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. 124, No. 26, December 25

A Second Glance
FOR SEVERAL MONTHS during my time as a seminary student I worked the night shift at a local mirror factory. My title was prism inspector, and for every hour of work I was expected to check about a hundred car rearview mirrors for possible defects....
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Buzz for a Baptist
MOST OF THE EXCITEMENT lately in the Republican race for president has been generated by Baptist minister Mike Huckabee. Huckabee's surge in the polls seems to stem largely from the fact that he exudes one quality the other Republican candidates seem...
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Chaotic Imagination
GREAT STORIES touch on many themes and give us a long list of things that they could be said to be "about." As I tell my students, if you think Moby-Dick is just about whale- hunting, you weren't paying attention. Atonement, based on the best-selling...
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Christmastide
THOUGH THE liturgical calendar reminds us that it is Christmastide, a lovely 12-day season extending to Epiphany in January, you cannot live in this culture without experiencing how the air is let out of the holiday balloon on December 26. The Magi...
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Judas Is a 'Demon' in New Read of Gospel
When the first translation of the long-lost Gospel of Judas was published last year amid considerable publicity, a few scholars trumpeted its apparent depiction of Judas Iscariot as a positive figure who was rewarded in the heavens for betraying Jesus....
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Large Majority of AAR Scholars Prefer Meeting with SBL
In the first internal survey of members of the American Academy of Religion, a poll has shown that between 70 and 75 percent, depending on the question, think it is important to hold its annual meeting concurrently with that of the Society of Biblical...
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Living by the Word: Halo Effect
Sunday, January 6 Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12 WE ARE USED to the imagery of God communicating by God's word, and so we think of our responses to God as aural: we listen. And obedience (from obaudiens)...
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Living by the Word: Marked for a Purpose
Sunday, January 13 Isaiah 42:1-9; Acts 10:34-43; Matthew 3:13-17 SEVERAL YEARS AGO I was invited to preach on this gospel passage from Matthew at the National Cathedral on the Sunday designated to honor the state of Hawaii. I struggled with the...
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Peace Brokers
THE LOCAL PUBLIC library asked me to introduce and discuss the 1962 movie Lawrence of Arabia. The screening happened to coincide with the day of the multinational Annapolis Conference on the Mideast, so I could not resist showing a segment from the...
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Romney Speech on Faith May Assure Some, Trouble Others
Mitt Romney says that he's running for president as an American, not as a Mormon, and conceded that if his religious beliefs cost him the Oval Office, then "so be it." Was it enough to tamp down evangelicals' skepticism about his faith? That may...
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Sound Alternatives
PETER Himmelman, formerly the bushy-haired hero of the New Wave band Sussman Lawrence, has transitioned into a middle-aged rocker, and his music reveals only the best results. His songs have a muscular, energetic groove that begs comparisons with Bob...
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Stem Cell Advance May Not End Debate
Although many religious thinkers cheered the news last month of a breakthrough in stein cell research, the moral controversy may not end anytime soon. The announcement--made by independent teams of scientists working in Japan and Wisconsin--holds...
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Surfeit of Meaning
DURANDUS? Who's that? I had never heard of him until someone lowered The Rationale Divinorum Officiorum onto my lap during a recent trip to Louisville. Seldom will one find a more engrossing book on sacred symbolism than this effort by Guilielmus Durandus...
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The Religious Right in Flux
HISTORY BOOKS ARE full of seminal events: 1517, when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to a church door and launched the Protestant Reformation; or 1973, when the Supreme Court legalized abortion. Those boldface dates were preceded by less prominent...
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Voices of 2002
"Earth Mother is fighting back--not only from the four winds but also from underneath. Scientists call it global warming. We call it Earth Mother getting angry." --Talking Hawk, a Native American from the Mohawk Tribe, preparing for a sacred ceremony...
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Walking Lessons: The Practice of Pilgrimage
American Pilgrimage: Eleven Sacred Journeys and Spiritual Destinations. By Mark Ogilbee and Jana Riess. Paraclete, 176 pp., $16.95 paperback. Sacred Travels: Recovering the Ancient Practice of Pilgrimage. By Christian George. InterVarsity...
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What's for Dinner?
MY FAMILY TRIES to eat healthy, organic, fairly traded, locally and sustainably grown food. This is the case even for the family bunny, whose diet of Timothy hay and salads is fairly easy to provide. But eating this way is not easy. Illinois imports...
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With Heart and Voice: It's Not about the Song
NEVER MIND all the times I'd heard the hymn sung by a congregation, or by a children's choir, or as a solo during communion--this time it was as if I was hearing "They'll Know We Are Christians" for the first time. The singer stood absolutely still,...
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