Every five hundred years, the Church cleans out its attic and has a giant rummage sale.
Well, not exactly. But according to internationally renowned religion expert Phyllis Tickle, this is an accurate summary of the Church’s massive transitions over time. According to the pattern, we are living in such a time of change right now. Tickle calls it “the Great Emergence”—a time of dizzying upheaval and hopeful promise during which various sectors of today’s church swirl into a great confluence at the center.
“Phyllis Tickle offers a creative and provocative overview of multiple social and cultural changes in our era, their relation to previous major paradigm shifts, and their particular impact on North American Christianity. This is an immensely important contribution to the current conversation about new and emerging forms of Christianity in a postmodern environment—and a delight to read!”—The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate, The Episcopal Church
“One thing I’ve learned to appreciate as I’ve grown older is big theories—and that is what Phyllis gives us. Within a few pages you’ll be wondering if she’s onto something. If she is, then we’re in the eye of a storm.”—Scot McKnight, professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary
“Once in a great while, a book comes along and makes things make sense. With understated humility, The Great Emergence unpacks the chaos of contemporary cultural upheaval and the religious consequences of the changes we now face. After reading these pages, neither the church nor the world looks the same.”—Diana Butler Bass, author, Christianity for the Rest of Us
“The Great Emergence offers a sweeping overview of church history and locates us in a moment of great opportunity and challenge. To some, this analysis will come as a rude awakening, and to others, as a dream coming true. My hunch is that this will be one of the most important books of the year, and will shape the conversation among a wide range of Christians for years to come.”—Brian McLaren, author/activist
“Without exaggeration, I say this book is a masterwork, and it will be cited for decades to come as the most pointed articulation of the church and Christianity that is emerging from the compost of Christendom. I don’t know which I admire more: Tickle’s erudition, her brilliant writing, or her faithfulness.”—Tony Jones, national coordinator, Emergent Village;author, The New Christians
As an internationally renowned expert on religion, Phyllis Tickle has incisive perspective on the trends and transformations of our time. Here, she invites us into a conversation as she shares her reflections stemming from not only personal faith but also decades of observation and analysis. The result is a work that meets the challenge of chronicling a pivotal time in the church’s history so we might better understand where we have been and what the future holds.
Tickle clearly lays out the gradual steps leading up to this transformation, including the influences and effects of Darwin, Freud, Einstein, the automobile, and technological advances. She then sets her sights on where we’re going, leaving us with a vision of an exciting future for the Church.
Includes a study guide by Danielle Shroyer.
Phyllis Tickle (1934–2015) was founding editor of the Religion Department of Publishers Weekly. One of the most respected authorities and popular speakers on religion in America today, she was the author of more than two dozen books, including The Great Emergence and Emergence Christianity.