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. 126, No. 4, February 24

Binge Reader
"HOW DO YOU develop such rich metaphors for your speaking and writing?" I asked my colleague, a stylist whose images stick with listeners and readers. "I read as widely and talk to as many diverse people as I can," my friend replied. I was disappointed...
Detention Dilemma: What Should the U.S. Do with Captured Terrorism Suspects?
President Obama took a crucial step toward reestablishing the nation's moral bearings with his executive order outlawing torture (see news story on p. 13). His order calling for the closing of the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, where scores of terrorist...
Education at Mars Hill
IF YOU COULD start a seminary from scratch, how would you do it? You'd probably try to avoid the straitjacketed theological curriculum of the 19th-century German university, which scrupulously separated the study of the Bible, theology, church history...
F Is for Friendship
FIFTY YEARS AGO, when a generation of seminarians was cutting its theological fangs, friendship was a disdained term. Anders Nygren's classic Agape and Eros ruled in classrooms and pulpits, and Nygren had little use for philia--the Greek word for the...
Historic Inaugural Events Feature Religious Mixture
The inauguration of Barack Obama as president of the United States was solemnized over four days in January in Washington with prayers by a diverse group of clergy and admonitions from the new White House resident. The mixture of clergy reflected Obama's...
Jewish Groups Dismayed over Papal Decision on 'Holocaust Denier'
American and British Jewish groups say they are shocked by a decision of Pope Benedict XVI to overturn the excommunication of a British bishop who has said the number of Jews killed during the Holocaust has been exaggerated. The move is "a serious...
McCurry Says President's Faith Outreach Needed Now as Much as Ever
Religious Democrats were "hibernating" until the 2008 election season, when the party's candidates--including Barack Obama--made religion central to their campaigns, according to former White House press secretary Mike McCurry. And now President...
Polygamy Case May Test Limits of Canadian Same-Sex Marriage Law
A landmark court case will test whether Canada's decision to legalize same-sex marriage also justifies the practice of polygamy. The defense lawyer for a British Columbia man who openly admits to having multiple wives will argue that Canada's decision...
Ray Bakke and a School without Walls
AS A PASTOR IN CHICAGO and a teacher at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary and McCormick Theological Seminary, Ray Bakke encouraged pastors to engage the city rather than flee from it. He cofounded the Chicago-based Seminary Consortium for Urban...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, March 1 Genesis 9:8-17 ON THE ISLAND of Hawaii, you can hike across an active volcano. It doesn't look a bit like the models I made in grade school, where a triangular papier-mache mountain spouted dry ice smoke and red yarn lava from...
Religious Leaders Praise Obama Orders to Ban Torture, Close Guantanamo
A broad range of religious leaders and human rights advocates have applauded President Obama's executive order that essentially ends torture of detainees held by the U.S. government. On his second full day in office, January 22, the president signed...
Starting Pastors off on the Right Foot
Many pastors remember struggling in their first ministerial position--isolated geographically or professionally, lacking ready access to mentors and peers. The first person to greet young Daniel Aleshire after he led his first worship service "told...
The Glory of the Mundane
JOHN UPDIKE, who died January 27 at age 76, was one of the literary giants of our time. As I mentioned in my column in the February 10 issue (written before Updike's death), I have read as much as I could of his work--ever since I saw him interviewed...
The Philippine Diaspora
Travel anywhere in the wealthy world--to North America, Europe or the Middle East--and you will soon find people from the Philippines. You may not actually see them, because many work in menial or invisible jobs, often in hotels and restaurants--positions...
The Reader
The Reader. Directed by Stephen Daldry. Starring Kate Winslet, David Kross, Ralph Fiennes and Lena Olin. Bernhard Schlink's 1995 novel The Reader is a tricky book to adapt to film. The plot--about how Michael Berg, a teenager in Germany in...