Mark SHAW, Global Awakening: How 20th-Century Revivals Triggered a Christian Revolution. Illinois, InterVarsity Press Academic, 2010, pp.221, pb. ISBN-978-0-8308-3877-6.
Reviewed by Anneris GORIS, La Esperanza Center, New York 10032

This book is about how Christianity became a reawakening global revolutionary force with the center shifting from Europe and North America to Africa, Asia and Latin America. Both the awakening and the change of the center of Christianity are attributed to a host of factors including the spread of missionaries; call for conversion; sharing of the good news in words and deeds; indigenization or inculturation of Christianity; the process of globalization; and God.

The author posits that the global resurgence of Christianity is revival driven. Revival incorporates social, spiritual, and structural transformations. People experience a personal liberation or freedom from spiritual bondage. They move from self reliance and fatalism to an eschatological vision or change in values and behavior. Members depend on Christ and each other, and engage in evangelical activism. Revival is contextualized, with important leaders, faith, as well as justice factors. It happens through time and space going through different stages, problems, paradigms and power. Global and group dynamics are important in the revival process.

Shaw views Korean Protestantism as a process of both globalization and glocalization. For Shaw, West African Christianity represents the resurrection of man. The story of revival in India is told as an awakening from death. He sees Mahatma Gandhi’s “nativism” as instructive. East African revival is described in “Nothing but the Blood.” Being “Born Again” describes a revival movement in Chicago called Youth for Christ. "Salt of the Earth" describes the Brazilian story of revival. "New Jerusalems" addresses special issues of neo-Pentecostal revival. "Taming the Dragon" focuses on the process by which different Chinese house churches reconciled under the “United Appeal,” the “Confession,” and the “Attitude” to resolve conflict with the government.

The book shows the importance of revival in understanding the place of Christianity in the processes of globalization and glocalization. It describes how a dormant faith became a revolutionary cultural force. Shaw makes an important contribution to the study of the resurgence of Christianity as a world wide phenomenon.

TO ORDER BOOKS: - Continuum - Crossroad - Eerdmans Publishing - Liturgical Press - Orbis Books