Evangelical Politics in the Third World: What’s Next for the ‘Next Christendom’?
November 1, 2003
Evangelicalism is expanding more than any other form of Christianity and its expansion has mainly taken place in the “Global South.” Author Timothy Shah argues that, by nature, evangelicalism is based on a strongly anti-hierarchical foundation and lacks a common global political agenda. He thus dismisses the suggestion made by other scholars that evangelicalism in the developing world is helping to shape a global “neo-Christendom.” On the contrary, Shah concludes, evangelicalism is ill-suited to inaugurate anything like a new “Christendom,” at least not in any conventional meaning of Christendom-politics. Nor is evangelicalism particularly well disposed or institutionally positioned to inaugurate democratic regimes. Yet evangelicalism has an important role to play in shaping the conditions favorable to consolidating democratic politics in Third World societies. They will help lay an essential social and cultural foundation for enduring liberal democracies – as strong and vigilant dissenters.