Emergence Christianity: What It Is, Where It Is Going, and Why It Matters

Baker, 2012
ISBN: 9780801013553


Whatever else one might say about Emergence Christianity, one must agree it is shifting and reconfiguring itself in such a prodigious way as to defy any final assessments or absolute pronouncements. Yet in Emergence Christianity, Phyllis Tickle gathers the tangled threads of history and weaves the story of this fascinating movement into a beautiful and understandable whole.

Through her careful study and culture-watching, Tickle invites you to join this investigation and conversation as an open-minded explorer. You will discover fascinating insights into the concerns, organizational patterns, theology, and most pressing questions facing the church today. And you’ll get a tantalizing glimpse of the future.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Cultivates a diverse set of Christian movements to paint the picture of the whole
  • Addresses the pressing questions faced by the church today
  • Offers a sweeping overview of church history and locates us in a moment of opportunity and challenge


  • An Interim Report: Telling the Story So Far
    • Back to Now: How Semi–Millennial Tsunamis of Change Shape Religion and Culture
    • Calling It What It Is: The Difficulty of Naming
    • Defining Emergence: Simplifying the Complexity
    • Turns of the Century: What Formed the Great Emergence?
  • A Long Time Coming: How Did We Get Here?
    • House Churches: Communities of Change
    • Scattered Communities: Spreading the Word by Spreading Out
    • Taking the Church Out of the Church: Rethinking Sacred Space
    • Pentecostal Power: The Holy Spirit in a Dangerous Decade
    • Spiritual but Not Religious: Belonging, Behaving, and Believing in a New Kind of Community
    • What the Hyphen Means: Claiming the New While Honoring the Old
    • Innocence Lost: A Movement Untethered
    • Religion Rebounds: Gathering Steam and Getting a Name
  • Pulling Together: Defining What It Is and What It Is Not
    • Reporting on the Action: Documenting the Changes as They Happened
    • It Takes a Village . . .
    • Distinguishing This from That: What Organizational Patterns Can Tell Us
    • Post, Quasi, Whatever: Getting beyond the Vague
    • The Whole and Its Parts: Bringing It All Together
    • Finding the Big Story: The Role of Philosophy and Meta–Narrative
    • The Head and the Heart: Worshiping with Heart, Mind, Soul, and Strength
  • And Now What? Thoughts on the Decisions and Dilemmas to Come
    • Reconfigure, Adapt, Realign: How Do the New and Old Fit Together?
    • Where Now Is Our Authority? Questioning and Establishing a Credible Voice
    • Future Pressure: What Potential Struggles Await?

Praise for the Print Edition

Phyllis Tickle is in a unique position by reason of experience, education, and personal courage to say things that many cannot say—or cannot see. Here she does it very well—once again. Christianity is emerging with or without Phyllis Tickle, but she is sure helping the rest of us to emerge along with it!

—Richard Rohr, founder, Center for Action and Contemplation

Finally someone has put the emergence conversation in the wider historical context it deserves—showing how what is now emerging owes so much to contributors over the last century, from Walter Raushenbusch to Johann Baptist Metz, from Dorothy Day to Mary and Gordon Cosby, from Azusa Street to Taizé and Iona to Buenos Aires. Phyllis Tickle gets it right and conveys it beautifully, so more and more readers can be a part of it . . . with a clearer understanding of what ‘it’ is!

—Brian McLaren, activist, author, and speaker

What a fascinating read! A page turner! I read through each story with anticipation as I eagerly awaited the next set of connections Phyllis Tickle would make between seemingly unrelated people, movements, faith, and culture. Never in one volume have I seen such a diverse set of Christian movements not only listed but analyzed for their meaning as it related to the bigger picture. As we have come to expect, Tickle has done her homework, and the result is a unique contribution to the conversation about what Christianity has and will become in the twenty-first century.

—Ryan Bolger, associate professor of church in contemporary culture, Fuller Theological Seminary

Take a heart practiced in faith and trust in God. Add the mind of a finely trained historian and the eye of a keen observer of religion. Add gifted writing, unfailing bluntness, and deep wisdom, and you get Phyllis Tickle. These pages offer you nothing less than the future of the church, chronicled by an author who welcomes this ‘great emergence’ without an ounce of fear. It’s a story you can’t afford to miss.

Philip Clayton, dean, Claremont School of Theology

Product Details

About Phyllis Tickle

Phyllis Tickle, founding editor of the religion department at Publishers Weekly, is the author of more than two dozen books on the subject. She is frequently quoted and interviewed in such media outlets as the New York Times, USA Today, Newsweek, Time, CNN, C-SPAN, and PBS. A lector and lay Eucharistic minister in the Episcopal Church, she holds the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from both Berkeley School of Divinity at Yale University and from North Park University.


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