Revised: What is the future of [Asian] Catholicism?

My peers knew it. My mentor knew it. My instructor knew it. Deep down, even I knew it.

My originally-proposed project topic on the future of Catholicism was way too broad. Trying to project the future of a religion “with 1.2 billion members in every corner of the world” (as I stated in my previous blog post) is way too difficult, especially in just 10-20 pages. If I did take a crack at it, I’d need at least a book.

I knew I needed to narrow my topic, but how? One possibility I considered was to examine the practice of Catholicism in an area where it is thriving, such as in Asia and Africa, and compare it to an area where it is declining, such as in the West. However, this topic requires analyzing a host of other factors far beyond merely Catholicism, and the Statistician in me just couldn’t bring himself to risk comparing apples to oranges.

Another option was to focus specifically on the future of the Catholic Church in the United States. As I mentioned previously, the Church here in America is struggling to pass on its faith to the next generation of Catholics. Perhaps my project could focus on what many see as the root of the problem–the crisis in the liturgy. That would have been a very good idea…if I hadn’t already written something very similar back in English 225.

Finally, the answer hit me. And how obvious it was! Examine the future of Catholicism in an area I don’t know much about. After all, this is a research paper. And which area? Asia sticks out to me because of a class I took my sophomore year about Christian missionaries in Asia. Since any projection of the future must be strongly rooted in the past and present, the knowledge I learned from this class is an ideal starting point for my research.

So, I will be examining the future of Catholicism in Asia. Funny how the addition of a mere two words can turn an impossibly broad topic into something that is actually doable.

St. Francis Xavier, Missionary to Asia
St. Francis Xavier, Missionary to Asia

2 thoughts to “Revised: What is the future of [Asian] Catholicism?”

  1. I can’t lie, when I first saw that you had narrowed the topic to Asia, I was surprised! Once I read your blog post further, it made more sense to me. At first I wondered how much time it would take to do the research that you need to do to even begin discussing the future of Catholicism in Asia. However, given that you’ve taken a class on Christian missionaries in Asia, it looks like you’ve got a solid foundation to discuss it.

    On that note, I think this will be a very interesting project for you to pursue. You’re going beyond your own borders into a country far away (though perhaps not so far away given the state of today’s globalized world). I’m excited to see how things progress with this!

  2. This is great! I get it completely now (not that i didn’t before, it was just so many great ideas sprinting out of your brain and I didn’t know which direction to point them to;-) I think this topic will be interesting because it has a little bit of infer you took in a previous class, opens up a new idea for the Catholicism in Asia, and reflects on your analysis of the project topic in general. I’m glad that you’re sticking to your topic of interest while also adding something new to learn more about. I know this may take a lot of research, but when you have 10-20 pages of free space, anything is possible!

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