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. 18, September 6

A Better Life
A Better Life Directed by Chris Weitz Starring Demian Bichir and Jose Julian When the Italian director Vittorio De Sica helped craft the postwar cinematic movement known as neorealism, he was intent on finding lead actors who lacked any acting...
Read preview Overview
A Friend in Jesus? Faith Is Not a Personal Relationship
DURING A YEARLONG journey through North America, my wife and I attended many different churches. One of them was a Methodist church in rural Louisiana. Early in the worship service the pastor insisted--not once but several times--that "the meaning...
Read preview Overview
Book Report
ALMOST BUT NOT QUITE as wonderful as a week at the ocean with 11 grandchildren is the day they all depart, leaving us suddenly alone. Then serious reading begins. In his bestselling book In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family...
Read preview Overview
Churches Challenged on Use of Public Schools
Every Sunday morning, P.S. 144 elementary school in Queens, like dozens of schools in New York City and thousands more nationwide, is transformed into a house of worship for a few hours, hosting the Forest Hills Community Church with its prefab pulpit...
Read preview Overview
Faith Forming Faith: Learning from New Christians
KATHRYN WAS IN HER forties when she first came to our congregation. She said she was looking for "something spiritual." As it happened, we had something specific to offer her: a place in our catechumenate. For 15 years, the congregation had offered...
Read preview Overview
Food Crisis Calls for Long-Term Response
As relief organizations minister to thousands suffering from drought and famine in the Horn of Africa, some religious leaders say they are exploring short- and long-term strategies for ending the reliance on food aid. The worst drought in 60 years...
Read preview Overview
Living by the Word: Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, September 11 Exodus 14:19-31 THIS YEAR the lectionary texts will be heard on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. It will be hard for many preachers and congregants to hear this pivotal scripture from Exodus above the rat-tat-tat rhetoric of partisanship...
Read preview Overview
Mixed Motives: Why People Join a Church
DURING THE last of three classes for new members at the congregation I serve, we ask people to introduce themselves by briefly recounting their journey in the faith and how it led them to the third floor of the Old Parish House of the Brick Church....
Read preview Overview
Other Doors
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Other Doors by Klang (Allos Documents) Aerial Age by Vox Arcana (Allos Documents) In a formidable jazz town like Chicago, musicians who populate the club scene one night grace the world's...
Read preview Overview
Planning for Grace
John Henry Newman, the recently beatified English cardinal, said that the church is shaped by the dynamic interaction of three elements: worship, theological reflection and institutional governance. As he saw it, these three activities work in creative...
Read preview Overview
Priest Won't Stop Push for Women's Ordination
The Roman Catholic priest who faces expulsion from the priesthood and his religious order for advocating for women priests is refusing to recant and has hired a church lawyer. "What they're asking me to do is lie," Roy Bourgeois said in an interview...
Read preview Overview
Prisons Seek Chaplains after State Budget Cuts
In the weeks since North Carolina's legislature laid off most of its prison chaplains, Betty Brown, director of prison chaplaincy services, has been crisscrossing the state searching for volunteers who can attend to the religious needs of Native American,...
Read preview Overview
Religious Restraints Rose for 2 Billion, Study Says
A third of the world--about 2.2 billion people--live in nations where restrictions on religion have substantially increased, according to a new report. The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life study, released August 9, also shows that intolerant...
Read preview Overview
Teatime with My Demons: Why I Welcome Them
MY FRIEND Brother Bede likes to tell a story about the Buddhist saint Milarepa. When demons came to his cave to torment him, Milarepa said to them, "How kind of you to come. You must come again tomorrow. And from time to time we must converse." And...
Read preview Overview
Upstate New York Parish Raising Funds for Statue of Gay '9/11 Saint'
Like most Americans, Brother Edmund Dwyer was stunned by early coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C. As he struggled to grasp the scope of the carnage, scrolling type along the bottom of his television screen...
Read preview Overview
Which Bible, Whose Canon?
When television documentaries explore Christianity, they have little difficulty finding diverse manifestations of faith and practice from around the world. A global survey also reveals a surprising, even startling, diversity when it comes to the content...
Read preview Overview
Why Sermons Bore Us
LIKE OTHER teachers of preaching, I listen to a lot of sermons, sometimes a dozen in a single day. I have noticed that this fact rarely evokes covetous sighs from my faculty colleagues, many of whom imagine a daily regimen of multiple homilies as akin...
Read preview Overview
Yesterday's Language: The New Words of the Catholic Mass
BECAUSE I AFFIRM the unity of the body of Christ, I consider that the health of one arm affects the entire body. Thus I am either strengthened or weakened by the worship style of other Christians. For decades I've worked as a lay Lutheran toward making...
Read preview Overview