The headline of an article announcing the May 2007 visit of Pope Benedict XVI to South America reads, “Pope to Visit ‘Pentecostalized’ Brazil.” To anyone familiar with worldwide Catholicism, the suggestion that Brazil, the most Catholic country in the world, is “pentecostalized,” is an eye-opener. The article, however, is correct. Brazil, along with much of the Southern Hemisphere, is experiencing a religious transformation and revival that could parallel in importance the Protestant Reformation in Europe during the sixteenth century. This book by Philip Jenkins is a landmark publication that renders an important overview of the evolving nature of worldwide Christianity.
The 2002 first edition of Dr. Jenkins’s book won several awards, including being named as one of the top ten religious books of the year by both USA Today and Booklist. The first edition of this volume was written before the 9/11 destruction of the World Trade Center towers, and Jenkins felt that experience so changed the world that the book should be updated. His additions place Christianity in the post-9/11 world in which we now live. He also includes a discussion of the present conflict in the Anglican faith that supports his ideas concerning the nature of Protestantism outside of Europe and the United States.