Conditions for the Great Religion Singularity

Brian D. McLaren

McLaren is an author, speaker, activist, and public theologian. He is an Auburn Senior Fellow and a leader in the Convergence Network, through which he is developing an innovative training/mentoring program for pastors, church planters, and lay leaders called Convergence Leadership Project. McLaren works closely with the Center for Progressive Renewal, the Wild Goose Festival, and the Fair Food Program’s Faith Working Group. His most recent joint project is an illustrated children’s book (for all ages) called Cory and the Seventh Story.



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Article Information:

Author: Brian D. McLaren

Title: "Conditions for the Great Religion Singularity"

Journal: Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry

Journal Issue: Volume 1, Number 1

Date: Spring 2019

Pages: 40-49



Applying the Buddhist “law of interdependent origination,” which states that if the conditions are right, a particular phenomenon may exist, Brian McLaren provides ten conditional factors that he believes have contributed to Ken Howard’s “religion singularity” (i.e. the multi-faceted collapse of institutional Christianity). Each condition falls under two main categories: either a lack of rapid adaptability in religious institutions or the moral failure of institutional leaders. The ten conditional factors include authoritarian centralization, betrayal of the religious founder’s non-violence, a history of unacknowledged atrocities, military imperialism, white supremacy, scandals, reaction against scientific inquiry, doubling down on dualism, integrated and change-averse institutional systems, and paralysis and nostalgia.


Keywords: Religion Singularity, Interdependent Origination, Institutional Christianity,

Adaptability, Moral Failure

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(footnote) Brian D. McLaren, “Conditions for the Great Religion Singularity,” Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry 1, no. 1 (Spring 2019): 40-49,

(bibliography) McLaren, Brian D. “Conditions for the Great Religion Singularity.” Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry 1, no. 1 (Spring 2019): 40-49.


McLaren, Brian D. “Conditions for the Great Religion Singularity.” Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry, vol. 1, no. 1, Spring 2019,, pp. 40-49.


McLaren, B. D. (2019). Conditions for the Great Religion Singularity. Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry, 1(1), 40-49. Retrieved from

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