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Symposium on World Christianity

October 11, 2010

Baylor University

Click On The Brochure Image (to the right) to Download A Brochure (PDF)

In observation of the October 2010 Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in Cape Town, South Africa (, Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion will host this symposium to assess current and future trends in world Christianity. It will feature an address by Philip Jenkins (Baylor ISR/Penn State), as well as a panel discussion with Paul Freston (Baylor ISR/Wilfrid Laurier), Paul Froese (Baylor University), Virginia Garrard-Burnett (University of Texas-Austin), and Robert Woodberry (University of Texas-Austin).

We will especially focus on the role of Christianity in the so-called BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China), those emerging global powers that have recently become so central to US strategic analysis. The leading themes of the symposium will be:

The role of Christianity in economic development, as a way of testing or refining older theses about religion and the rise of capitalism.  How do new forms of Christianity promote thrift and enterprise?  Do they help create civil societies that can offer the base for viable consumer societies? • The experience of Christians living as small minorities in hostile or barely tolerant societies.  These are special issues for India and China.  How does persecuted minority status impact the content of the Christian message and daily practice? • Christianity and emerging forms of democracy, as well as Christianity and human rights. • Christianity and its fluid relationship with other religions. • Religion and the demographic patterns of respective countries, and how demographic changes impact religious practice and belief.

10:30 a.m. – Armstrong Browning Library Classroom

button_isrtvClick here to view Part ONE of the video of this panel

button_isrtvClick here to view Part TWO of the video of this panel

Panel discussion with Paul Freston, Paul Froese, Virginia Garrard-Burnett, and Robert Woodberry.

Paul C. Freston
ISR Distinguished Senior Fellow, Professor, Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario

Paul Froese
ISR Resident Scholar, Professor of Sociology, Baylor

Virginia Garrard-Burnett
Professor, History & Religious Studies, University of Texas at Austin

Robert Woodberry
ISR Non-Resident Scholar
Assistant Professor of Sociology, Population Research Center, University of Texas at Austin

2:30 pm – Draper, Room 116 Lecture by Philip Jenkins titled “The BRICs of Faith [Brazil, Russia, India, and China].”


Philip Jenkins

Baylor ISR Distinguished Senior Fellow and the Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Humanities at Pennsylvania State University

Symposium on World Christianity