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. 120, No. 6, March 22

After Great Pain: Finding a Way Out
STRUGGLE IS A very private thing. It happens in the very depths of our souls. It comes with the loss of what we have considered so significant that we cannot abide the thought of life without it. Other people commiserate, of course, as they watch us...
After Saddam
THE HOURGLASS seems to be running out on the chance for a peaceful end to the Iraq crisis. It will take a creative revision of policy--virtually a policy reversal--for President Bush to step back from war. Assume that the White House hawks get to pursue...
Bible Disposal. (M.E.M.O)
SUBSCRIBER Sue R. Wilcox of Denver asked this columnist: "What do you do respectfully with old worn-out Bibles?" I respect her respect for the Bible and sympathize with her problem. So many new editions of the Bible are published, advertised, sold,...
Can We Be Good without God? (Faith Matters)
SOME HAVE SUGGESTED that recent scandals in the world of business, politics and the academy are practical consequences of a worldview that has pushed God out. Morality needs God, the argument goes, and without God the social fabric will be torn by...
Century Marks
DOING PENANCE: The Christian petition "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us" is rooted in the Jewish practice of penance and penitential prayer, says Ellen Charry of Princeton Theological Seminary. Yet this practice...
Deaths
* Fred Rogers, the popular host of the children's TV program "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" and a minister of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) died February 27 of stomach cancer. He was 74. The soft-spoken Rogers was a neighbor to the nation's children...
Dracula Park Cancelled, to Churches' Relief. (News)
Romanian churches have welcomed the cancellation of plans for a $32 million Dracula Park in Transylvania in the western part of the country, but warned the government against trying to relocate the project. "We would support a functioning park which...
From God, to God. (Living by the Word)
Sunday, March 30 Ephesians 2:1-10 IN DALLAS, TEXAS, one week prior to the assassination of President Kennedy, I heard German New Testament scholar Joachim Jeremias reminisce about his life in Israel where his parents were missionaries. After WWII,...
Israel Plans Wall through Bethlehem. (News)
Israel is preparing to build a security wall that will divide the birthplace of Jesus on the West Bank, declaring that it will safeguard a Jewish religious shrine in Bethlehem known as Rachel's Tomb. The move will divide Bethlehem's Palestinian areas...
Jesus the Priest. (Living by the Word)
Sunday, April 6 Hebrews 5:5-10 THE EPISTLE TO the Hebrews joins the Revelation to John as the literature most intimidating to readers of the New Testament. With the Revelation the reader must endure its terrible splendor; with Hebrews the reader...
Let Them Eat Oil. (State Robbery in Angola)
ON THE FLIGHT from Johannesburg to Luanda, Angola, the airplane is packed. Half the passengers are oil workers returning for another four- or five-week stint on the wells off the coast. The other half are relief workers, coming to feed, house and cure...
Lost in God: What Can We Learn from the Mystics?
TO THINK THAT that mystics are engaged in a series of private, transcendent encounters with God betrays a superficial understanding, says Bernard McGinn. Christian mystics, in particular, are not breakaway contemplatives who find their own way to God....
Masterful Melodrama
PEDRO ALMODOVAR, the one-time enfant terrible of the Spanish cinema, has matured into one of the most sublime voices on the international film scene, and in the process has become a great moralist. Who could have expected this from the director of...
Missing Ingredient: Why Spirituality Needs Jesus
THE SEETHING energies of spirituality are evident everywhere. That is good. What is not so good is that spirituality is also prone to lack of clarity, making it difficult to carry on a conversation about it. In the enthusiasm for firsthand experience,...
No RICO Penalty for Pro-Lifers. (News)
A law meant to prevent racketeering and extortion by organized crime cannot be used to punish anti-abortion protesters, according to the Supreme Court. The justices ruled 8-1 on February 26 that the federal Racketeer and Influenced and Corrupt Organizations...
Papal Envoy Urges Bush to Avoid War. (News)
President Bush received a Vatican diplomat on Ash Wednesday who delivered a personal appeal from Pope John Paul II that the U.S. not go to war with Iraq. Cardinal Pio Laghi, an ex-Vatican ambassador to the U.S. and a close friend of the president's...
Reel Faith. (Can Hollywood Teach and Inspire?)
ON THE FIVE Saturday nights before the 2003 Academy Awards show on March 23, a young adult group at a large church in Pasadena, California, has been discussing the five Oscar nominees for best picture. "What do Hollywood's best films have to say about...
Spiritual Things
SOMEHOW I MANAGED to get a theological education and practice several decades of parish ministry without encountering the idea of spirituality. In fact, I don't recall even hearing the word until about ten years ago. I did read Rudolph Otto's The...
Williams Installed at Canterbury. (News)
SOFT-SPOKEN intellectual Rowan Williams, a Welsh theologian enthroned as the 104th archbishop of Canterbury, continued to display his way with words as he took the mantle of spiritual leader for the world's 70 million Anglicans. "Once we recognize...
Wobegon Poets: A Prairie Poem Companion
Good Poems. Selected and introduced by Garrison Keillor. Viking, 476 pp., $25.95. GARRISON KEILLOR'S latest book is a collection of poems selected from the ones he has read on his daily five-minute show "The Writer's Almanac," which airs on public...