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World Christianity   Tags: africa, asia, church_history, latin_america, theology, world_christianity  

Resources for engaging with Christian communities around the world.
Last Updated: Sep 15, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

General Resources Print Page

About this Guide

This is a basic guide to "World Christianity," or the Christian faith as it is practiced outside of North America and Europe: Africa, Asia, and Latin America. It provides basic guides as well as advanced information.

In this guide, clicking on a book title links you to Emory's EUCLID library catalog or the DiscoverE catalog search engine (or in some cases, to WorldCat, if Emory doesn't own it but can get it through inter-library loan). Clicking on a book cover image links you to Amazon. Clicking on a periodical title links directly to its online access page, or to the catalog.


Statistics on World Christianity

World Christian Database - Gordon-Conwell Center for the Study of Global Christianity
Core data from the World Christian Encyclopedia and World Christian Trends (updated from print edition). Includes detailed information on 9,000 Christian denominations in 238 countries, 13,000 ethnolinguistic peoples, 5,000 cities, and 3,000 provinces. Online access for Emory affiliates.
For an analysis of WCD data, see Hsu, Reynolds, Hackett, & Gibbon. 2008 "Estimating the religious composition of all nations: An empirical assessment of the World Christian Database." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 47(4): 678-693.

World Christian Trends, AD 30-AD 2200: Interpreting the Annual Christian Megacensus - ed. David B. Barrett et al.
Call Number: REF-OVRSZ BR145.2 .W67 2001
Results from ten million annual surveys, plus glossary, bibliography, indexes, and atlas. Not as up-to-date as the World Christian Database. Also available on CD-ROM in our Media collection (MEDIA BR145.2 .W67 2001 CD-ROM).

Christianity in a Global Context - Todd M. Johnson
Report on the demographic trends of global Christianity.

Spirit and Power - Pew Forum
A Pew study conducted in 2006 of Pentecostalism and related charismatic movements in 10 countries.

News Sources

Articles from the world press allow researchers to better understand culture and thought in regions of interest. The following news search engines are available through Databases@Emory. Remote access requires Emory login and password.

  • Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe
    The most comprehensive and powerful news database.
  • NewsBank Access World News
    Interactive visual mapping allows selection of geographic region. Date coverage varies by publication.
  • Latin American Newsstand
    Over 50 newspapers and newswires, most outside the U.S. and in Spanish or Portuguese.
  • World News Connection
    A Foreign News Service from the U.S. Government that offers translated and English-language news and information. Scope primarily western hemisphere.
  • World Newspaper Archive
    An on-going project to produce searchable full text of historical newspapers from around the world. Initially will contain selected newspapers from Latin America, Africa and South Asia. Eventually will expand to the Middle East, East Asia and Eastern Europe.
  • World News Connection
    Designed for business research, this database may offer insights into culture and opinion.

Liturgical Sources

  • Ecumenical Prayer Cycle
    This effort of the World Council of Churches provides a yearly cycle of prayers from and for many people and nations of the globe. Prayers are published one week in advance of their intended use date; a schedule of dates and geographic regions is provided for the entire year.

Reference Works and Bibliography

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The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church - ed. F. L. Cross and Elizabeth A. Livingstone
Call Number: REFERENCE BR95 .O8 2005
First-stop quick reference on many subjects, with good short bibliographies. Look for regional articles by name of country.

The Encyclopedia of Christianity - ed. Erwin Fahlbusch et al.
Call Number: REFERENCE BR95 .E8913 1999
Based on a German encyclopedia, with a global view. Lengthy articles with bibliographies. Good historical coverage. Original: Evangelisches Kirchenlexikon (REF BR95 .E9 1986).

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Atlas of Global Christianity, 1910-2010 - Todd M. Johnson and Kenneth R. Ross, eds.
Call Number: THEOLOGY REF-ATLAS: G1046 .E42 A8 2009
ISBN: 0748632670
Includes essays, maps, and statistics for Christianity between 1910-2010. Figures are taken from the World Christian Database and the World Religion Database, both published by Brill.

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Handbook of Theological Education in World Christianity - Dietrich Werner (Editor); David Esterline (Editor); Namsoon Kang (Editor); Joshva Raja (Editor)
Call Number: BV4020 .H36 2010 (Reference and Book Stacks)
ISBN: 9781608991037
Publication Date: 2010-11-19
Discusses approaches and issues in theological education as experienced in different parts of the world.

