Phyllis Tickle founded Publishers Weekly’s Religion Department and has written numerous books about modern American Christianity, including The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why.
Phyllis begins our conversation by describing 500-year social, cultural, and religious cycles in parts of the world influenced by Abrahamic faiths. Building upon that, she asserts that our current historical moment lies at the edge of two such cycles, leaving us to contend with a breakdown in how we understand authority. Emergence Christianity, like other emergent faiths, is developing as a response to this period of transition.
Though religion has been a regular theme in the background of The Conversation, this is our first episode dedicated entirely to it. As a result, we introduce a lot of new themes and you will hear fewer explicit connections to earlier episodes. Having said that, there are some interesting ties between Emergence Christianity and the income gap which harken back to Chuck Collins, Francione-like questions of purity versus pragmatism, and more Tim Cannon and Max More-style transhumanism than you’d ever expect.
Artwork by Eleanor Davis.