Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Great Emergence

The Great Emergence, by Phyllis Tickle

Here is a book written for Christians, mostly North American protestants, that examines history in the churches and the world to explain the big changes that are happening in North American Protestantism. Tickle is a church historian and Episcopalian. She covers the historical causes of the Great Reformation, then what she calls the Great Emergence that is happening now. She says that every 500 years the church has a big rummage sale that cleans it out as part of major change. She gives credit to communications changes for today’s situation, along with Freud, Jung, the automobile, and much more. The book is short but filled with content. She mentions Roman Catholicism and European churches in passing, but does not dwell on them.

Tickle demonstrates that changes in religion are part of changes in the world. She points out that the question of where authority lies is at the heart of the Reformation and today’s church issues. It’s not hard to read and will help us to understand what’s going on.

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