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103 BOOK REVIEW sermon, he or she can go back and recognize that the germ for all Keble’s reflection was found in those few words of scripture. Often the scripture unfolds naturally towards his sacramental vision. On a related note, the editor provides a very helpful service by adding the scriptural references to Keble’s many citations that he apparently did not include in the original publication of his collected sermons. With such an excellent introduction,I was surprised that Johnson did not include the date and year that each sermon was delivered, as well as the rather typical summary chronology of his life for quick reference. I presume that she judged the liturgical context the primary one. In this regard, I think she’s correct, but many of us have grown to appreciate the further layers of context that can help us locate a literary piece in the life of the author as well as his or her culture. If the primary mark of success of a“selection”is when it leads the reader to look for the full “collection,” then I consider Johnson’s effort quite successful. After finishing this book, I was left hoping that nearby libraries would have those eleven volumes of his. And if not the eleven, then this one volume will serve as an excellent addition. Nicholas J. Rouch Gannon University, Erie, PA THE DECLINE OF CHRISTENDOM IN WESTERN ERUOPE, 1750-2000 HUGH MCLEOD AND WERNER USTORF, EDS. The Decline of Christendom in Western Europe, 1750-2000. Hugh McLeod and Werner Ustorf, Eds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. Pages: Pages ix + 234. Cloth, $60.00, ISBN 0-521-81493-6. In tracing the decline of Christendom in western Europe, this book examines the process of secularization in various European countries between 1750-2000. The book is concerned with three basic issues:first,the state of Christendom in the latter part of the 20th century; second, the reasons for the decline in Christendom; and third, the religious future of western Europe after the end of Christendom. One fundamental element important to understanding the book, and one of its major contributions, is its distinction between Christianity and Christendom. Christendom refers to a civilization in which Christianity has become the dominant and official religion of the state. Christianity refers to the Christian Gospel existing independently of any state or governmental advocacy and control. On the basis of such a distinction, the decline of Christendom does not necessarily imply the end of Christianity. Beginning with Constantine, Christians in western Europe have learnt and practiced their faith in the context of Christendom for approximately 1500 years. It is this form of Christendom whose decline the book is tracing. Although the responses of Christians to this decline are mixed—some mourn it, some celebrate it, and some have mixed emotions about it—the book points out that no one can view NEWMAN STUDIES JOURNAL 104 it with complete detachment. In analyzing this decline,its causes,and its implications for the future of Christianity in western Europe, each of the individual chapters discusses the process of secularization in a particular European country. Callum G. Brown in chapter two maintains that the rise of secularization in England actually began in the 1960s; he calls for a re-examination of the use of statistics and proposes a revision of the methodology employed by historians in the study of religion. In chapter three, Eva M. Hamberg describes Sweden as one of the most secularized countries in western Europe and sees a connection between the relatively low religious participation in Sweden and the monopoly of the Church of Sweden with its accompanying lack of religious pluralism. Peter van Rooden in chapter seven analyzes religious development in the Netherlands. In chapter nine Thomas Kselman traces the process of secularization in France by examining the changing attitude toward death and burial in modern France. Lucian Hölscher in chapter eleven discusses the process of religious change in modern Germany; Hölscher makes a significant contribution when he points out that any discussion of religious change or decline must take into consideration the ambiguity in the meaning of such terms as secularization, religion, confession, creed, dissenter, and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2153-6945
Print ISSN
1547-9080
Pages
pp. 103-105
Launched on MUSE
2020-01-22
Open Access
No
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