Thursday, December 28, 2006

Mega-Trends, "The Upside Down Church"

Over at Jimmy Akins blog (JA needs your help -Dec 27th) there's an interesting piece on mega-trends and there affects on the Church today. John Allen from NCR is putting together a new book entitled "The Upside Down Church".

My next book is titled "The Upside Down Church," a sort of sneak preview of Catholic history in the 21st century. I outline a series of mega-trends which I believe are turning the church on its head, especially with respect to the dominant paradigms in the 40-plus years since the close of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). In order for that analysis to hold water, however, I have to identify these mega-trends correctly.

By "mega-trend," I mean a deep impulse shaping Catholic thought and life at the universal level, a sort of "tectonic plate" whose shifts lie beneath the fault lines and upheavals of the present. I have in mind not single issues, but currents of history which cause some issues to rise in importance and others to fall. A mega-trend, by the way, does not have to be specifically Catholic, but rather something that affects Catholicism in a significant way. For example, the rise of Islam, especially its more radical forms, certainly belongs on the list.

My request is this: Read this list, and ponder it. Are there major forces I've neglected? Are there items here that don't belong? Does this list correspond with your own sense of what's happening in the church?

The items on his list (in summary form and no particular order) are:

The North/South Shift
The Quest for Catholic Identity
The Rise of Islam
The Movements
The Biotech Revolution
The Wireless World
The Wojtyla Revolution
Polarization and Its Discontents
The Sexual Abuse Crisis

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