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Featured Book: The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why


In this 2008 book, the late Phyllis Tickle contends that the western church is experiencing another upheaval and rearrangement like it did during the Reformation. So it is that she “escorts readers through centuries of church history leading to this moment,” according to Publishers Weekly, “and persuasively charts the character of and possibilities for the emerging church.” PW reaches the conclusion that “this is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the face and future of Christianity.”

Still, “There have been critics,” The Other Journal: An Intersection of Theology & Culture reports. “Book reviewers have complained that Tickle ends the book too soon,” leaving the reader uncertain. (This may account for a sequel, Emergence Christianity, which will be pointed up as the next Featured Book.) Baptist minister Chuck Warnock was one: “Tickle sees all [Christian] denominations…as converging toward the centre,” he mentions in his blog. “I’m not sure that is happening.”

Still, there’s no denying that Tickle knows of what she writes. A lay eucharistic minister in the Episcopal Church and a senior fellow of the Washington National Cathedral’s college, she, the author of at least two dozen books, was the founding editor of the religion department of Publishers Weekly.

The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why
By Phyllis Tickle
BakerBooks, 2008