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. 129, No. 14, July 11

Acquainted with Grief: The Church's Way with Death
IN A FAMOUS SCENE in the film The Sixth Sense, a haunted little boy tells his psychologist that he sees dead people. The doctor asks, "How often do you see them?" The child replies, "All the time. They're everywhere." As a pastor, I know how he...
Catholic Theologians Stand Up to the Vatican
Over the past 50 years, the practice of thinking theologically in the Roman Catholic Church has slowly shifted from a practical craft to train the next generation of clerics to a wider field of study that employs perspectives from across the scholarly...
Church as Problem and Solution
Christianity after Religion: The End o Church and the Birth of a New Spirit ual Awakening By Diana Butler Bass HarperOne, 304 pp., $25.99 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In less than a decade Diana Butler Bass has become one of American Christianity's...
Courage to Compromise
ON A STEAMY summer afternoon in the 1970s, Richard Lugar came to Hanover College in southern Indiana to speak at a synod meeting about politics as a sacred calling and about how his faith and church membership were an important part of his vocation....
Culture Changers: David Hollinger on What the Mainline Achieved
IN HIS PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS to the 2011 meeting of the Organization of American Historians, David Hollinger focused on the contributions and successes of ecumenical Protestants in their mid-20th-century encounter with diversity. Hollinger, professor...
Ex-Nun Offers Tips for Supporting Catholic Sisters
A national official for the United Church of Christ says she applauds the courage of the large group of U.S. Catholic nuns under heavy criticism from the Vatican. "I pray for their wisdom, eloquence and continued confidence in working toward change...
Forced Abortion Case Stirs Outrage in China
The case of the pregnant woman who was dragged to a hospital by authorities and forced to have an abortion has enraged the Chinese and sparked an online flurry of debate over whether it is time to end China's draconian one-child family planning policy....
How to Read the Qur'an: A New Guide, with Select Translations
How to Read the Qur'an: A New Guide, with Select Translations By Carl W. Ernst University of North Carolina Press, 288 pp., $30.00 In the decade since 9/11, it seems as though every trade publisher and university press has brought forth a...
I Wish
I Wish Written and directed by Hirokazu Koreeda Starring Koki Maeda, Ohshiro Maeda, Nene Ohtsuka and Joe Odagiri In cinema, children generally represent wisdom. Their innocence suggests a mind and spirit that has not yet been polluted by anger,...
Moonrise Kingdom
Moonrise Kingdom Directed by Wes Anderson Starring Bill Hurray, Frances McDormand, Bruce Willis and Edward Norton A different take on the wisdom of children is contained in the latest offering by cult director Wes Anderson. This quirky film,...
Moving Down in the World: Called to a Smaller Place
I'M SITTING on Tamassee Knob, a large rock known for its height--1,762 feet above sea level is a surprising elevation for South Carolina. The scenic overlook is only a few miles from the town of Walhalla (pop. 3,500), where I'm a 55-year-old Lutheran...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, July 15 Mark 6: 14-29 WHEN MY SON was about five years old (he's currently a very old seven) we spent an afternoon with a group of friends. The kids disappeared to play in the basement, and the parents gathered around in the kitchen to...
River Revival: Can the Jordan Roll Again?
A STROLL ALONG THE Alumot Dam on the Jordan River is on no one's list of holy sites in the Holy Land. Yet the interface between the holy and the profane happens here all day every day. The experience is available for every visitor without ritual and...
SBC Elects First Black President
Pointing heavenward and wiping away tears, pastor Fred Luter was elected in New Orleans as the first black president of the predominantly white Southern Baptist Convention. "To God be the glory for the things that he has done," said Luter moments after...
Stuttering Doesn't Stop a Call to Ministry
Tom Sherrod, an ordained United Methodist minister, loathed to "declare" a couple man and wife. As a stutterer, Sherrod always had problems with hard "c" sounds, and the "c" in declare was a doozy. "P" sounds weren't easy either, and the Bible is...
Supreme Court Tosses Case of 'Christian Candy Cane'
An appeal over Christmas sweets turned bitter in June when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the so-called "Christian candy cane" case. The case from Texas has become a rallying point for conservative Christians concerned about free religious...
The Clash That Wasn't
I'm often struck by the chasm between the significance of a country and the attention it receives in Western media. One classic example is Indonesia, a country in every sense writ large. With 250 million people, it is by far the world's largest Muslim...
The Right Note
IF YOU ARE LOOKING for a great book to share with a young person this summer, I recommend Francisco X. Stork's Marcelo in the Real World. Marked by a combination of page-turning storytelling and theological depth, it is full of romance, mystery and...
Unchurched Are Key Bloc in Washington State's Vote on Gay Marriage
Conservatives in Washington State have claimed victory by collecting double the signatures needed to send the state's same-sex marriage law to voters in this year's general election. And while leaders from Preserve Marriage Washington are confident...
Unclean: Meditations on Purity, Hospitality, and Mortality
Unclean: Meditations on Purity, Hospitality, and Mortality By Richard Beck Wipf and Stock, 212 pp., $23.00 paperback The man stumbled into the Sunday morning service drunk. He was bleeding heavily from his hand and left bloody handprints on...
Women at Risk
Violence Against Women Act stalled as Congress bickers," declared the headline in the Miami Herald. The domestic violence law has been running on stopgap funding since it expired last summer. For months, headlines have trumpeted the political wrangling...