In light of the public health advisories on social distancing, this event has been postponed. We hope to reschedule in Fall 2020. Please check back for updates.
Join the Comparative Religion Program and Global Christian Studies in welcoming Dr. Todd M. Johnson for a lunchtime talk, as he introduces his research for the 3rd edition of the World Christian Encyclopedia. A discussion and Q & A will follow Dr. Johnson’s presentation.
Tuesday March 10, 2020 at 12 PM
University of Washington, Seattle campus
Husky Union Building (HUB), Room 238
Free and open to the public!
The World Christian Encyclopedia and its significance
This year marks the publication of a seminal reference work: the 3rd edition of the World Christian Encyclopedia (Edinburgh University Press). The history of the World Christian Encyclopedia (WCE) goes back to a meeting of Christian researchers in 1968 who planned to update a series of handbooks (World Christian Handbook) with data on Protestant churches around the world. David B. Barrett, Ph.D., an Anglican missionary in Kenya, wanted to expand the handbook to include all Christian churches including Orthodox, Catholics and what was later called Independents (in particular, new expressions of African Christianity). Dr. Barrett, in collaboration with an ecumenical team around the world, produced the first edition of the World Christian Encyclopedia in 1982 after 14 years of arduous, detailed quantitative research. He documented the existence of 22,000 Christian denominations and, for the first time, represented all Christian traditions in a single volume. The WCE was hailed as a “miracle from Nairobi” in TIME magazine, and Dr. Barrett presented a copy to Pope John Paul II at the Vatican. The 2nd edition of the World Christian Encyclopedia was published in 2001 and added a comprehensive list of the world’s peoples and languages with their status in relation to the presence of Christianity.
Like the previous two editions, third edition of the WCE includes data on Christianity down to the denominational level in every country of the world, plus data on 18 categories of religion.
The quantitative analysis is paired with historical context of Christianity in each country. The third edition differs from previous editions in its efforts to highlight pressing social issues of today’s world, ranging from conflict and violence, persecution, politics, and theological education to medical ministries, and gender inequality.
About the authors
Todd M. Johnson, Ph.D. is the Paul E. and Eva B. Toms Distinguished Professor of Mission and Global Christianity and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Dr. Johnson is also Visiting Research Fellow at Boston University’s Institute for Culture, Religion and World Affairs, where he is leading a research project on international religious demography. He is co-editor of the Atlas of Global Christianity (Edinburgh University Press), and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia (Oxford University Press, 2nd ed.) and World Christian Trends (William Carey Library). In addition, he is co-editor of the World Christian Database (Brill) and World Religion Database (Brill).
Gina A. Zurlo, Ph.D. (Boston University) is Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She is co-editor of the World Christian Database and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia. Her research interests include World Christianity, the demography of religion, and sociology of religion. She is also a Visiting Research Fellow at Boston University’s Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs, where she is co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Religion and Demography and works on the World Religion Database. She was named one of the BBC’s 100 Women of 2019.