Cambridge History of Christianity
Call Number: REFERENCE BR141 .C36
Nine volumes, a wealth of information. Online access is also available.

World Churches Handbook - ed. P. W. Brierley
Call Number: REFERENCE BV2050 .W55 1997
Uninterpreted statistics on world Christianity as of the mid-1990s, listed globally and by country.

World Christian Encyclopedia: A Comparative Survey of Churches and Religions in the Modern World - ed. David B. Barrett et al.
Call Number: REF-OVRSZ BR157 .W67 2001
Reference on 20,000 denominations worldwide. Statistics, directory of organizations, bibliography. Evangelical perspective. Updates now found in World Christian Database.

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Global Dictionary of Theology: A Resource for the Worldwide Church - ed. William A. Dyrness and Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen
Call Number: REFERENCE BR95 .G56 2008
Theology is conceived as a global conversation, in an "ecumenical evangelical" perspective.

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Oxford Handbook of Global Religions - Mark Juergensmeyer
Call Number: Ref. BL 74 .O94 2006
Substantive essays on many aspects of world faiths including Christianity by scholars such as Randall Palmer, David Chidester, and Harvey Cox.

Encyclopedia of Religious Practices - Thomas Riggs, ed.
Call Number: THEOLOGY REFERENCE: BL80.3 .W67 2006 (3 vols.)
ISBN: 0787693901
The first volume provides overviews of religions and denominations. 18 Christian traditions are discussed, including Coptic Christianity, Eastern Catholicism, Methodism, and Reformed Christianity. The second two volumes discuss religious practices by country. Since all chapters use the same format, comparing religious practices in different places is simple.

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Church and State in the Modern World: A Critical Assessment and Annotated Bibliography - James E. Wood, Jr.
Call Number: Z7776.72 .W67 2005
A broad bibliography with subdivisions for regions and countries. Because of the inter-relatedness of the contemporary church and politics , this is a fruitful area for further inquiry.


Global Christianity

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Christianity as a World Religion - Sebastian Kim and Kirsteen Kim
Call Number: THEOLOGY BOOKSTACKS: BR121.3 .K56 2008
ISBN: 9780826498410
Discusses the characteristics that make Christianity a world religion before examining how it is expressed in Europe, Africa, North America, Latin America, and Asia.

Disciples of All Nations: Pillars of World Christianity - Lamin O. Sanneh
Call Number: BR481 .S26 2008
A rethinking of Christian history from a global perspective, the first volume in the series Oxford Studies on World Christianity.

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Global Christianity: Contested Claims - Ed. Frans Wijsen and Robert Schreiter
Call Number: BR121.3 .W55 2007
Scholarly assessment of global trends described in Jenkins' work, from an international conference on Southern Christianity and its relation to Christianity in the North held at Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands..

The New Shape of World Christianity: How American Experience Reflects Global Faith - Mark A. Noll
Call Number: BR515 .N743 2009
On the American contribution to the development of the current global Christianity.

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The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity - Philip Jenkins
Call Number: BR121.3 .J46 2002
Noting the rapid expansion of Christianity into Asia, Africa, and Latin America, the historian Jenkins make the provocative prediction that the "Global South" would represent the Christian majority by 2050, with a corresponding change in the dominant Christian ethos. His thesis is elaborated in a sequel, The New Faces of Christianity: Believing the Bible in the Global South (BR121.3 .J45 2006).

Third World Liberation Theologies: An Introductory Survey - Deane William Fern
Call Number: BT83.57 .F465 1986
A good introduction to the thinking of varieities of liberation theologies in Africa, Asia, and Latin America with chapters on the history and critics of this schools of theological thought.

Third World Liberation Theologies: A Reader - Deane William Ferm
Call Number: BT83.57 .T55 1986
Primary documents representing liberation theologians including Gutierrez, Boff, Sobrino, Tamez, Tutu, Boesak, Koyama, Song, and Yong-Bok.

With Passon and Compassion: Third World Women Doing Theology - Virginia Fabella, M. M. and Mercy Amba Oduyoye, eds.
Call Number: THEOLOGY BOOK STACKS: BV639 .W7 I58 1986
Three sections--one each from Africa, Asia, and Latin America--provides the voices of female theologians who are part of the Women's Commission of the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians. Topics include: women's relationships with the Bible; the roles of women in Church; Christology; and women's spiritual experiences.

