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. 127, No. 12, June 15

A Place to Mourn
I WAS OUT OF THE country recently when a member of my congregation died. When this happens I feel the pain of being unable to do anything helpful, and a little guilt as well. That's when I relearn a basic lesson in ecclesiology: I belong to a community...
Borderline Solutions?
President Obama said earlier this spring that the political climate wasn't right in this election year to work on immigration reform. But Arizona may have forced his hand when it passed a controversial law that authorizes police to apprehend people...
Church Workers & the Law
WHEN GOVERNOR JAN BREWER of Arizona in late April signed a bill authorizing local police to apprehend people suspected of having entered the country illegally, she brought to national attention the tensions and frustrations that many Arizonans feel...
Decline and Scandal
This has been a dreadful year for the Roman Catholic Church in Europe. Across the continent, churches are suffering from sexual scandals of a kind long familiar in the United States. European media commonly present the picture of a systematic church...
Deep Messages
WHEN I READ in the newspaper recently that the U.S. Navy had decided to lift its ban on women serving on submarines, I remembered a woman who told me a story about how she communicated with her husband when he was serving aboard a submarine in the...
Editor Decries Pentecostal Shrugs over Moral Failures
Four years ago, after Ted Haggard confessed to involvement in a gay sex and drug scandal, he lost his Colorado Springs pulpit and his job as head of the National Association of Evangelicals and underwent a period of counseling and discipline. Haggard...
Evangelical Voices for Immigration Reform Grow
In the shadow of Arizona's strict immigration law, a broad range of evangelical leaders are speaking in support of comprehensive immigration reform, with more specifics than some were able to embrace before. At the same time, the no. 3 Democrat...
Francis, the Wolf, a War and Terror
Once there came a wolf so fierce he devoured not only lambs but goats and children. The villagers armed themselves as if going to war but even their weapons could not save them from his teeth, so fear fell like a shadow upon Gubbio and sealed the...
Hope College Stands by Its Antihomosexuality Policy
HOPE COLLEGE alumni who had urged their alma mater to remove a controversial policy on homosexuality say they are deeply disappointed after the Board of Trustees denied their petitions. "This is just the beginning [of a fight] because this is discriminatory,"...
Is 'Just Peace' Possible in Iraq?
For centuries, Christianity's theory of "just war" has helped religious and political leaders determine when, if ever, war is justified and how to conduct a moral military campaign. Now, as the U.S. prepares to reduce troop levels in Iraq this summer...
Methodist Megachurch Has Deep Pockets for Darfur
It's often hard to find signs of hope in Sudan's Western Darfur province, which is considered one of the bleakest places on the planet. Civil war rages in what many call a campaign of genocide that has killed hundreds of thousands of Darfuri civilians...
Muslim in America
Backlash 9/11: Middle Eastern and Muslim Americans Respond By Anny Bakalian and Mehdi Bozorgnmehr University of California Press, 368 pp., $21.95 paperback Homeland Insecurity: The Arab American and Muslim American Experience After 9/11 ...
Our Proper Place: The Poetry of Care and Loss
LIKELY NO CULTURE has been so ignorant and contemptuous of place as is contemporary industrialized society. We may not even qualify as a culture, since that word generally connotes a form of social organization that connects people and places through...
Pay Attention: Living in the Present Tense
WHEN OUR United Methodist Annual Conference urged pastors to create covenant peer groups as a way to maintain connection, seven of my colleagues and I agreed to meet every other week for a few hours of prayer and conversation, mutual accountability...
Please Give
Please Give Written and directed by Nicole Holofcener Starring Catherine Keener, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt and Rebecca Hall Filmmaker Nicole Holofcener is intrigued by problems. Not gigantic problems, such as asteroids hurtling toward Earth...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, June 20 Galatians 3:23-29 THE CHRISTIANS in Jerusalem's early church were in crisis. Should they admit gentiles into their fellowship? Could gentiles be believers? Resolution of these questions did not come easily, but finally the Jews...
Religious Rights: Christians and Muslims in Kenya
THERE IS AN intersection in central Nairobi known as "five churches corner" (one of the buildings is actually a synagogue). But then nearly every urban intersection in Kenya features a church or two. From my flat on Daystar University's city campus...
Supreme Court Likely to Have No Protestants
If Solicitor General Elena Kagan, preparing for confirmation hearings to make her the newest member of the U.S. Supreme Court, is installed, it would change the religious makeup of the nation's highest court. But does it really matter that the bench...
What Kind of Reform? Immigration Policies on the Table
THE BORDER BETWEEN the United States and Mexico has never been firmly fixed. Many families have members living on both sides and shoppers cross back and forth. Every day thousands of people pass over it, some with documents and some without. In the...