Conditions for the Great Religion Singularity
McLaren is an author, speaker, activist, and public theologian. He is an Auburn Senior Fellow and a leader in the Convergence Network, through which he is developing an innovative training/mentoring program for pastors, church planters, and lay leaders called Convergence Leadership Project. McLaren works closely with the Center for Progressive Renewal, the Wild Goose Festival, and the Fair Food Program’s Faith Working Group. His most recent joint project is an illustrated children’s book (for all ages) called Cory and the Seventh Story.
*Data sourced from Dimensions, an inter-linked research information system provided by Digital Science.
Author: Brian D. McLaren
Title: "Conditions for the Great Religion Singularity"
Journal: Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry
Journal Issue: Volume 1, Number 1
Date: Spring 2019
Applying the Buddhist “law of interdependent origination,” which states that if the conditions are right, a particular phenomenon may exist, Brian McLaren provides ten conditional factors that he believes has contributed to Ken Howard’s “religion singularity” (i.e. the multi-faceted collapse of institutional Christianity). Each condition falls under two main categories: either a lack of rapid adaptability in religious institutions or the moral failure of institutional leaders. The ten conditional factors include authoritarian centralization, betrayal of the religious founder’s non-violence, a history of unacknowledged atrocities, military imperialism, white supremacy, scandals, reaction against scientific inquiry, doubling down on dualism, integrated and change-averse institutional systems, and paralysis and nostalgia.
Keywords: Religion Singularity, Interdependent Origination, Institutional Christianity,
Adaptability, Moral Failure
More From the Author:
(footnote) Brian D. McLaren, “Conditions for the Great Religion Singularity,” Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry 1, no. 1 (Spring 2019): 40-49, https://doi.org/10.33929/sherm.2019.vol1.no1.05.
(bibliography) McLaren, Brian D. “Conditions for the Great Religion Singularity.” Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry 1, no. 1 (Spring 2019): 40-49. https://doi.org/10.33929/sherm.2019.vol1.no1.05.
McLaren, Brian D. “Conditions for the Great Religion Singularity.” Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry, vol. 1, no. 1, Spring 2019, doi.org/10.33929/sherm.2019.vol1.no1.05, pp. 40-49.
McLaren, B. D. (2019). Conditions for the Great Religion Singularity. Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry, 1(1), 40-49. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.33929/sherm.2019.vol1.no1.05.
Alumkal, Antony. Paranoid Science: The Christian Right’s War on Reality. New York: New York University Press, 2017. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctt1ggjjcz.
Anderson, Ray S. An Emergent Theology for Emerging Churches. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006.
Bediako, Kwame. Theology and Identity: The Impact of Culture Upon Christian Thought in the Second Century and in Modern Africa. 1999. Regnum Studies in Mission. Reprint, Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2011.
Cannon, Mae Elise, Lisa Sharon Harper, Troy Jackson, and Soong-Chan Rah. Forgive Us: Confessions of a Compromised Faith. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2014.
Carroll, James. Constantine’s Sword: The Church and the Jews, a History. New York: Mariner Books, 2002.
Cavey, Bruxy. The End of Religion: Encountering the Subversive Spirituality of Jesus. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2007.
Chinn, Ewing. “Nāgārjuna’s Fundamental Doctrine of Pratītyasamutpāda.” Philosophy East and West 51, no. 1 (January 2001): 54‒72. https://doi.org/10.1353/pew.2001.0005.
Cox, Harvey. The Future of Faith. New York: HarperOne, 2009.
Dillon, John. “Logos and Trinity: Patterns of Platonist Influence on Early Christianity.” In The Philosophy in Christianity, edited by Godfrey Vesey. Royal Institute of Philosophy Lecture Series 25, 1‒13. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0957042x00011214.
Donovan, Vincent J. The Church in the Midst of Creation. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1989.
Gaston, Thomas E. “The Influence of Platonism on the Early Apologists.” Heythrop Journal: A Bimonthly Review of Philosophy and Theology 50, no. 4 (July 2009): 573‒80. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2265.2008.00448.x.
Howard, Kenneth W. Excommunicating the Faithful: Jewish Christianity in the Early Church. 3rd ed. Germantown, MD: FaithX Press, 2013.
———. “The Religion Singularity: A Demographic Crisis Destabilizing and Transforming Institutional Christianity.” International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society 7, no. 2 (2017): 77‒93. http://dx.doi.org/10.18848/2154-8633/cgp/v07i02/77-93.
Lodahl, Michael E. “Christo-Praxis: Foundations for a Post-Holocaust Ethical Christology.” Journal of Ecumenical Studies 30, no. 2 (Spring 1993): 213‒25.
Mansfield, Stephen. Choosing Donald Trump: God, Anger, Hope, and Why Christian Conservatives Supported Him. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2017.
McLaren, Brian D. The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World’s Largest Religion Is Seeking a Better Way to Be Christian. New York: Convergent Books, 2016
———. A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith. Pbk. ed. New York: HarperCollins, 2011.
O’Brien, Barbara. “The Principle of Dependent Origination in Buddhism.” ThoughtCo. April 5, 2018. https://www.thoughtco.com/dependent-origination-meaning-449723.
Olson, Roger E. The Story of Christian Theology: Twenty Centuries of Tradition and Reform. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999.
Postell, Seth. “The Relevance of Jewish Identity for Ecclesiology.” Faith and Mission 21, no. 3 (Summer 2004): 5‒21.
Relevant. “No, That New Study Doesn’t Debunk the Stat About 80 Percent of White Evangelicals Voting for Trump.” October 18, 2018. https://relevantmagazine.com/culture/politics-culture/no-that-new-study-doesnt-debunk-the-stat-about-80-percent-of-white-evangelicals-voting-for-trump/.
Seybold, Kevin S. “A Cultural Cognition Perspective on Religion Singularity: How Political Identity Influences Religious Affiliation.” Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry 1, no. 1 (2019): 21‒28, https://doi.org/10.33929/sherm.2019.vol1.no1.03.
Wallace, Mark I. “The New Green Christianity: Why the Church Is Vital to Saving the Planet.” Word and World 28, no. 1 (Winter 2008): 75‒85.
Weathers, Robert S. “Dualism or Holism? A Look at Biblical Anthropology, Ethics, and Human Health.” Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation 35, no. 2 (June 1983): 80‒83.
Zahnd, Brian. A Farewell to Mars: An Evangelical Pastor’s Journey Toward the Biblical Gospel of Peace. Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2014.
———. Postcards from Babylon: The Church in American Exile. St. Joseph, MO: Spello Press, 2019.