June 18, 2007
Reports of Europe's Demise
Jenkins says fears of Islamization are greatly exaggerated.
In an article in Foreign Policy, Philip Jenkins, the redoubtable distinguished professor of history and religious studies at Penn State University and author of The Next Christendom and The New Faces of Christianity, promotes his latest book, God's Continent: Christianity, Islam, and Europe's Religious Crisis. Jenkins says the widely expected Islamization of a secularized and increasingly enfeebled continent has been greatly exaggerated. Jenkins notes:
"The result has been a rediscovery of the continent’s Christian roots, even among those who have long disregarded it, and a renewed sense of European cultural Christianity. Jürgen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming, 'Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter.' Europe may be confronting the dilemmas of a truly multifaith society, but with Christianity poised for a comeback, it is hardly on the verge of becoming an Islamic colony."
Can the faith founded by the Prince of Peace prevail over the self-proclaimed "religion of peace" on the spiritually arid battlefield of Europe? My guess is that increasingly worried Europeans fervently hope so.