I recently read that there has been a shift from using BC/AD to CE/BCE to describe a time period.
CE can be interpreted as Christian era, common era, or current era, with the BCE interpreted the same way with the word “before” in front of it. An example is “People have an idealization of English life in the in the fifth and sixth centuries C.E.”
These abbreviations aren’t “new age.” They actually go back as early as 1708, when CE stood for “common era.” Though some may believe Christian books adhere strictly to AD/BC to demarcate the birth of Christ, some, in fact, do not. Examples: Life After Death, Doubleday, 2004, and The Real Messiah, Watkins Pubishing (London) 2009, both use CE/BCE.
Some experts believe in 50 years we may be using an altogether different system, which will attach to a day 1 without any religious meaning. Until that day comes, it seems reasonable to me to continue to use AD/BC simply because it is less confusing. CE/BCE is more ambiguous and causes me to hesitate when I read it.
What about you? Do you have strong feelings about these changes? What would you think if you read CE or BCE in a book?