Ashgate Studies in Pilgrimage
Series Editors: Simon Coleman, University of Toronto, Canada; Dee Dyas, University of York, UK; John Eade, University of Roehampton UK and University College London, UK; and Jas’ Elsner, University of Oxford and Unviersity of Chicago
Once relatively neglected, pilgrimage has become an increasingly prominent topic of study over the last few decades. Its study is inevitably inter-disciplinary, and extends across a growing range of scholarly fields, including religion, anthropology, geography, history, literary studies, art history, archaeology, sociology, heritage and tourism studies. This process shows no sign of abating – indeed, it looks set to continue to expand.
This series seeks to place itself at the forefront of these conversations. Books will cover exciting new work from both established and emerging scholars. They will encompass themes as diverse as pilgrimage within national and post-national frames, pilgrimage-writing, materialities of pilgrimage, digi-pilgrimage and secular pilgrimage.
Single- (or jointly-) authored books as well as edited volumes will be considered. Authors will work closely with the Editorial Board in the preparation and production of texts which should set the intellectual agenda for the future study of pilgrimage.
The Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary has just released a new report: Christianity in its Global Context, 1970–2020: Society, Religion, and Mission. The report covers major demographic trends in global Christianity, world religions, and mission over the past 40 years, while tracking potential trends for the next 10 years.
The statistics for Africa indicate a growth of the total Christian population on the continent from 38.7% (1970) to 49.3% (2020) – a growth parallel to a decrease of ‘ethnoreligionists’ from 20.5% to 8.7% over the same period, and a slight increase of Muslims (from 40.0 to 41.7%).
I am not sure whether the statistics are really helpful to further understand the growth of Christianity on the continent. The report is based on the World Christian Database, which divides Christianity in six traditions (Anglicans, Independents, Marginals, Orthodox, Protestants, and Roman Catholics) but does not look at Pentecostal Christianity as a separate category. Thus, even though the report states that ‘renewalist Christians’ in Africa will grow from 18.8 million (1970) to 226.2 million by 2020, in the report’s section on Africa itself these Christians and their dramatic growth are not mentioned at all. Instead we read that Catholics remain the largest block and that Anglicans have seen the fastest growth – this may partly be explained from the renewalist movements within these denominations, but what about Pentecostal Christians outside the categories of the WCD?
You can look at the report here