The World Christian Encyclopedia (1982) was one of Oxford University Press’s best-selling reference books. The book was immediately praised as the authoritative, definitive work in the field of international religious demography. Its oversized 1,000 pages embody the most extensive survey of Christianity and world religions ever attempted. In emphasizing its significance, Time Magazine devoted a full two-page spread to its review, claiming it to be “a benchmark for our understanding of the true religious state of the planet.” The second edition (2001), expanded to 1,700 pages, was also widely acclaimed.
Today, the CSGC is currently producing a third edition of the World Christian Encyclopedia (Edinburgh University Press, updating the demographic analysis to 2020 and adding new details on the recent history of Christianity and mission, church and state, religious liberty, and contemporary developments in other religions. This is a five-year project (2014 to 2019) with publication slated for 2020.
The team working on the World Christian Encyclopedia is currently working on updating denominational statistics, researching new denominations, writing country articles, and finding the most recent census and survey data.
The encyclopedia combines remarkably well scientific objectivity and tolerance with a quiet evangelical faith…the authors have served modern social science and religious believers equally well with this magisterial work” (Books and Culture, Nov/Dec 2001).
James Billington, Librarian of Congress
The World Christian Encyclopedia instantly renders obsolete all previous studies of the worldwide Christian movement.”
The World Christian Encyclopediais by any standard a major tour de force in Christian publishing.”
It outdistances everything that has yet been published.”
National Catholic News Service
No other work digests so much data… delineates anomalies, novelties and miniscule bodies so scrupulously… all others summarize data here anatomized… The World Christian Encyclopedia stands without peer or rival, and will probably never be surpassed except by its own second edition.”
Recent Reference Books in Religion
The second edition of the WCE ‘leaves no stone unturned when it comes to the current state of Christianity in the world…Why add this to your reference collection? Simply put, it is the best statistical work on the current state of Christianity to come along in the 20 years since the WCE was first published.’”
American Theological Library Association (ATLA)