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. 129, No. 9, May 2

A God in the House: Poets Talk about Faith
A God in the House: Poets Talk About Faith Edited by Ilya Kaminsky and Katherine Towler Tupelo Press, 286 pp., $19.95 paperback [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A striking and apt image enhances the cover of this new collection of inter- views with...
American Dervish: A Novel
American Dervish: A Novel By Ayad Akhtar Little, Brown, 368 pp., $24.99 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] This debut novel features ten-year-old Hayat Shah, a first-generation Pakistani American, who is attempting to find his identity as a Muslim....
Before Politics, Romney Was a Mormon Bishop
The Mitt Romney who is on the campaign trail is often depicted as wealthy, wooden and out of touch with the working class. To some, he seems gaffe-prone, detached, even distant. But that's not the man that Boston Mormons knew in the late 1980s and...
Bestsellers
InterVarsity Press 1. Sanctuary of the Soul: Journey into Meditative Prayer by Richard J. Foster 2. Paul Through Mediterranean Eyes: Cultural Studies in 1 Corinthians by Kenneth E. Bailey 3. God Behaving Badly: Is the God of the Old Testament...
Dalai Lama Wins Templeton for Science-Religion Work
The Dalai Lama is best known for his commitment to Tibetan autonomy from China and his message of spirituality, nonviolence and peace that has made him a best-selling author and a speaker who can pack entire arenas. But somewhat under the radar screen,...
Essential Books on Marriage
A Daring Promise: A Spirituality of Christian Marriage, by Richard R. Gaillardetz (Liguori). If marriage is the place where the majority of us "work out our salvation" before God, then a book on its spirituality is essential. Drawing on his experience...
Essential Books on Science & Religion
The Big Questions in Science and Religion, by Keith Ward (Templeton Foundation Press). Of the many excellent overviews of current issues in the interaction of science and religion, this one is readable and balanced, a good start for a broad audience....
Essential Books on the Psalms
They Cried to the Lord: The Form and Theology of Biblical Prayer, by Patrick D. Miller (Fortress). Though billed as a study of biblical prayer, this is the most helpful and comprehensive study of the Psalms we have that moves from critical data to...
Jewish Voters Back Obama, Say Israel Not Top Issue
Though many Democrats worry that President Obama could lose Jewish support because of his approach to the Middle East, a poll indicates that Israel is not the top political issue of American Jews, with only 4 percent calling it the most important factor...
Land Says Obama Used Martin Case for Politics
A top Southern Baptist official has accused President Obama and black civil rights activists of using the Trayvon Martin shooting to foment racial strife and boost the president's reelection chances. "Rather than holding rallies on these issues,...
Living into Focus: Choosing What Hatters in an Age of Distractions
Living into Focus: Choosing What Hatters in an Age of Distractions By Arthur Boers Brazos, 256 pp., $17.99 paperback [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] My fifth-grade son used to walk around the house pretending to be texting. Rehearsing what has become...
Our First Family
A prevalent theme in popular culture fictions is the ultimacy of the family. In many television shows and movies, the goal of saving one's family justifies extreme and even criminal behavior. Think of Walter White, the chemist turned meth cooker in...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, May 6 Acts 8:26-40 OUR OLDEST SON was baptized when he was six. For two years before that he'd been asking questions about who God was and praying prayers of his own making. So his mother and I set him upon the road of discipleship. He...
Romney Camp Looks to Rally Christian Conservatives
Even before Rick Santorum announced April 10 that he was dropping his presidential bid, Mark DeMoss was fielding calls from religious conservatives who sensed that the end was nigh and were eager to set up meetings with Romney. DeMoss, an evangelical...
Seeding Time
SEEDS ARE coming in the mail each day--seemingly blown in on the strong spring winds. Sometimes a large box arrives, usually from Fedco or Johnny's Selected Seeds, with scores of seed packets for my brother's vegetable farm. Sometimes a manilla envelope...
Small Acts of Courage
IN THE SPRING of 1939, 47-year-old Paul Gruninger was a middle-level police official in St. Gallen, a picturesque Swiss town near the Austrian border. The son of middle-class parents who ran a local cigar shop and a mediocre student who enjoyed the...
St. Ernest?
I'VE BEEN READING a lot about Ernest Hemingway lately, and my interest extends to the other expatriate writers living in Paris the 1920s, such as Gertrude Stein and E Scott Fitzgerald. I've long believed that Hemingway's late novel The Old Man and...
Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis
Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis By Lauren F. Winner HarperOne, 272 pp., $24.99 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Lauren Winner first drew wide read literary attention in with the spritely spiritual memoir Girl Meets God: A Memoir, which told the...
The Columbia Guide to Religion in American History
The Columbia Guide to Religion in American History Edited by Paul Harvey and Edward J. Blum Columbia University Press, 480 pp., $75.00 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] There are probably few reference books that vacationers will drag down to the...
The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games Directed by Gary Ross Starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson The Hunger Games, Gary Ross's film version of the first novel in Suzanne Collins's young adult sci-fi trilogy, is a predictable hit after the biggest opening...
The Jewish Annotated New Testament
The Jewish Annotated New Testament Edited by Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler Oxford University Press, 700 pp., $35.00 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] One of the most interesting shifts in Christian theology after the Shoah was in how the adjective...
The Lure of Books
Jonathan Franzen, who won the 2001 National Book Award for his novel The Corrections, does not like e-books because they seem impermanent. "A screen always feels like we could delete that, change that, move it around. So for a literature-crazed person...
The Story of Beautiful Girl
The Story of Beautiful Girl By Rachel Simon Grand Central Publishing, 368 pp., $12.00 paperback [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] These days it's a rare novel that addresses disturbing social issues without flinching and treats religious faith as...
This One's for Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark
This One's for Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark by various artists [Music Road] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] As a songwriter, Guy Clark contains multitudes and paradoxes that demand close attention. He's a hard drinker and a deep thinker; he sketches...
Under Pressure, College Cancels Speech by Ted Kennedy's Widow
A small Catholic college in Massachusetts has been pressured by the local bishop into canceling an invitation to Senator Ted Kennedy's widow to deliver the school's commencement address because of her support of abortion rights and gay marriage. ...
Understanding Wisdom Literature: Conflict and Dissonance in the Hebrew Text
Understanding Wisdom Literature: Conflict and Dissonance in the Hebrew Text By David Penchansky Eerdmans, 141 pp., $20.00 paperback [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] People often assume--wrongly-that the Bible presents a single view of God and the...
War Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences
War Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences By Mary L. Dudziak Oxford University Press, 232 pp., $24.95 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] One of the notable features of the Obama administration's foreign policy has been its disavowal of the locution,...