tian doctrine. And while many Western Christians find it diSicultrnto accept notions of the afterHfe or resurrection as Hterallyrntrue, these tlieories resonate with Afi-ican independent churches.rnThe fact that believers regularly see their ancestors inrndreams and visions is simply proof that thev are still alive inrnCod. hi the affairs of this world, too, the ideal of Christian comnumityrnmay be more accessible in southern Africa than inrnWestern Europe. ForMrican churches, proximit}’ to natie traditionsrngives a powerful relevance to corporate and communalrnvisions of the Church, the ecclesia.rnTo understand what mav seem like the oddities of the independentrnchurches, it is helpful to read the best contemporar)’rnaccount of first-century Christianih’: the Acts of the Apostles.rnPassages that seem mildly embarrassing to a Westernrnaudience read differendv—and relcvand—in the new churchesrnof Mrica or Lafin America, where believers take a more matter-rnof-fact attitude toward the apostolic world of signs and wonders.rnOf course a hoK’ man like Philip might have four irginrndaughters who prophesied: What is prophecy but a sign of therntrue church? And wh- should modern readers have difficults’ inrnaccephng the repeated miracles, healings, and raisings from therndead luidertaken bv the apostles? Simply read the go.spels: Thisrnis exacth’ what Jesus promised his disciples, without any caseatrnthat these powers might expire with the end of the first centurv.rnThen, as now. Cod spoke to his followers by means of dreamsrnand inspired prophecies. Yes, there are still people in the worldrnwho believe in miracles, and their numbers are growing—quiternrapidiv, in fact.rnWe can disagree at length in deciding what is fundamental tornChristianit}- and what is simply the expression of a particularrnculture. This point was brought home to mc some years agornwhen I visited St Peter’s Anglican cathedral in the Australianrncit’ of Adelaide, where the visitor leaves the bright sunshine tornenter into a dark Gothic chamber, which seems utterly inappropriaternfor the local climate and environment. However, thernEnglish Victorian builders believed that a “religious” buildingrnhad to follow certain cultural norms, and that meant eopingrnthe Gothic stv’les which mimicked the brooding forests of medievalrnnorthern Europe. Some enthusiasts even insisted onrncalling Gothic architecture “Chrishan,” tout court. Presumably,rnif the course of Christian historv’ had run differentiv, thenrnanother societ might hae succeeded in spreading its distinefiverncultural vision across the world, with equal confidence thatrnit was the only fit vessel for conveying Christian truth.rnWhile it is eas’ to recognize that Gothic architecture representsrna parficular cultural form, we need to be more flexible torndetermine vhich other cherished ideas and images are culturalrnaccidents, as opposed to essenhals of faith, hi the coming eentur’,rnfliis debate is likcK to rage with continuing fur as the newrnchurches aeelimafi/e ever more enthusiasticallv to their sociefies,rnto the horror of established Western denominations. Perhapsrnthese debates will contribute to more North-Southrnschisms, and even mutual denimciafion as extreme as the ancientrnsplit beheen Catholic and Orthodox. But if such controversiesrndo develop, the shifting population balance is so markedrnriiat the future of Ghrishanit’ will be in flic global soufli, andrnthe succcs,sful churches of the future will be those that best aceommodaternto those cidturcs and traditions. Ever’thing augursrnwonderfullv well for “tradifional” Christianib,-; sadly, they justrnwon’t be niv traditions.rnThe Silent Revolution and thernMaking of Victorian EnglandrnHerbert Schlossbergrn”Schlossberg’s exhaustively researched and lucid account ofrnthe religious transformation of England at the turn of thernnineteenth century is indispensable to our understanding ofrnthe emerging Victorian frame of mind,”rn-Richard Altick, Regents Professor of English Emeritus,rnThe Ohio State Universityrn’This is a major work of grand synthesis, pulling together thernentire literature of the field, persuasively demonstrating that the religious revivalrneffected a cultural transformotion, effectively fusing the history of religion into thernhistory of culture.” -Josef L. Altholz, University of Minnesotarn”In this fascinating and lucid study, Schlossberg shows conclusively that therninfluences of religion in early nineteenth-century British history must be givenrnsubstantial weight in any rounded assessment of the period.”rn-John R. Wolffe, Open University (U.K.)rn$2495 paper $65.00 clothrn18/CHRONICLESrnrnrn