Christianity in the Twentieth Century: A World History

Princeton Univ. Jul. 2018. 504p. maps.notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780691157108. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781400890316. REL
Stanley (world Christianity, Univ. of Edinburgh; The Global Diffusion of Evangelicalism) provides an overview of 15 topics, including the state of Christianity following World War I and the church's response to the rights of indigenous peoples, along with reflections on sexual politics and liberation theology. Each topic is given a general introduction followed by two separate developments, followed by a reconsideration of key ideas or events. For instance, in the matter of religious observance and developed societies, the generally accepted thesis is that the more developed a culture the less religious—as exemplified by Finland, with the United States as an outlier. Stanley looks at the growth of Finland and South Korea, concluding that Finland may actually be the outlier.
VERDICT An important and intriguing work that exhibits detailed case studies on a variety of subjects, from the well-trodden to the often overlooked, and how they relate to one another.

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