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. 24, December 2

Beyond the God Gap: Is Politics a Zero-Sum Game, or Is It Possible to Talk about the Common Good:
The election of Barack Obama offers hope that religion will play a more constructive role in the public arena rather than the largely divisive role it has played in recent years. One sign of hope is that Obama was able to narrow the Democrats' so-called...
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Cell Phone Sacrament
I DID NOT OWN one for ages. The first reason was personal: driving the car was a kind of Sabbath for me, with nothing to do but listen to music and watch the scenery. Why muck that up with a ringing telephone? The second reason was ecological: if I...
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Energized
WHATEVER ELSE you might think about the outcome of the election, Barack Obama energized young adults in a way that was reminiscent of John F. Kennedy's campaign. As I watched the election returns and the wonderfully diverse crowd that gathered in...
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Five Churches, One Building?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] IN THE STORY of David and Goliath, Saul famously insisted that David be outfitted in his own kingly armor. While this was a generous gesture, David found that he could hardly move. Rejecting the clunky armor, David retrieved...
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High Court Weighs Limits of Broadcast Indecency
As the rest of the country focused on the presidential election November 4, the Supreme Court danced around the use of dirty words, opting for f-word and s-word as euphemisms for expletives in a chamber that twice erupted in laughter. The justices...
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In the None Zone: Religion in the Pacific Northwest
EARLIER THIS YEAR a study conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life concluded that Americans are embracing a "nondogmatic approach to faith." Pew's "Religious Landscape Survey" noted that religious believers increasingly have an accepting...
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Justice Department OKs Christian-Only Hiring by World Vision
The U.S. Justice Department recently disclosed a 2007 ruling by its Office of Legal Counsel that permitted the relief agency World Vision to keep a $1.5 million grant despite its policy of hiring only Christians. World Vision successfully sought...
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Mainline Churches Pledge Support for Obama
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Mainline churches, mostly out of the D.C. loop during the eight years of the Bush administration, were quick to embrace the winner of the long race to the White House. "Only rarely in our history has a president-elect faced...
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Notes from the Global Church
Just when it seemed that the interminable presidential campaign had plumbed every depth of the absurd, witchcraft entered the picture. To the hilarity of Sarah Palin's liberal critics, a video surfaced in which Kenyan Pentecostal bishop Thomas Muthee...
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Rachel Getting Married
Rachel Getting Married. Directed by Jonathan Demme. Starring Anne Hathaway, Rosemarie DeWitt, Tunde Adebimpe and Debra Winger. Screenwriters love structure: it gives them something to focus on as they plow ahead in their storytelling or to...
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Recovery Cafe
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] ORGANIZATIONS committed to helping the addicted and the homeless can be found in every city. Few of them resemble the Recovery Cafe. As founder Killian Noe told me, "It looks like a Starbucks." Sure enough, the site is...
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Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, December 7 Mark 1:1-8 THE BEGINNING OF THE good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God." Like a starter's pistol, this brief first verse rings out and Mark's narrative is off and running. We may take the chain of phrases in this verbless...
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Religion Professors Repairing Their Rift over Annual Meetings
Separate fall meetings for the nation's two largest organizations of religion professors--a showcase of religious studies research and expertise--may last only three years if negotiations under way bear fruit. The American Academy of Religion and...
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Tackling the Big Questions: Novelist Mary Doria Russell
MARY DORIA RUSSELL'S novels include intricately drawn characters who explore life's deepest and most troubling questions. She is perhaps best known for her first novel, The Sparrow (1996), and its sequel, Children of God (1998), about human contact...
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The Faith Factor: Religion in the Voting Booth
THE ROLE OF religion in the presidential campaign was summed up by Associated Press religion writer Eric Gorski in an article headlined "Religion Used to Divide, Mock in '08." Lamenting the low level of discussion of religion, Gorski ran through a...
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U.S. Orthodox Churches Have More Converts Than Expected, Study Says
A new survey of Orthodox Christians in America has found a larger-than-expected number of converts, mostly from Roman Catholic and evangelical Protestant backgrounds. The report, released by the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute in Berkeley,...
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Voters Deal Setbacks to Gay Marriage
In a narrow outcome, California voters overturned same-sex marriage rights in the nation's most populous state, as similar bans on gay marriage were approved in Arizona and Florida. The ballot verdicts in three large and growing states will likely...
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