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Dyron Daughrity's New Book Explores Global Christianity as a Borderless Religion
Dyron Daughrity, assistant professor of religion, has traveled the globe in search of the hidden depths of Christianity. In southern India, Christians pointed out the precise place they believe the apostle Thomas is entombed. He watched, fascinated, as the pilgrims of New Mexico rub sacred dirt over their arthritic legs in a tiny mountain church. He heard the Lord's Prayer recited in over 50 languages—at once—at the General Assembly of the World Council of Churches, in Brazil. In all, he amassed a dizzying array of firsthand experiences of international Christianity and has channeled his research into a new book titled, The Changing World of Christianity: The Global History of a Borderless Religion.
Daughrity says he wrote the book because one-third of the human race claims to be Christian. "Due to advances in communication and travel technology, Christianity has become extremely widespread. Christianity is, by far, the largest religion in the world," he explains. Thus, "I decided to write about global Christianity because, arguably, there is no greater social institution that demonstrates the complexities and effects of globalization in our world today."
The book provides an encyclopedic look at a religion that has grown to envelope much of the world. Using maps, statistics, and cultural histories, Daughrity explores how the globalization of Christianity has shaped the religion and, conversely, how the religion has impacted the world.
"In only 2,000 years, a marginal Jewish movement has grown to captivate the minds and hearts of one-third of the human race," he says. "What is surprising, I found, is that many people tend not to realize this. Of course, academics know this, but I think many non-academics aren't aware of Christianity's global market-share or profound cultural influence."
Daughrity claims to have been fascinated with religion since he was a young boy, saying that to understand religion is to cast a light on the human condition. He remains fascinated by discovering new angles of religion to this day. "Scholars should be head-over-heels in love with their topic if they're going to devote 50-70 hours a week to it," he expounds. "This book is a starting point. I have pulled my data together, and I can now research and analyze global Christianity more accurately and more effectively. My mental map of Christianity has been shaped by the writing of this book, and my research will henceforth reflect those changes."
Daughrity has travelled across the globe to locations like Malaysia, China, and India to conduct research, and has been awarded four research scholarships by the Disciples of Christ (Canada). He earned his Ph.D. in the history of religious movements and institutions from the University of Calgary, Canada. He has served as the Harris Manchester Fellow at Oxford University and as Visiting Professor at Union Biblical Seminary in Pune, India.
Visit Amazon.com for more information about The Changing World of Christianity: The Global History of a Borderless Religion.