9780385520386

The Future Church

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780385520386

  • ISBN10:

    0385520387

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 11/10/2009
  • Publisher: Image

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Summary

What will the Catholic Church be like in 100 years? Will there be a woman pope? Will dioceses throughout the United States and the rest of the world go bankrupt from years of scandal? In THE FUTURE CHURCH, John L. Allen puts forth the ten trends he believes will transform the Church into the twenty-second century. From the influence of Catholics in Africa, Asia, and Latin America on doctrine and practices to the impact of multinational organizations on local and ethical standards, Allen delves into the impact of globalization on the Roman Catholic Church and argues that it must rethink fundamental issues, policies, and ways of doing business. Allen shows that over the next century, the Church will have to respond to changes within the institution itself and in the world as a whole whether it is contending with biotechnical advancesincluding cloning and genetic enhancementthe aging Catholic population, or expanding the roles of the laity. Like Thomas Friedman'sThe World Is Flat, THE FUTURE CHURCH establishes a new framework for meeting the challenges of a changing world.

Author Biography

JOHN L. ALLEN, Jr., is the Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and a Vatican analyst for CNBN and National Public Radio. He is the author of Conclave, All the Pope’s Men, and Opus Dei, and writes the weekly Internet column, “The Word from Rome.” He lives in New York City and Rome.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
A World Churchp. 13
Evangelical Catholicismp. 54
Islamp. 95
The New Demographyp. 141
Expanding Lay Rolesp. 175
The Biotech Revolutionp. 217
Globalizationp. 256
Ecologyp. 298
Multipolarismp. 338
Pentecostalismp. 375
Trends That Are'tp. 414
Catholicism in the Twenty-First Centuryp. 427
Suggestions for Further Readingsp. 457
Indexp. 463
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

Excerpts

In Thomas Friedman’s enormously popular book about globalization, he summarized the essential message in four words: the world is flat. Globalization is knocking down one barrier to opportunity after another, creating a world in which smart, hungry go- getters in India, China, or Brazil can compete not just for the low- wage jobs Americans don’t want, but for the hightech, high- pay jobs they definitely do want. For that reason, Friedman’s book came with a warning: Americans need to hustle in this century or they’ll find themselves run over by this phenomenon.
This too is a book about globalization. Its subject is the oldest globalized institution on earth, the Roman Catholic Church. Its bottom line can also be expressed in a few words: the church is upside down. By that, I don’t mean that the Church is topsy- turvy or out of whack. I mean that the issues, party lines, and ways of doing business that have dominated Catholicism in the forty- plus years since the close of the Second Vatican Council in 1965, that watershed moment in modern Catholic life, are being turned on their head by a series of new forces reshaping the global Church. This book comes with a warning too: Catholics in the twenty- first century won’t just need hustle (though they certainly will need that), but above all they’ll need imagination. They’ll need the capacity to reconsider how they think about the Church, and what they do with their faith, because otherwise Catholicism won’t rise to the occasion of these new challenges— it’ll be steamrolled by them.

Consider the following ways in which the Catholic Church is upside down in the twenty- first century:
• A Church dominated in the twentieth century by the global North, meaning Europe and North America, today finds two thirds of its members living in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Catholic leadership will come from all over the world in this century to a degree never before experienced.
• A Church whose watchword after the Second Vatican Council (1962– 65) wasaggiornamento,meaning “opening up to the modern world,” is today officially cutting in the opposite direction, reaffirming everything that makes Catholicism different from modernity. This politics of identity is in part a reaction against runaway secularization.
• A Church whose primary interreligious relationship for the last forty years has been with Judaism now finds itself struggling to come to terms with a newly assertive Islam, not just in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, but in its own European backyard.
• A Church that has historically invested a large share of its pastoral energy in the young now has to cope, beginning in the North, with the most rapidly aging population in human history.
• A Church that has long relied on its clergy to deliver pastoral care and to provide leadership now has lay people doing both in record numbers and in a staggering variety of ways.
• A Church used to debating bioethical issues that have been around for millennia— abortion, birth control, and homosexuality— finds itself in a brave new world of cloning, ge ne tic enhancements, and trans- species chimeras. Its moral teaching is struggling desperately to keep pace with scientific advances.
• A Church whose social teaching took shape in the early stages of the Industrial Revolution now faces a twenty- first- century globalized world, populated by strange entities such as multinational corporations
(MNCs) and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) that didn’t exist when it crafted its vision of the just society.
• A Church whose social concern focuses almost exclusively on human beings finds itself in a world in which the welfare of the cosmos itself requires new theological and moral reflection.
• A Church whose diplomacy has always relied on the Great Catho

Excerpted from The Future Church: How Ten Trends Are Revolutionizing the Catholic Church by John L. Allen
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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