The Rise of Anti-Western Christianity

Matthew Roberts explains why the future of Christianity will be in the Third World rather than in the West.

Although Third World Christianity at present may be ethnocentric, some people hope it will eventually become more universalist (ie, more liberal), as Western Christianity has become. But there is no reason to assume that the development of the new Christendom will mirror Western Christianity. For all we know, Third World Christianity could become more ethnocentric, more anti-Western, and privilege non-whiteness even more.

Many Western conservatives (and leftists) have denounced the liturgies of the new Christendom as overly syncretistic, as essentially non-Christian. Jenkins, however, argues that the meaning of Christianity is rather fluid, noting that even the Nicene Creed is not static, as Western Europeans altered it by adding the filioque. “We cannot be too precise about defining Christianity,” he maintains, because people following Jesus have “always been very diverse, and we should acknowledge and accept that broad range of self-conceptions.” Besides, Western denunciations of non-Western syncretism will probably carry very little weight in the future.

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