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. 128, No. 24, November 29

Artists in Worship: The Church as Patron
OF THE 60 PEOPLE who gathered for the Good Friday service at House of Mercy Church in St. Paul, 14 had fashioned artistic symbols of Christ's body to serve as stations of the cross. Found-object artist Maria Bianchi had turned an old wicker laundry...
Atheists Organize at Religious Colleges
Late one night over pizza, University of Dayton students Branden King and Nick Haynes discovered neither of them believed in God. Surely, they thought, they couldn't be the only nonbelievers at the Roman Catholic college. Last year, King and Haynes...
Cardinal's Claim Disputed by Catholic Theologian
An unusual public dispute is brewing between Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl and a feminist theologian who essentially accused Wuerl of lying about the hierarchy's review of her work. The feud between Sister Elizabeth Johnson and the doctrine committee...
Clergy, Politicians Find out How Far Food Stamps Go
Religious leaders and members of Congress were getting a firsthand taste of what it's like to eat on $4.50 a day as part of the Food Stamp Challenge in Washington. In the challenge, participants try to live for a week on the average amount received...
Glimpse of the Holy: Advent with a Toddler
A FEW YEARS ago, on All Saints' Eve, I decided that our family's Christmas season would be simple and, insofar as was possible with a toddler in the family, spirit-centered. Still green to parenting, I defined spiritual as anything that reduced my...
Melancholia
Melancholia Written and directed by Lars yon Trier Starring Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Kiefer Sutherland The oftentimes celebrated, sometimes scorned Danish writer-director Lars von Trier has been churning out grim tales of human...
Memories of Persecution
Traveling across Europe elicits constant double-takes for someone of the baby-boom generation. Just as you are relishing the sights in a lovely city like Prague, Dresden or Budapest, you are startled to see an object or a historical marker that reminds...
New Harmonies: Music and Identity at Four Congregations
HOW MANY KINDS of music are there? Most teenagers could come up with four or five. An aficionado might list dozens. But ask a church worship committee and you may hear that there are only two types, traditional and contemporary. Those terms don't tell...
Nonbelievers Find Niche at California Lutheran
EVAN CLARK chose to attend California Lutheran University even though he wasn't sure how he might fit in as an atheist at a religious school. But when Clark, now 23, and a handful of other students sought to establish a nonbelievers' club, they were...
Occupied Holy Ground
St. Paul's Cathedral in London has found itself caught, almost literally, between God and Mammon. Located in the city's financial district, St. Paul's has become a site for the Occupy London Stock Exchange protest, which is drawing attention to corporate...
Pearl of Great Price: A Girl Claims Her Faith
ACCORDING TO family lore, my mother said that she didn't go to church because she was a Quaker. But when a Quaker meeting came to the rural town where we lived and her parents drew attention to the fact that she still didn't go to church, she finally...
Ready for Advent
ADVENT IS my favorite season. I think this goes back to the anticipation of school after endless summers, to the joy of fall reunions with college friends, and to my own children's excitement at the first day of school. I love autumn--the leaves turning...
Redeeming Darkness
AS I WRITE THIS, the end of daylight saving time is right around the corner. A week from now the sun will come up at 7 a.m. and set before 6 p.m., so that the day is more dark than light. Darkness is complete where I live, way out in the country at...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, December 4 Isaiah 40:1-11; Mark 1:1-8 I SAW DANNY this week. He was walking down Church Street in downtown New Haven, pretending he had somewhere to go. I knew better. Luckily I saw him in time and could slow my pace so that he didn't...
Seminaries Look to Update Ministers' Skill Set
For more than 200 years, Andover Newton Theological School has trained future pastors to have expertise in biblical studies, pastoral care and preaching. But the nation's oldest school of theology has decided that in today's world, that is no longer...
Sudan Churches Stay United after Political Division of Country
Despite this year's vote by South Sudan for independence, churches in Sudan and South Sudan have decided to remain united, mainly to help denominations in Muslim-majority Sudan. Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church on October 28 decided to maintain...
Tokyo Interfaith Panel Eyes New Suicide Views
Japan, which has one of the highest suicide rates among developed countries, is increasingly using the term for "voluntary death" instead of "killing oneself." Indeed, Roman Catholic Archbishop Peter Takeo Okada of Tokyo, says he has approved of...
To Tell the Truth: Nobel Winner Leymah Gbowee
IN THE SUMMER of 1990, two decades before she would win the Nobel Peace Prize, Leymah Gbowee was a frightened 18-year-old huddled in the courtyard of her church in Liberia, expecting the worst. In the midst of civil war between the government and rebel...
Two Faiths, One God? Miroslav Volf Meets Evangelical Critics
YALE THEOLOGIAN Miroslav Volf believes that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. On November 3 he took that argument to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, an evangelical hub, and found that few were persuaded by his argument. Volf drew...
White House Flubs Bible, like Everyone Else
THE WHITE HOUSE proved itself scripturally challenged recently when Press Secretary Jay Carney said: "I believe the phrase from the Bible is, 'The Lord helps those who help themselves.'" Actually, no. The phrase, often attributed to the Bible,...