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. 122, No. 23, November 15

Americans Idolize Model Family but See Limits, Study Shows
A new survey shows that even as Americans have become more accepting of nontraditional family structures, their view of the ideal family has remained the same--a heterosexual couple, married for life, with children. The survey, commissioned by the...
Beyond Darwin: The Human Difference
THE ATTEMPT to force classical Darwinian thinking into the role of an explanatory principle of almost universal scope has proved singularly unconvincing. It seeks to inflate an assembly of half-truths into a theory of everything. Sober evaluation of...
Canadian Churches Accept Ruling on Indian Sex-Abuse Claims
Canada's two largest Protestant denominations say they are satisfied with a decision by the country's Supreme Court that stipulates how religious groups and the federal government should divide the cost of compensating tens of thousands of native Canadian...
Churches Remember Rosa Parks's Courage
Rosa Louise Parks, a woman of faith whose soft-spoken refusal to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, launched the civil rights movement, was hailed widely last month at her death. "Surely Mrs. Rosa Parks was sent to us by God, because...
Discard Pile
FORTY-SOME YEARS ago, chances were you knew it if you were being denied the right to vote. Perhaps, like Mississippi civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer, you climbed those courthouse steps, taking your life and livelihood in your hands, then failed...
Divestment
FOR MOST MEDIA in Israel, American Protestants are simply the people who book Bible tours of the region. In June 2004 this indifference changed. That's when the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) adopted a resolution recommending that "a longstanding Presbyterian...
Indecent Exposure
WHENEVER Hollywood has tackled the subject of Joseph McCarthy and the work of the House Un-American Activities Committee, the results have tended to be fatuous if not downright embarrassing. George Clooney breaks through the barrier in Good Night,...
In Distress
SOON THE FASHIONISTAS will fashion a new craze to replace the craze for distressed jeans. I imagine pants modeled after tuxedo trousers: black with a black satin stripe down the sides and with neat undistressed pockets, knees, hems and rears. Distressed...
Kashmir Winter
THIS YEAR'S natural disasters--a tsunami in South Asia, a series of brutal hurricanes in the Gulf and a massive earthquake in Kashmir--are enough to make Left Behind enthusiasts see portents of the end times. The earthquake in Kashmir is perhaps the...
Living by the Word: Apocalypse Now
Sunday, November 27 Isaiah 64:1-9; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37 THE MOST prophetic thing that Thomas Merton ever did was to say to a drugstore clerk who asked him which brand of toothpaste he preferred, "I don't care."...
Living by the Word: Imagining Christ
Sunday, November 20 Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24; Psalm 95:1-7a; Ephesians 1:15-23; Matthew 25:31-46 AS WE APPROACH the season of Advent, we find Ezekiel being outrageous in true prophetic style. If we pride ourselves on being spiritual seekers, Ezekiel...
Methodist Court Says Pastors May Bar Gays from Membership
An openly gay United Methodist minister lost her bid to return to the pulpit when the denomination's highest court upheld her conviction on charges of being a "self-avowed practicing" lesbian. But a separate decision could have even wider implications....
Miers's Beliefs, Identity Were in Dispute before Nomination Was Dropped
As U.S. senators and other political leaders pressured the White House for more written evidence of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers's ideas and beliefs, the Texan attorney who recently served as President Bush's private counsel withdrew her...
Open-Door Policy
MICHAEL CROSBIE'S article on church design in this issue takes readers on quick visits to several churches. It reminded me of my own love of church buildings. I can recall every physical detail of my early experience of church: the impressive wood...
Precarious Vision
ISRAEL'S BLOODLESS withdrawal from the Gaza Strip is the latest in a series of events which make a settlement between Israelis and Palestinians more possible than has been the case for a long time. The concept of a two-state solution has become widely...
Renewing Spaces: Designing Distinctive Churches
HOUSES OF WORSHIP have certain physical characteristics that appeal to the senses. Building materials are often precious and placed with care. They include carvings of symbolic and allegorical meaning. Through their design and decoration, churches...
Storms Wreck Churches, Clergy Salaries
MORE THAN 900 houses of worship on the Gulf Coast have been destroyed, seriously damaged or forced to suspend services by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, leaving many clergy without salaries. Interviews with more than a dozen faith leaders by Religion...
Synod Affirms Priestly Celibacy, Other Rules
As more than 250 bishops flied into St. Peter's Square for the late October mass that concluded the first synod of Pope Benedict XVI's reign, there were few signs of the lively debate that shook up the assembly's launch. After weeks of soul-searching...
What Kind of Christian?
AS OUR TRAIN ambled through the outskirts of London, I thought I would kill some time by quizzing my children on a few items I'd tried to instill in their brains as a little bonus above and beyond their school curricula. I elicited only mild groans...