Palm Beach Atlantic University hosts its annual President's Distinguished Scholar Lecture in October with Dr. Philip Jenkins, professor of humanities at Pennsylvania State University and award-winning scholar of religious and cultural history. Dr. Jenkins' lecture titled The Future Faces of Christianity is free and open to the public Monday, Oct. 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the University's DeSantis Family Chapel, 300 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach.
We are living through a revolutionary transformation of the world's religious geography. After long centuries in which Christianity was firmly rooted in Europe and North America, the faith is now expanding rapidly on the global stage. Within a very few years, the continent of Africa will have the largest Christian population, with Latin America close behind. What does this change mean for the future shape of Christianity? How does it affect ways of reading the Bible? What impact will changes in global Christianity have on churches within the United States? These questions and more will be answered during Dr. Philip Jenkins' lecture, The Future Faces of Christianity.
Author of more than 20 books and hundreds of articles and book reviews, Dr. Philip Jenkins is the Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Humanities at Pennsylvania State University and Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University. His newest book, Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, and Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe for the Next 1,500 Years, released in March, was lauded by the Economist as one of the best recent books on religion.
Dr. Jenkins' work has tackled controversial topics ranging from the Catholic priest abuse scandal to right-wing extremism in early-1900s America. In The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity, Dr. Jenkins predicts that by 2050 Christianity will spread to Asia, Africa and South America, causing rifts between Muslims and this new breed of Christians. Dr. Jenkins won four awards for The Next Christendom, including the Academy of Parish Clergy's Book of the Year Award and the 2003 Christianity Today Book Award for best book in the category of "Christianity and Culture."
In 1974, Dr. Jenkins obtained his bachelor's degree with double-honors in history and Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic Studies from the University of Cambridge. He went on to earn his master's and doctorate degrees for history in 1978, also from the University of Cambridge. Dr. Jenkins worked as a research officer at Oxford and Cambridge for three years before beginning his time with Pennsylvania State University, beginning his tenure there as associate professor of criminal justice in 1980.
Among Dr. Jenkins' many publications are The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia - and How It Died; The New Faces of Christianity: Believing the Bible in the Global South; The New Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice and Images of Terror: What We Can and Can't Know About Terrorism.
In addition to his public lecture, Dr. Jenkins will speak at chapel and in classes at Palm Beach Atlantic.