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. 128, No. 14, July 12

Among the Strays: A Pastor's Vocation
IN MY DAY JOB I teach theology and grade papers, but I have another line of work. A friend gave this calling a name several years ago when she called to ask if I'd do a funeral for someone who had no church connection or pastor. "Do you still have...
A Time of Grace for Women Clergy: Retreat Leader Sister Mary Luke Jones
IN 2003, OUR Lady of Grace Monastery in Beech Grove, Indiana, began sponsoring a program for Protestant clergywomen called Women Touched by Grace. The clergywomen spend time at the monastery with the Catholic sisters, attend classes in leadership and...
Christians Shatter Taboos on Talking about Money
No sooner had 29-year-old Graham Messier joined a small group at his church earlier this year than he found himself breaking an American taboo: talking about how much he earns and where it all goes. Others in the group in Beverly, Massachusetts,...
Don't Know Much about History
American students don't know much about their country's history, according to results of a nationwide test released last month. Most fourth graders couldn't say why Abraham Lincoln was important. Only 2 percent of high school seniors could name the...
Faith Leaders Praise Goals in Fighting AIDS
Religious leaders and representatives of faith-based organizations are giving generally high marks to a United Nations AIDS meeting that set new targets to combat the continued spread of HIV/AIDS. The New York meeting at the UN June 8-10 was marked...
In the Cool of the Day
In the Cool of the Day by Daniel Martin Moore [Sub Pop] Nostalgic country-gospel records inhabit a liminal space between personal-historical document and genuine religious statement: these songs meant a lot to my family, and they mean something...
Loyal but Dissenting Believers
Significant majorities of Americans say it is possible to disagree with their religion-'s teachings on abortion and homosexuality and still remain in good standing with their faith. The findings hold true for major religious groups, including Catholics...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, July 17 Genesis 28:10-19a YOU, JACOB--the one fleeing from that seriously peeved and smelly galoot of a brother (whose face will eventually resemble God's face). You rushed toward that as-yet-unmet sweet cousin of your mother. Your birthright...
Roadside Crosses: Personal Shrines in Public Places
"YOU'D THINK they'd want to remember the person in connection with something other than the accident," a friend suggested. We had just driven past a small cross, decorated with artificial flowers, set in the tangle beyond a guardrail. We presumed it...
SBC Notes a Drop in Baptisms, Attendance
The Southern Baptist Convention has reported declines last year in several categories traditionally used as markers of denominational vitality. Dips in baptisms, total church membership, worship attendance and participation in Sunday school and other...
Southern Baptists Affirm Belief in 'Eternal' Hell
SOUTHERN BAPTISTS delivered a group rebuttal to Michigan pastor Rob Bell for writing a book that questions traditional views of hell. Their resolution, calling hell an "eternal, conscious punishment" for those who do not accept Jesus, urges Southern...
Taking Utah to Africa
Earlier generations would have been startled to see a hit Broadway musical on the theme of Mormon missionaries in Africa. The Book of Mormon is a popular and critical success, and it has stirred debate about the acceptable limits of religious satire....
The Tree of Life
The Tree of Life Written and directed by Terrence Malick Starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain For years, rumors abounded that the brilliant and reclusive writer-director Terrence Malick was working on a screenplay version of...
Varieties of Order
THE BOOK OF ORDER is part of my Presbyterian denomination's constitution. It includes rules, regulations and procedures for any situation that could happen in the life of our ecclesiastical family. We spend a fair amount of time amending, deleting,...
Vatican Tries to Revive Eucharistic Adoration
For seven centuries, eucharistic adoration--praying before an exposed consecrated communion host--was one of the most popular forms of devotion in the Roman Catholic Church, the focus of beloved prayers and hymns and a distinctive symbol of Catholic...
Veiled Voices
ON A SUMMER evening late in the 1990s, Harvard Divinity School professor Leila Ahmed was walking with a friend--a feminist scholar visiting from a Muslim-majority country--when they came across a large gathering on the Cambridge Common. As they stood...