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. 125, No. 19, September 23

American Soundings
The summer's big popcorn bash of a movie was The Dark Knight, a thrill fide as unrelenting as a roller coaster without brakes. But the film is more than that. First of all, it showed some excellent filmcraft. Consider the opening scene, in which...
A Place That Makes Sense: On Not Living Too Large
NOT FAR FROM SIENA, in the Tuscan hill town of Montalcino, is the Abbey of Sant'Antimo. It was first built in--well, no one's certain. It was there by the ninth century. What you see now is a modern reconstruction, modern meaning 12th century. In other...
Biden Brings Catholic Issues into Play
While supporters say Senator Joe Biden provides a crucial Democratic Party link with Catholic voters, others say Barack Obama's choice for his running mate will stir a debate on Biden's position on abortion and Catholic teaching. Biden regularly...
Brideshead Revisited
Brideshead Revisited. Directed by Julian Jarrold. Starring Ben Whishaw, Matthew Goode, Hayley Atwell and Emma Thompson. Evelyn Waugh's marvelous novel Brideshead Revisited begins as a coming-of-age story. At Oxford in the 1920s Charles Ryder...
Brother Cactus: Walkers in a Wild Place
FOR THE LAST couple of years our church community has been burrowing a path through the dense brush of our land. We've not been in a hurry; we don't even know for certain where the path is going. We've tried to be as gentle as possible, avoiding more...
Campaigning Religiously: Political Strategist Burns Strider
A VETERAN of Democratic Party politics and a former aide to representatives Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and James Clyburn (D., S.C.), Burns Strider was senior adviser and director of faith-based outreach for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign....
Candidates' Health Plans Reflect Differing Visions
Campaign prescriptions to reform the U.S. health-care system, as outlined by presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama, reflect their contrasting views on the proper role of government. Individual Christians' views on which plan more...
Catholic Group Says Women Are 'Invisible' in Lectionary Texts
An appeal to Pope Benedict XVI to make biblical women more visible in Catholic liturgical readings has been sent to Vatican City by an American-based sister who heads an international renewal group that has sent thousands of similar pleas to bishops....
College Presidents Ask Public to Rethink Drinking Age
ALARMED AT undergraduate binge drinking and other illegal activities they say are related to a nationwide ban on under-21 alcoholic beverage consumption, more than 100 college presidents have signed a petition pleading for a dispassionate public debate...
Explain Yourself: Making Belief Intelligible
KARL BARTH famously attacked apologetics--the attempt to offer a persuasive account of Christian belief on mutually agreed-upon grounds of reason--as a misguided task, part of the failure of theological liberalism. When you focus on making sense to...
Illuminations
PAULINE BAYNES died on August 1 at the age of 85--one more light gone out from the golden age of children's book illustration, an age that gave us Arthur Rackham's fairies, Edmund Dulac's Cinderella, Beatrix Potter's spirited rabbits and E. H. Shepard's...
Immigrant Wife Abuse Often a Hidden Shame
The first time her screams brought police to the house in Lakewood, Ohio, the woman lied to authorities. She told the officers that her husband did not strike her. She was thinking of her Muslim immigrant community and the role she was expected...
Living by the Word: Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, September 28 Philippians 2:1-13; Matthew 21:23-32 LIKE LONG-DISTANCE SWIMMERS, those of us who count our Sundays by the rhythm of the lectionary need to occasionally pop our heads out of the water and get our bearings. We know the month,...
Pelosi and Bishops Spar over Church's Teaching on Abortion
A spokesperson for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has struck back against criticism from prominent Catholic prelates who accused the California representative of misrepresenting church teachings about abortion. "While Catholic teaching is clear that...
Roots and Vegetables
AS BILL MCKIBBEN explains (see p. 24), people love the Tuscany region of Italy because of its comprehensibility. From a hilltop you can see vineyards and olive groves in their entirety, and you can trace the course of rivers. And you can see where...
Saddleback Questions
When introducing the presidential forum at Saddleback Church last month, Rick Warren noted that the separation of church and state does not mean the separation of faith and politics. He was fight about that. Warren or any other pastor is entitled--as...
State Appeals Court: Not All Private Conversations with Pastors Privileged
A conversation with a religious leader is not protected from being revealed in court unless it occurred in private and the leader was acting as a spiritual adviser, a New Jersey appeals court has ruled. A unanimous three-judge panel of the New Jersey...
The Purpose-Driven iPod: Chance Is Part of the Plan
BY CHANCE, while in Scotland I picked up a copy of David Bartholomew's book God, Chance and Purpose: Can God Have It Both Ways? It offers a wonderful look at the role of chance in science for people interested in science and theology. Bartholomew,...