Christianity has endured for two thousand years, weathering the challenges of clerical corruption, religious wars, internal schism, and scientific criticism. Today, however, there is increasing evidence that institutional Christianity is succumbing to the growing secularism of contemporary society. Both church attendance and the number of clergy have noticeably declined. Will Christianity survive for another thousand years, or even a hundred years? In this probing assessment of the state of Christianity, biblical scholar Arthur J Bellinzoni boldly asserts that Christianity must break with the past and offer a new vision of the future if it hopes to survive. Addressing four issues of central concern, Bellinzoni advocates a radical rethinking of the Christian message.First, he suggests that the God concept must move beyond obsolete notions of a personal God and take its inspiration from such diverse sources as science, Taoism, Moses, Thomas Jefferson, and Martin Buber. Second, Bellinzoni urges a more sophisticated approach to the Bible, one that values its timeless elements but is not afraid to discard its many antiquated features.
Third, he recommends a new emphasis on Jesus' social ethic, arguing that this could lead to a dramatic redistribution of the world's wealth and greater respect for the planet. Fourth, Bellinzoni criticises the persistence of obsolete myth in Christianity, demonstrating that, without its mythical embellishments, Christianity still offers a relevant understanding of the meaning of human existence. A work of erudition that is also completely accessible to the lay reader, "The Future of Christianity" provides a stimulating critique that forward-thinking Christians will welcome.
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(230mm x 150mm x 23mm)
Publisher: Prometheus Books
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Author Biography - Arthur J. Bellinzoni
Arthur J. Bellinzoni (Aurora, NY) is professor of religion emeritus at Wells College; the author of The Future of Christianity: Can It Survive?; The Old Testament: An Introduction to Biblical Scholarship; The Sayings of Jesus in the Writings of Justin Martyr; and the editor of The Two Source Hypothesis and The Influence of the Gospel of Saint Matthew on Christian Literature Before Saint Irenaeus.