A list of speakers from 2007 and earlier
Moving the Centre: The Seismic Shift in Christian Adherence
by Prof John Parratt
THIRD WORLD THEOLOGIES: DO THEY MATTER? MOVING THE CENTRE: THE SEISMIC SHIFT IN CHRISTIAN ADHERENCE
Not much more than a century ago it would have been possible to have designated Christianity as basically a Caucasian tribal religion. In 1900 over 80% of those professing Christianity lived in the Western world. Christianity’s strengths were firmly focussed in the Protestantism of northern Europe, the Catholicism of the southern countries, and Orthodoxy in the east. The European colonisation of north America, and Latin America, and also of Australasia, had imported Christianity along with its European migrants and settlers. Elsewhere in the world the Christian faith existed in smaller pockets of missions. In Africa and the Pacific advances had been made among peoples of traditional cultures and religions. But elsewhere, especially in Asia, where the Christian faith came up against highly sophisticated and literate ethnic religions, prospects looked bleak. The Muslim world was then closed to proselytisation from other faiths, as it remains today. There were, it is true, the remnants of Christian communities in India and other parts of Asia and the Middle East, and in north Africa with histories stretching back far into the earliest centuries, but these were small and isolated. The Christian religion was firmly anchored in the West.