The diversity of contemporary Christianity in Southeast Asia

Authors

  • Jayeel Cornelio Development Studies Program Ateneo de Manila University Divinity School of Chung Chi College Chinese University of Hong Kong

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.26721/spafajournal.v2i0.582

Keywords:

Christianity, Southeast Asia, World Christianity, Global South, Religious Change

Abstract

This article is concerned with the diverse forms of Christianity as the religion spreads around Southeast Asia. Although growth and expansion characterize much of Christianity's fortunes, no unifying trend is readily discernible. Four trends are identified in this article: popular religion, megachurches, the global church, and the struggling church. The article draws from different cases around the region to illustrate the importance of these developments. It in this manner that the article complicates the narrative that Christianity is moving to the Global South. The narrative often presents Christianity as a religion at war with itself insofar as geographic tensions are concerned. In contrast to its counterpart in the West, Christianity in the region is depicted as strict, fundamentalist, and often Charismatic in orientation. To view Christianity in Southeast Asia as a homogenous entity disregards issues at stake for its many denominations. Some of these concerns include different political regimes and uneven levels of economic development. This paper was delivered as an opening lecture at the workshop on Christian art in Southeast Asia, organized by SEAMEO SPAFA in the Philippines in March 2016.

Author Biography

Jayeel Cornelio, Development Studies Program Ateneo de Manila University Divinity School of Chung Chi College Chinese University of Hong Kong

Jayeel Cornelio is Associate Professor and the Director of the Development Studies Program at the Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines. He is currently a visiting professor at the Divinity School of Chung Chi College at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is the author of Being Catholic in the Contemporary Philippines: Young People Reinterpreting Religion (Routledge 2016) and the lead editor of the Routledge Handbook of Religion in Global Society (forthcoming).

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Published

2018-03-07

Issue

Section

Research Articles