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By Philip Kennedy

Philip Kennedy argues that any method which seeks to rejuvenate Christianity by way of repeating age-old doctrines and resisting far-reaching conceptual reconstructions is doomed. He proposes that conventional Christian theology needs to greatly swap lots of its formulae and theses due to a mess of contemporary social, old, and highbrow revolutions. Kennedy bargains a grand historic sweep of the genesis of the trendy age, and covers all the proper debates, conflicts and controversies surrounding and informing this topic.

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Furthermore, among its major accomplishments, Christianity in the past was responsible for weaning superstitious Europeans from a reliance on magic to a belief in the capacities of reason. It succeeded in keeping higher levels of learning alive during the slaughter-baths of a barbarian past. It has stimulated brilliant philosophers such as Descartes, Kant, Pascal, Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein. Many of the world’s most esteemed universities, like those of Bologna, Paris, Tübingen, Oxford, Salamanca, Cambridge, Harvard and Yale, were intentionally founded as decidedly Christian centres of learning.

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.

Hence, to speak of the modern in one sense is to denote an immediacy of time – right at the current instant. In that case, each and every generation of human beings has considered itself modern. Plato, Socrates, Jesus, Joan of Arc and Charles Darwin were all moderns of one kind or another. On the lips of some, though, the term ‘modern’ simply signifies that which has progressed. For such a slant, the modern age is an epoch of inexorable human advancement. According to others, a modern person or thing is merely fashionable.

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