensions:
12.90(w) x 10.60(h) x 5.30(d)

Meet the Author

Regent University

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

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