Camden Theological Library

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Cryptomnesia

Posted on 12 March 2015 Gavin Glenn

Cover - Cryptomnesia

How a forgotten memory could save the church

How can we Christians move forward, when our very existence seems imperiled?

We already know the way, for we've been through this before. But we have forgotten. We have cryptomnesia.

The world is changing, and it is changing fast. Social media friendships, global commerce, online education, populist uprisings, e-books, and smartphones are just a sample of the Internet’s growing impact on our lives. We are rapidly becoming more mobile, worldly, and secular—all while it feels like the church we know is being left behind. Growing numbers of “spiritual but not religious” show disinterest in church, and mainline churches fear imminent demise.

How do we find a way forward? Ironically, by looking back to the beginning.

Cryptomnesia is the reappearance of a suppressed or forgotten memory which is mistaken for a new experience.

We are not the first to experience globalization. In fact, the early church emerged in an age of globalization—the product of the Greco-Roman Empire and its mammoth road-building efforts on three continents. People were connected in ways they had never experienced: Roman citizens were bombarded with new cultures, new commerce, new foods, new ideas, new philosophies, new religions. It was an era of massive dislocation, and at the same time, exactly the right environment for Christianity to emerge and thrive.

Cryptomnesia provides a new way for Christian leaders to view ourselves and our present situation. In looking back, recovering our own forgotten memories, this ground-breaking book gives us hope and a clear way forward.

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