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. 126, No. 26, December 29

Another Kind of Surge
In early December, as President Obama was announcing that he was sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, Greg Mortenson was releasing his book Stones into Schools, a follow-up to his 2006 best seller Three Cups of Tea. Mortenson has logged more...
A Serious Man
A Serious Man. Written and directed by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen. Starring Michael Stuhlbarg and Richard Kind. It's 1967 in Minnesota, and life is getting more and more difficult for physics professor Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlbarg). Despite his...
Compelling Characters
I'M NOT the only preacher who wonders occasionally about the logic of the Sunday lectionary readings. Why is this text included but not that one? I usually conclude that someone wiser than I is choosing these texts and that the logic of it will be...
Critics Vow to Overturn Swiss Minaret Ban
Sources include: Religion News Service (RNS) Ecumenical News International (ENI) Associated Baptist Press (ABP) denominational news services A Swiss vote to ban the construction of minarets at Muslim houses of worship sent ripples of surprise and...
Election of Lesbian Agitates Anglicans
THE ELECTION of a lesbian priest as a bishop in the Episcopal Church is likely to cause further problems in the divided Anglican Communion, said Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. "The election of Mary Glasspool by the diocese of Los Angeles...
Evangelical Students Get into Once-Barred Dancing
Classes are done for the day. Meetings and work are winding down, and Facebook can provide a study break for only so long. So what's a restless Christian college student to do? For undergraduates at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, a walk...
In Tough Straits: Can the Ecumenical Logjam Be Broken?
THE ECUMENICAL path has always been narrow, but recent events cast a new light on the limited and shifting range of ecumenical possibilities. With the exception of the success of the rapprochement of Lutheran, Reformed and United churches in Europe,...
Irish Catholic Cover-Up of Child Sex Abuse Echoes Past Priestly Scandals
A new, damning report on the large-scale child sexual abuses by Irish Catholic priests has drawn a contrite apology to victims by the archbishop of Dublin. A government commission charged with probing allegations involving the Archdiocese of Dublin...
Living by the Word
Sunday, January 3 Jeremiah 31:7-14; Ephesians 1:3-14; John 1:1-18 THE QUESTION arises in some form or another almost every time I teach a course on the Bible: If God knew what a mess humanity would make of God's creation, why did God create the...
Muslims Go Dutch
For many American Christians, the religious experience of modern Western Europe offers a dire warning. European church membership has been in free fall for a generation. Each new survey shows ever-growing numbers willing to proclaim themselves totally...
Obama's Surge Plan Disappoints Some on Left
Activist and author Jim Wallis, the founder of Sojourners magazine, noted sadly that 17,000 people had signed a petition to the White House in late November asking President Obama to lead a different kind of "surge" in Afghanistan that relied more...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, January 10 Isaiah 43:1-7; Acts 8:14-17; Luke 3:15-17, 21-22 IF THE POLITICAL movements of the second half of the 20th century taught us anything, it was that names matter. It matters that a mature African-American male be addressed as...
Religious Conservatives Ponder Resistance to Abortion, Gay Marriage
Facing what they consider "threats" from American culture, prominent Catholic, evangelical and Orthodox leaders are vowing unspecified civil disobedience against abortion, same-sex marriage and limits on religious liberty. "'We are Christians who...
Russian Orthodox: Female Head of German Church No Reason to End Talks
Although two celebrations of 50 years of dialogue between Russian Orthodox and German Protestant churches were canceled suddenly in a dispute over the election of a woman as Germany's senior Protestant leader, a Russian church official says that academic...
Scholar Alters View, Says Niebuhr Probably Wrote 'Serenity Prayer'
AFTER receiving new evidence, the editor of a prominent compilation of famous quotations now believes that theologian Reinhold Niebuhr most likely is the author of the popular "Serenity Prayer." "I think it's not certain," Fred R. Shapiro, editor...
Shaken
A FEW WEEKS AGO as I came out of the local Cineplex, my eye was caught by a large display proclaiming the thrills and wonder of the movie 2012. According to an ancient Mayan story, 2012 is the year when the earth is to encounter some extremely unpleasant...
Smarter Foreign Aid
AFTER TRAVELING by airplane and boat from Maputo, I arrived at the hut of farmer Pedro Kumpila in the village of Mtimbe, Mozambique--100 miles from the nearest road. His mud hut was among 40 others, each with its own cassava field. Kumpila, my host...
Voices of 2009
Sources: Newsweek, RNS, Time "We all pray that our Lord, in His grace, may spare us from the devastation of a pandemic. Considering the implications, however, it would be prudent to prepare." --Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, in a...