The author and speaker was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year.
Over the past few decades she has written deeply and widely about spirituality and the future of the church. Now, at 81, she is working on her final chapter: Her own.
- The Great Emergence | The Works of Phyllis Tickle.
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In , I was part of a group that brought Phyllis to Winnipeg to speak; a couple of years ago I was able to have lunch with her with a group of friends when she was back in the city. I have also interviewed her twice. The first article, about her idea of a Great Emergence that is changing the face of western Christianity, is below.
» The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why | Hacking the Kingdom
Declining church membership, the breaking down of denominational loyalty, the rise of new "emergent" churches that blend ancient rituals, litanies and hymns together with contemporary forms of worship and calls for social actio n—something is happening out there in the world of faith in North America.
But what is it? And why is it happening now? What is the Great Emergence? Tickle: The Great Emergence refers to a monumental phenomenon today that affects every part of our lives.
The Great Emergence
The world is changing rapidly, and in so many ways, that we can hardly keep up with it. In the religious sphere, many people have observed that these kinds of changes seem to happen every years—a period of upheaval followed by a period of settling down, then codification, and then upheaval again because we do not like to be codified.
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For western Christianity, the Protestant or Great Reformation was about years ago. Five hundred before that you hit the Great Schism, when the church divided between east and west. Five hundred years earlier you have Pope Gregory the Great, who helped bring the church out of the Dark Ages. During these year episodes the church has what Anglican Bishop Mark Dyer calls a giant rummage sale—it takes a look at its old stuff and decides to sell what it no longer needs. We are going through this kind of giant sale today.
What happens to the church during this giant rummage sale?
Tickle: History shows that at least three things always happen. First, a new, more vital form of Christianity emerges. Second, the organized expression of Christianity, which up until then had been the dominant one, is reconstituted into a more pure and less ossified expression of its former self.
Finally, every time the incrustations of an overly-established Christianity is broken open, the faith has spread dramatically. How is this change evidencing itself in the church today? The full text of this article hosted at iucr.
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The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why – By Phyllis Tickle
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