Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch: Christianity is rapidly expanding, its future is very bright

Long time readers will know I’m a huge fan of Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch and have even had the privilege of hassling him in real life.

Given this I was heartened to read his comments reported in The Tablet:

Christianity, the world’s largest religion, is rapidly expanding – by all indications, its future is very bright.

This does come with a proviso however:

But there are also many conflicts within it, and these are particularly serious in the Roman Catholic Church, which seems on the verge of a very great split over the Vatican’s failure to listen to European Catholics.

The brief Tablet article makes mention of a Catholic “major schism over its moral and social teaching” and:

The Catholic Church faced a division over attempts by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI to “rewrite the story” of the Second Vatican Council by portraying it as a “minor adjustment” rather than as a “radical move to change the way authority was expressed”.

Sadly I can’t source the origin of these comments.

I did ask for feedback on Twitter regarding MacCulloch’s comments on potential schism within Catholicism but was met with silence except for one assertion that he “hates Catholicism”. I’ve never got that impression from his writings.

Any comments on this would be welcome for my own understanding.

This is a good time to let you know that MacCulloch’s Gifford Lectures are now available online with the series title: “Silence in Christian History: the witness of Holmes’ Dog”.

For your ease here’s the links to each lecture:

Lecture 1: Introduction: voices and silence in Tanakh and Christian New Testament

Lecture 2: Catholic Christianity and the arrival of ascetism, 100-400

Lecture 3: Silence through schism and two Reformations: 451-1500

Lecture 4: Silence transformed: the third Reformation 1500-1700

Lecture 5: Getting behind noise in Christian history

Lecture 6: Silence in modern and future Christianities

The Guardian have a small write-up on the lectures and although I haven’t yet found space to listen to them, I bet they’re excellent.

Let me know your thoughts if you do give them a listen.

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2 Responses to “Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch: Christianity is rapidly expanding, its future is very bright”

  1. Tim Says:

    No, he’s not my cup of tea I’m afraid. I prefer reading about him on Biased BBC, lol.

  2. Ben Trovato Says:

    Talk of the current Holy Father and his predecessor ‘re-writing’ the story of Vatican 2 makes me smile, albeit ruefully.

    This is put about by those who re-wrote Vatican 2 in the first place: those who used it as an excuse to do any number of things neither mandated nor suggested by the Council, but alleged to be ‘in the Spirit’ of the Council.

    When that simple truth is pointed out, they cry foul, and accuse the Holy Father of re-writing history. As with so many accusations, it says more about the accusers than the accused…

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