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. 10, May 15

Benedict's Misreading
HAVING BEEN a student of Islamic philosophy and teacher of Islam for a quarter century, I was baffled by the skewed presentation of Islam that Pope Benedict XVI offered in his speech at Regensburg, Germany, in September 2006. As a student paper, it...
Between Two Worlds
IT SEEMS LIKE yesterday that Indian-born director Mira Nair burst onto the international scene with Salaam Bombay! about the street children of that sprawling Asian city. In fact, it has been almost 20 years. During that time Nair has carved out an...
City Scene: Riding a Chicago Bus Can Have Its Grace-Filled Moments
SOMETIMES LIFE in a big city can feel impersonal, almost inhuman. On the streets the taxis vie for pole position at the stoplights and cut one another off to get to a fare. On the sidewalks people beg for money, holding signs that say things like "Homeless....
Communion with the Saints
SEVERAL YEARS AGO I engaged in a public dialogue with a Roman Catholic theologian about prayers to the saints. I went into the discussion with my mind made up on the subject. We Protestants--especially we evangelicals--do not pray to anyone but God....
Handel Scandal
I HAVE NEVER given much thought to Titus, Roman destroyer of Jerusalem in the year 70, or seen reason to rejoice in the destruction of the Second Temple and the defeat of Israel. Yet once or twice a year I'm celebrating that destruction and what it...
High Court Ruling May Point to More Abortion Limitations
In upholding a federal ban on a rare kind of late-term abortion procedure, the Supreme Court may have begun undermining its key abortion precedent. Activists on both sides of the abortion issue said the court's 5-4 decision on "partial-birth" abortion...
Islamic Wisdom
AFTER FOCUSING EARLY in his life on topics in analytic philosophy and religion, David Burrell, C. S. C., turned to studying comparative issues in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. He is the author of Knowing the Unknowable God: Ibn-Sina, Maimonides,...
Land Grant: Israel and the Promises of God
NEITHER JEWS nor Christians (except for some evangelicals) were theologically prepared for the 20th-century return of the Jewish people to sovereignty in their ancient homeland of Israel. For most Christians, history was not supposed to turn out like...
Landmine Legacy
ON A RECENT trip to Southeast Asia, I visited the historic complex of Buddhist and Hindu temples at Angkor, near the city of Siem Reap in northwestern Cambodia. The temples are spread out over 40 square miles; on a two-day look-see, one can do scant...
Living by the Word: Homesick
Sunday, May 27 John 14:8-17, 25-27; Acts 2:1-21 WHEN I WAS attending a university in Germany, I lived alone and did research in the university library. Occasionally, I was aware of that peculiar kind of loneliness called homesickness. On those days,...
Living by the Word: Mindful
Sunday, June 3 Psalm 8 CALVIN TRILLIN'S lighthearted and best-selling tribute to his late wife, Alice, has made husbands like me nervous. By "like me" I mean the ordinary, absentminded kind--husbands who have little more than a 50-50 chance of guessing...
Marked for Life
THE PRACTICE OF tattooing has nearly always been rejected in Christian tradition. The usual proof text is Leviticus 19:28: "You shall not make any gashes in your flesh for the dead or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the LORD." That verse has been regarded...
Murder of Christians in Turkey Condemned
The killing of three Christians at a religious publishing house in eastern Turkey has triggered strong condemnation by U.S. and international church and advocacy groups. Twelve suspects were charged on April 22 with the killings of the three men--Necati...
Questions for God: All of Our Explanations about the Virginia Tech Tragedy Seem Inadequate
HUMANS ARE meaning-seeking creatures. We want to make sense of life. After the massacre at Virginia Tech, we want to know why it happened and whether something could have been done to stop it. And many of us ask: where was God in all of this? It's...
Rowan Williams Will Meet with Episcopal Bishops in September
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said that he will visit the United States this September after U.S. Episcopal bishops declared an "urgent need" for a meeting with the spiritual leader of world Anglicanism. Speaking at a news conference April...
Slain Pastor's Wife Convicted of Voluntary Manslaughter
In a case that focused national attention on the psychological pressures on wives of ministers, Mary Winkler, the wife of a slain Church of Christ pastor in Tennessee, was convicted April 19 of voluntary manslaughter. Winkler, 33, was charged in last...
Southern Baptists Face Sexual Abuse Crisis
FIVE YEARS AFTER the clergy sexual abuse scandal erupted within the Catholic Church, Southern Baptists are confronting their own allegations of abuse and calls for greater steps to protect minors from predatory pastors. Although the issue seems...
Survey Says Clergy Have Highest Job Satisfaction
If you want to be rich, get an MBA. If you want to be happy, go for an M.Div. Members of the clergy rank highest in job satisfaction, according to a report released April 17 by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. More...
Tattooed: Body Art Goes Mainstream
DRIVING THROUGH the midtown section of Kansas City, you might not be surprised to see a sign for Whispering Danny's Exile Tattoo Parlor. After all, it's a transitional neighborhood where you might expect to see tattoo shops. What might be surprising,...
Uncharitable Donation
RECENTLY 98,000 ministers found a gift in their mailboxes: a special edition of Efraim Karsh's Islamic Imperialism, compliments of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. Why such generosity? "We learned a lot from this book and wanted to share it...
Unchecked Sources
ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI, national security adviser in the Carter administration, believes that the Bush administration's use of the term "war on terror" has created a culture of fear that's had "a pernicious impact on American democracy, on America's psyche...