“A Laboratory for New Forms of Faith”

Philip Jenkins, in his recent book, God’s Continent: Christianity, Islam and Europe’s Religious Crisis, offers the following fascinating statement:

The recent experience of Christian Europe might suggest not that the continent is potentially a graveyard for religion but rather that it is a laboratory for new forms of faith, new structures of organization and interaction, that can accommodate to a dominant secular environment. (19)

The hopeful note is one that I also share. Sometimes I fantasize about the types of books I would love to write, and for a while I’ve had an idea for one called Experiments in Faithfulness that would talk about people and groups like Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker, the Koinonia Farm, Shane Claiborne and the Simple Way, and the International House of Prayer movement. These all emerged within a dominant secularism that may in the end be “a laboratory for new forms of faith.”

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