The Christian Century

Founded on January 4, 1900, The Christian Century is a biweekly magazine published by The Christian Century. Its subject is religion. The Rev. John M. Buchanan is Editor and Publisher and David Heim is Executive Editor.

Articles from Vol. 122, No. 8, April 19

Bunkered Down
GUILT AND remorse over Nazi atrocities and the horrors of World War II have consumed Germany for decades, influencing politics, culture and the arts, including cinema. The rise of the German New Wave of filmmakers in the 1970s (led by Werner Herzog,...
Catholic Bishops Renew Drive vs. Death Penalty
The U.S. Catholic bishops have launched a nationwide campaign against the death penalty; citing new evidence that support for capital punishment is slipping among parishioners. The campaign, announced during Holy Week when Christians recall Jesus'...
Ecumenical Protestants Laud Pope's Compassion
Protestants joined political and religious leaders worldwide in praising John Paul II's compassionate papacy and leadership. If some Protestants voiced their disappointment that relatively little had changed in ecumenical affairs, doctrine or sexual...
Endings
THE TERRI SCHIAVO case highlighted our worst fears: the loss of autonomy, the burden of care put on family members, a painful private decision splayed before the press and the public, and, most profoundly, seemingly needless suffering. Whatever else...
Idol Behavior
Sunday, May 1 Acts 17:22-31; 1 Peter 3:13-22 PAUL IS MAKING an unexpected visit to Athens. His proclamation of Christ crucified had angered the Jews at Thessalonica so much that they had followed him to Beroea to incite riots in the crowds there....
Jerusalem Sprawl
IT WAS APPROPRIATE that the final U.S. blessing for the city of Ma'aleh Adumim was delivered to the Israeli government by Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams. You may remember Abrams as the State Department official who avoided serious...
John Paul II Leaves Transformed Papacy
IN SEPTEMBER of 1987 near the historic San Fernando Mission in Los Angeles, Pope John Paul II held his first face-to-face meeting with the entire U.S. hierarchy. He dealt bluntly with the "selective" dissent of many American Catholics over church teachings...
Judge in Schiavo Case Asked to Leave Church
Judge George Greer, a Florida county judge in the spotlight three times for ordering Terri Schiavo's feeding tube removed, was advised by his Southern Baptist pastor to leave the congregation---despite the judge's reputation as a conservative Republican...
Necessary Decisions: Taking Sides for Schiavo
LIKE MARCH MADNESS in the basketball world, participants in the debate over Terri Schiavo seemed driven to pick a team and root it on to victory, vanquishing the opponents. With her death, it's time to put the madness behind us and attend not just...
Notions of Purity: An Interview with Mary Gordon
ONE OF AMERICA'S most admired writers, Mary Gordon writes about women's choices and about moral and spiritual struggles in the context of strong family connections. She has a deeply Catholic perspective, though not exactly an orthodox one. Her novels...
On Living Wills and Prolongation of Life
The Terri Schiavo case serves as a reminder of how important advance written directions are to family members when an incapacitated loved one is at death's door, say church leaders. And at least three denominations reminded members of the general tendency...
Papal Witness: A Philosopher Pope in a Media Age
POPE JOHN PAUL II, the "pilgrim pope," understood intuitively that his ancient office was perfectly suited to reach a global audience in a media age. He gave peace, justice and human dignity a personal face that was somehow perfectly suited to the...
Precious Stones
Sunday, April 24 1 Peter 2:2-10; Acts 7:55-60; Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16 ON A RECENT visit to Washington, D.C., I saw the Hope diamond at the National Museum of Natural History. It's odd to think that a large piece of carbon, refined by millions of years...
Schiavo Drama Feeds Political Frenzy
As Terri Schiavo drew her final breaths, dozens of praying protesters--and even greater numbers of journalists--massed daily outside her hospice in Pinellas Park, Florida. The crowd changed mostly whenever religious activists--ranging from Randall...
Teens Language
PITY BIBLE translators who try to keep up with changes in language. For example, Today's New International Version Bible has changed "stoned" to "stoned to death" because otherwise readers might think the text is about smoking dope. The New Revised...
What Wasn't Discussed: Schiavo and the Health Care System
THE TERRI SCHIAVO case stirred much moral controversy over what constitutes ordinary care for the dying and what respect we should show for the wishes of the dying. These are serious matters, not discussed often enough. But there are other important...
You Can't Deal with God
AS I WAS writing this piece, Good Friday was in view, and I thought of the renowned Viennese composer Antonio Salieri as portrayed in the movie Amadeus. In a scene from Salieri's childhood, Salieri is kneeling before a crucifix and trying to make a...