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. 4, February 20

Apartheid Denial
TIME MAGAZINE senior editor Tony Karon writes a personal Internet blog that he calls the "Bootless Cosmopolitan," a term Russian dictator Joseph Stalin used as a euphemistic pejorative for Jew during his anti-Semitic purges of the 1940s. Karon explains...
At Kenya Funeral, Kobia Decries Criminal Violence
Criminal violence, like the murder of a retired Presbyterian missionary and her daughter during a carjacking in Kenya, is claiming many more lives than warfare, lamented Samuel Kobia, the head of the World Council of Churches. Kobia, a Kenyan Methodist...
Clerics Defend Obama amid Smear Campaign
A host of religious leaders have condemned "the bitter, destructive politics" that they say produced a political smear campaign against Senator Barack Obama (D., Ill.), who is preparing a run for the presidency. Several Web sites and a Fox News...
Crime Scenes
A DEAD GIRL lies in a grassy field. Her blood-soaked body has started to decompose. Who is she? How did she get there? Was the killing a crime of passion or opportunity? And who committed the heinous act? On the plot-driven surface, these are the...
Drinan, Catholic Priest and Member of Congress, Dies
Robert F. Drinan, the first Catholic priest elected as a voting member of Congress after his opposition to the Vietnam War drew him into politics, was remembered fondly in death by fellow Jesuit educators and human rights advocates. Representing...
Fellow Students: Theological Formation in the Parish
A QUARTER CENTURY AGO, I dreamed of being a teaching pastor. I burst out of seminary like a wild mustang in the rodeo, an impatiently raring clean of a parish about to become a mini--divinity school. Congregations under my care would learn sound theology...
First Steps
AS THIS ISSUE of the magazine was being prepared, the House Committee on Oversight and Governmental Reform was holding a hearing on the way the Bush administration has treated the issue of climate change. The administration has not been very interested...
Getaway Sermon
CHRISTOPHER NIEBUHR of the well-known Niebuhr tribe wrote to me recently. He is celebrating the Yale University Press publication of Sermons and Discourses, 1743-1758 (edited by Wilson H. Kimnach), 800 pages of transcribed scripts and notes that make...
In Gender Debate, Jesus Is 'Subordinate'
FOR CENTURIES, the equality of the persons of the Holy Trinity has been standard Christian teaching. And for decades, evangelical Christians have argued over proper roles for men and women. Lately, however, some evangelicals who favor greater authority...
IRS Now Demands Receipts for Even Small Church Donations
The next time you toss bills into the church collection plate, you might want to ask the usher for a receipt. New federal rules for the 2007 tax year--which took effect January 1--forbid tax deductions for charitable donations unless the taxpayer...
Justice, Homeland Security Departments Get Religion Training
The departments of Justice and Homeland Security have begun training employees to better understand and protect the civil liberties of American Muslims, Sikhs and other minority ethnic and religious groups in the long aftermath of September 11. ...
Living by the Word: Fear Factor
Sunday, March 4 Psalm 27:1-14 I WAS AT a class reunion with several former classmates when one of them, a professor of philosophy, asked an unusual question: "What fears have you conquered over the years and what new ones have you acquired?"...
Living by the Word: Free Meal
Sunday, March 11 Isaiah 55:1-9 THE PROMINENT PLACE of food and meals in the Bible may be surprising to us fast-food and takeout eaters. Back in biblical times, gathering and preparing food took time and occupied a significant part of Israel's...
Lost Boys
A HANDFUL OF the "lost boys of Sudan"--the 26,000 children who fled civil war on foot--are on the big screen endearing themselves to American audiences. Four thousand were delivered from a United Nations refugee camp to various communities in the U.S....
Meltdown: Running out of Time on Global Warming
WE NEED A MOVEMENT to combat climate change, we need it fast, and we need it to involve as many churches as possible. And you can help make it happen the Saturday after Easter. How's that for a blunt and artless beginning? But that's the point....
Overextended? the Increasing Demands on Seminaries
WITHIN A SINGLE WEEK this past fall I received requests that the seminary I serve staff a youth retreat for a congregation, send a speaker about starvation in Darfur to a conference in Washington, D.C., provide leadership to Presbyterian congregational...
Rising Tide
IN HIS STATE OF THE UNION address, President Bush once again sounded the alarm about America's dependence on foreign oil, and he called for a reduction in gasoline consumption by 20 percent over the next 10 years. But Bush framed the issue largely...
Sound Alternatives
PSALM 96 ISSUES an invitation repeated throughout the Old Testament: "Sing to the Lord a new song." Today's Christian musicians follow that call into vistas that David could never have foreseen, from Celtic folk to speed metal to reggae. Yet it's hard...
South African Church Torn on Gay Issues
Life is often violent at the intersection of white and black in the scrappy Cape Town suburb of Mowbray. Wedged between the exclusive neighborhoods near the mountain and the vast squalor of the townships, Mowbray sits at the front lines of South African...
Taking the Plunge
ONE OF THE privileges of studying theology within the I clerical formation programs of the Catholic Church is that you get to study philosophy first. For at least three years. This can seem interesting and exciting when you're immersed in it--it certainly...
Vatican Strengthens Ties with Vietnam but Not with China
Rome's push to restore diplomatic relations with Vietnam took an "important step" forward as Pope Benedict XVI met last month at the Vatican with Vietnamese prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung. The encounter in the papal library January 25 was the first...