By Philip Kennedy
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The USA has never known the culture of Christendom in the same way as Europe. The increasingly weakened state of conventional Christianity in Europe stands in stark contrast to the fate of another Christian world found in Latin America, Africa and Asia. In those regions, Christian Churches appear to be thriving and growing. Many of them involve masses of people who are dreadfully poor, illeducated and afﬂicted by preventable diseases. A major ambition of this book is to probe why conventional Christianity appears to be collapsing or radically mutating in those parts of the world where it scrutinized its doctrines and practices at the highest levels of university research; and why it appears to be blossoming in fetid favelas and among people living in penury.
Others bemoan that Christianity espouses an inhuman and unliveable moral code. The German theologian Uta Ranke-Heinemann concluded recently that christianity’s current predicament Catholic moral theology has lost much of its reputation in very recent times, and its elaborate antisexual ediﬁce lies in ruins. Many a human conscience has been warped by its insane demands, with their claims to religious validity and divine authority. 31 Quite apart from Catholicism in particular, Christianity in general is also called to account for itself in view of its long-standing support for exploitative political powers.
Early in , the Sunday Telegraph published the results of an opinion poll that was conducted for the British Broadcasting Corporation, which is ever interested to chart changes in social taste and allegiance. Those interviewed were asked who or what inspires or inﬂuences them. The results of the poll chime with the conclusions of Callum Brown in The Death of Christian Britain. According to the poll, per cent of the British population at the time found Nelson Mandela inspirational; per cent enthused over Richard Branson; Margaret Thatcher inspired per cent of the population; per cent were inﬂuenced by the Pope; per cent admired the Archbishop of Canterbury; per cent liked Tony Blair; per cent recorded admiration for Mother Teresa.
A Modern Introduction to Theology: New Questions for Old Beliefs by Philip Kennedy