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. 123, No. 24, November 28

Bridge of Despair
IN HOMER'S Odyssey the Sirens' song was an enchanting tune, impossible to resist, that lured lonely sailors toward a perilous shoreline, where they would die when their ships crashed against the jagged rocks. In the mesmerizing documentary The Bridge,...
Deepening Darkness
IT'S MY FAVORITE time of year--though I never heard the word Advent until my mother brought home an Advent calendar one year. Presbyterians didn't observe Advent in western Pennsylvania in those days. I learned about it from the brightly decorated...
Episcopalians in Bay State to Seek Church Rites for Gay Weddings
Massachusetts Episcopalians will seek authorization from their denomination to use the church's official marriage rites in same-sex marriage ceremonies. Delegates in the diocese favored that step, 324 to 43, at a late October convention in Boston....
Give Hudna a Chance: Will the U.S. and Israel Heed or Ignore the Hamas Proposal for a Truce with Fatah?
ELECTION SEASON 2006 is over, and we can say goodbye to the negative media ads and stories. Opposing sides fought one another with reckless abandon. Yet they never once thought of turning their struggle into a civil war. So why is the Bush administration...
Hell House
HALLOWEEN HAS COME and gone in Habersham County. I cannot remember when I have seen so many houses draped with spider webs and strings of pumpkin lights. A faux graveyard appeared in one front yard, with clusters of leaning tombstones that glowed like...
Homeward Bound
IN DINKA BOR tradition, long ebony shafts serve as walking sticks for the elderly, as scepters for newly married women and as weapons for initiates into manhood. Wooden spears are vital to Dinka cattle herders moving through alien territory. Hardwood...
In Australia, Debates Arise on Which Party Reflects Church Values
Australian opposition lawmaker Kevin Rudd has triggered a national debate by criticizing the growing influence of conservative Christian groups in Australian politics. But the nation's health minister argued that the government does not cater to a...
Killing Zone
CHRISTIANS FROM all traditions and from across the political spectrum have been pressing President Bush to try to get more United Nations peacekeeping troops on the ground in Darfur to stop the unrelenting violence there. The National Council of Churches...
Living by the Word: Change Agent
Sunday, December 10 Luke 3:1-6; Philippians 1:3-11 PAUL'S LETTER to the Philippians puts me in mind of the annual ritual of Christmas letters and how much I enjoy receiving them, though I have to admit that sometimes the correspondence can veer...
Living by the Word: Light the Candles
Sunday, December 3 Jeremiah 33:14-16; Luke 21:25-36 ONE THANKSGIVING my husband and I went to Alabama to visit family. When the time came for us to drive back home, I said, "It's pitch-black dark. I wish we were not leaving so late." When my husband...
My 'Jesus Camp'
FROM SECOND to 12th grade I spent at least one week each summer at a Baptist camp in rural North Carolina. One summer I spent all three months working as a dishwasher and junior counselor. Camp was where I learned to swim when I was eight and where...
Nuclear Bomb Race Not a Faith Showdown, Says Atomic Official
The head of the International Atomic Energy Association contends that although the nuclear weapons landscape is increasingly uncertain, it is not shaping up into a showdown along religious lines. "I hear people talk about a Muslim bomb, a Jewish...
Off the Pedestal
TED HAGGARD built up a 14,000-member Pentecostal church on the basis of his charismatic gifts and organizational skills. As one of the country's most prominent pastors and as president of the National Association of Evangelicals, Haggard had access...
Our Favorite War
I OCCASIONALLY hear parents complain that their elementary school children have ended up studying dinosaurs for several years in a row. A few grades go by and suddenly it seems like the only specialized knowledge their child has picked up is how to...
Performing the Faith: An Interview with George Lindbeck
GEORGE LINDBECK is one of the most influential Protestant theologians of recent decades. He taught at Yale from from 1955 until his retirement in 1993. He was a Lutheran "delegated observer" at the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), and since that...
Scorecard: Who Won and Who Lost on Election Day
Efforts by Democratic candidates to display their faith and connect with religious voters helped produce huge electoral wins in Pennsylvania and Ohio, according to analysts and independent pollsters. While the national voting patterns of religious...
Stirred Up
WE HAVE relegated to the "remember when" columns all resistance to the updating of Thanksgiving Day to lengthen time for Christmas shopping. This year it was a September Saturday when the first school boy ("Earn $50 this easy way!") came to our door...
Supersized: Analyzing the Trend toward Larger Churches
MEGACHURCHES ARE increasingly difficult to ignore. By the latest count there are approximately 1,200 Protestant churches in the United States that have a weekly attendance of at least 2,000. The rise of megachurches raises the question: Why now? Why...
Two-Year 'Recovery' for Charismatic Pastor
IN THE AFTERMATH of Ted Haggard's sexual immorality scandal, analysts may wonder how much the misdeeds harmed the evangelical-White House alliance or the National Association of Evangelicals, which the megachurch pastor led as president for three years....
Woman Bishop Takes the Episcopal Helm
Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori knocked three times on the door of Washington's National Cathedral early this month, and the Episcopal Church welcomed her as its new presiding bishop--the first woman to lead a national church in the history of Anglicanism....