2010 marks the centenary of the World Missionary Conference, Edinburgh, 1910. It will be celebrated by several conferences (both academic and missionary) and by a number of major publications.
Edinburgh 1910 was not just a significant event in the history of Christian missions. It is also conventionally regarded as the start of the modern ecumenical movement.
Perhaps less well-known in the context of British Religion in Numbers is that Edinburgh 1910 was accompanied by the publication of a Statistical Atlas of Christian Missions, which laid the foundation for a whole series of cartographic and quantitative works which have been important in the development of religious statistics. These are listed in section 2.10 of Clive Field’s Religious Statistics in Great Britain: An Historical Introduction, available on this website.
To commemorate the centenary, Edinburgh University Press has recently released Atlas of Global Christianity, 1910-2010, edited by Todd Johnson and Kenneth Ross, xix + 361pp. plus CD-ROM (ISBN: 0748632670 and 9780748632671). The full price of this hardback is £150, but it is available more cheaply from a number of online suppliers.
Johnson is Director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He is the co-author (with David Barrett and George Kurian) of the second edition of the World Christian Encyclopedia (2001) and of World Christian Trends (2001). He is also editor of the World Christian Database (http://www.worldchristiandatabase.org), published by Brill.
Ross is Council Secretary of the Church of Scotland World Mission Council and Honorary Fellow of the School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh. Since 2001 he has chaired the Scottish Towards 2010 Council.
Atlas of Global Christianity, 1910-2010 is a compilation of full-colour maps, graphs, tables, essays and other reference materials on Christianity contributed by a team of 64 experts, together with background information on world issues and other world religions. The CD-ROM contains all the visuals in exportable format, to facilitate use for teaching.
The volume charts the history (over the last hundred years) and current state both of Christianity in general and of Christian mission and evangelism. It effectively visualizes the shift in the epicentre of Christianity, from the ‘Global North’ to the ‘Global South’, which has occurred during the course of the twentieth century.
Although there are some country-specific data, much of the analysis is inevitably at the continental/sub-continental or denominational levels, incorporating a fair degree of numerical estimation.