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. 124, No. 6, March 20

A Small, Beautiful Thing
YEARS AGO, when I had just begun teaching and wondered what kind of contribution I might make to the great world of scholarship, I spoke with a teacher and scholar whose work I very much admired. She had translated neglected works by medieval woman...
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At a Crossroads?
AFTER THE EVENING service on Ash Wednesday, I was led off for coffee and conversation by a group of seminary students who wanted to air their frustrations about the recent meeting of Anglican primates. The primates had issued a call for the Episcopal...
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Bones of Contention
AN OLD JOKE has a graduate student giving the news to the great theologian Paul Tillich: "They've discovered the bones of Jesus!" To which Tillich replies, in his thick German accent, "So he really did exist!" Christianity began with reports of an...
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Christians Back from Iran Urge Diplomacy
A delegation of 13 officials of American church-related and peace groups who recently traveled to Iran and met with that nation's president for more than two hours have urged members of Congress to help defuse tensions over Tehran's nuclear ambitions....
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Collision Course: Jesus' Final Week
IF, AS JOHN'S GOSPEL suggests, Jesus went regularly to the annual festivals of his people in Jerusalem, what was so different that last time that it resulted in his execution? If, as Mark's Gospel suggests, he only went there once, why did he do it...
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Egyptian Mufti Says Women Not Obligated to Prove Virginity
In a decision being hailed as a major step toward female equality in the Islamic world, the grand mufti of Egypt has said that Muslim women have no obligation to prove their virginity to prospective husbands. Appearing on a popular Egyptian talk...
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Feisty Justices Hear Faith-Based Case
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments February 28 in a case that, on the surface, is about technical issues but could end up having significant ramifications for the way courts handle church-state cases. At stake is the ability of federal courts to...
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Freedom Fighters
JUST ABOUT every marketing card seemed to be stacked against Amazing Grace. It's not just that the film is a costume set in England at the turn of the 19th century, or that there are no big-name American actors in the east (plenty of Jane Austen adaptations...
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Gonzales's SBC Speech Irks Church-State Experts
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales's decision to launch a new Justice Department "First Freedom Project" during a recent meeting of Southern Baptist leaders riled a number of advocates of church-state separation. "Nothing defines us more as a nation...
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Home Church
THE MARTYS MOVE their residence and parish membership every 43 years, so every 43 years I should devote a column to my parish, Ascension Lutheran in Riverside, Illinois. I have written so many articles and several books about life in the local church...
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Jefferts Schori Urges Restraint
PLEADING FOR patience from her church's restive majority, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori urged the Episcopal Church to refrain from ordaining gay bishops and blessing same-sex unions "for a season," so it can contribute further to the drafting...
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John Paul & the Jews: 'A Blessing to One Another'
DURING JOHN PAUL II's pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2000, the frail pontiff visited the Western Wall, the remnant of the ancient Jewish Temple. With quivering hands he placed in a crevice of the wall a piece of paper on which he had written a prayer....
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Living by the Word: At a Distance
Palm Sunday, April 1 Luke 23:1-49 SEVERAL YEARS AGO I attended a museum exhibit featuring the works of Vincent van Gogh. It was not an altogether pleasant experience because there was a man in my group who had a peculiar way of taking in each painting....
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Living by the Word: Unnatural Event
Easter Sunday, April 8 Luke 24:1-12 CHANCES ARE THAT your world is either experiencing or anticipating an awakening earth after months of winter slumber. Grass is turning green, azaleas are splashing the landscape with brilliant reds, dogwoods are...
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Luther's Spiritual Heirs Face Uncertain Future
Faced with declining membership, dwindling income and more demands to provide community services, Germany's Protestants see an overwhelming challenge ahead of them. In search of inspiration, some 300 church members traveled last month to Wittenberg,...
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Money Trail
FORMER IOWA GOVERNOR Tom Vilsack has abandoned his quest for the presidency because he could not raise sufficient funds. His departure is yet another strong argument for campaign finance reform. Usually governors do well in early primaries. But...
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Passion Narrative
PALM SUNDAY IS a big deal in the church I serve. As the congregation sings "All Glory, Laud and Honor," the children--from infants in parents' arms to wiggly six-year-olds to uncomfortable adolescents--parade down the center aisle and fill the chancel,...
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Second-Class Soldiers
NOMINATED FOR an Academy Award for best foreign-language film, Days of Glory has received plenty of praise for its sometimes stirring story of North Africans fighting for France during World War II. But far more attention has been paid to its underlying...
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Student Teachers
THE PUBLIC UNIVERSITY at which I teach has an ethnically and religiously diverse student body. Accurate figures are hard to come by because the university doesn't officially collect the data, but probably about half the undergraduates are Catholic,...
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