Gonzalez and the Rise of the Global South

At the end of a depressing (though not without a few bright spots) couple of chapters on the role of the Church in the Spanish and Portugese conquest of South and Central America, and arguably Africa, Gonzalez says this:

While Spain and Portugal were building vast overseas empires, and planting Roman Catholicism in distant lands, the Protestant Reformation was taking place in Europe. . . . Living as we do, only four centuries after those events, it may be too early to decide which of the two will eventually be of greater significance for the course of Christianity. Gonzalez I, 411

This is a good insight. For any serious ministry to Latinos in the United States, some reading on the Christian experience of the Global South and its relatively recent rise seems important. Philip Jenkins’s revised and expanded The Next Christendom and The New Faces of Christianity should probably be a part of it.   Also, his published lecture in the December 2006 First Things is worth taking a look at.


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