World Christianity in the 20th Century - Noel Davies and Martin Conway
Call Number: THEOLOGY BOOK STACKS: BR479 .D38 2008
ISBN: 9780334040439
Includes chapters on particular traditions (Orthodox Churches, Roman Catholic Church, historic Protestant churches, and Pentecostalism), particular geographic regions (Middle East, Africa, South Asia, East Asia, Latin America, North America, and Europe) and particular topics (war and peace, faith and science, women, Christians and neighbors of other world faiths).

World Christianity in the 20th Century: A Reader - Noel Davies and Martin Conway, eds.
Call Number: THEOLOGY BOOK STACKS: BR121.3 .W67 2008
ISBN: 9780334040446
Publication Date: 2008

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Christian Worship Worldwide - Charles E. Farhadian (Editor)
Call Number: THEOLOGY BOOK STACKS: BV15 .C47 2007
ISBN: 9780802828538
Publication Date: 2007-07-01
Includes case studies of Christian worship from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Pacific.



Mission Handbook
Call Number: REFERENCE BV2050 .M574
Periodic series devoted to world mission activity and agencies. Statistical survey, graphs and tables.

Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions - ed. A. Scott Moreau et al.
Call Number: REFERENCE BV2040 .E92 2000
Evangelical perspective on missions. Bibliographies and master outline for navigation.

Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions - ed. Gerald H. Anderson
Call Number: REFERENCE BV3700 .B56 1998
Veritable Who's Who in missionary work over the years; includes bibliographies, indexes.

Dictionary of Mission: Theology, History, Perspectives - ed. Karl Müller et al.
Call Number: REFERENCE BV2040 .L4813 1997
Long articles with bibliographies. Translation and update of a German reference book, Lexikon Missionstheologischer Grundbegriffe (REF BV2040 .L48 1987).

Concise Dictionary of the Christian World Mission - ed. Gerald H. Anderson, John Goodwin, and Stephen Neill
Call Number: REFERENCE BV2040 .C65 1971
Christian missions since 1492. Short entries, some bibliographies.

From Every People: A Handbook of Two-Thirds World Missions, With Directory, Histories, Analysis - Larry D. Pate
Call Number: BV2050 .P384 1989
Which mission groups are active where, with graphics.

Bibliographia Missionaria - Pontifical Missionary Library of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
Roman Catholic bibliography on missions. Annotations and other explanatory text chiefly in English; citations in various languages.

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The Missionary Movement in Christian History : Studies in Transmission of Faith - Andrew Walls
Call Number: THEOLOGY BOOKSTACKS: BV2100 .W26 1996
ISBN: 1570750599
The book is arranged in three sections: the first focuses on the historical transmission of the Christian faith; the second, that transmission in relation to Africa; and the third, the missionary movement from the West. Recommended by William Yoo.



Ecumenism: A Bibliographical Overview - Michael A. Fahey
Call Number: REFERENCE Z7845.1 .F34 1992
Standard bibliography on ecumenism. Arranged by theme.

Dictionary of the Ecumenical Movement - ed. Nicolas Lossky et al.
Call Number: REFERENCE BX6.3 .D53 2002
A good starting point for research. Detailed articles with bibliographies, with index.

Historical Dictionary of Ecumenical Christianity - A. J. (Ans Joachim) Van der Bent
Call Number: REFERENCE BX6.3 .V36 1994
Broad coverage, with a chronology and introduction, plus bibliography.

World Council of Churches Annual Review
From the website: "The WCC Annual Review is an illustrated account of WCC programmes and activities over the year. It also contains key information on WCC member churches, governing bodies, finances, publications and other resources." Earlier editions are referred to as the WCC Yearbook and are available in the Theology Reference collection: BX6 .W78 W67



Available through e-journals at Emory.

Journal of World Christianity
Free (registration required) journal on "inter-cultural, inter-confessional, and inter-religious dynamics of Christianity as a world religion."

Studies in World Christianity
"Aims to provide a truly international forum for a dialogue of equals, so that by a common hearing of the voices of those who respond most positively to [challenges to Western dominated Christianity], each from his or her own place, the related disciplines of Christian theology and religious studies may advance."

Voices of the Third World
A bi-annual publication produced by EATWOT (Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians).

World Christianity Links

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