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. 18, September 5

Anti-Obama Black Pastors Group Has Conservative Ties
Since William Owens launched his national campaign in May calling on African Americans to withdraw their support of President Obama because of his stance on gay marriage, the minister has claimed the backing of 3,700 black clergy and touted his organization...
Clergy Urge Americans to Defend Religious Minorities
A group of religious leaders representing seven faith traditions have called for something more than a period of public mourning after a week that saw a shooting rampage at a Sikh temple and a suspicious fire at a Missouri mosque. "It is my hope...
Connections That Last
WHENEVER I VISIT my parents in Kentucky, we make the rounds of our holy places: first, a visit to our favorite bookstore; next, a trip to the Abbey of Gethsemani for vespers and compline. Then we visit the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, a living...
Farm Bill Blues
The U.S. is experiencing its worst drought in decades, and countless crops have been lost. Farmers with federal crop insurance can make up some of their losses; others don't have this option. While the farm bill reauthorization process has produced...
Good News in Brief
ART AND HELEN ROMIG were memorable people in my life. Art's parents were Presbyterian missionaries; he grew up in China at a time when the Presbyterians alone had 500 missionary workers in China. He studied at the College of Wooster in Ohio, then attended...
It Looks like a Wedding
EPISCOPALIANS now have an officially approved way to do what some of them have been doing, informally and unofficially, for quite a while. In July the church's General Convention gave its blessing to blessing. By a surprisingly large majority vote,...
Jesus Meets the Buddha
A proverb that circulated in the former Soviet Union held that the future stays much the same but the past changes from day to day. Less cynically, we might say that as a society develops, people naturally develop interests in new historical topics,...
Key Rabbinic Vacancy in Jerusalem Stays Unfilled
Some two years ago a group of journalists was invited to a meeting to discuss the election of a new Ashkenazic chief rabbi of Jerusalem. The post had been vacant for about six years. The mayor himself; Nir Barkat, was there, as was Rachel Azaria, a...
Most Americans Keep Their Faith Private While Online
Meet the social media "nones." A new survey finds that though most Americans are religious, they generally do not use social media to supplement worship and mostly keep their faith private online. The Public Religion Research Institute survey found...
Muslims Petition Egypt Not to Include Shari'a
Muslim and Coptic Christian leaders in the U.S. are calling on the Egyptian government to exclude any mentions of Islamic law or language that discriminates against minorities in its draft constitution. In a letter released August 7, the leaders...
Nuns Reject Rome Takeover, Seek Dialogue with Bishops
AMERICAN NUNS facing a Vatican takeover of their leadership organization have rejected Rome's plans to recast the group in a more conservative mold, but declined--at least for now--to respond with an ultimatum that could have created an unprecedented...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, September 9 Mark 7:24-37 ON AUGUST 2, 2010, a column in the New York Times struck a chord with a number of my colleagues--by the end of the day it was posted on the Facebook pages of more than 30 of them. These friends had one important...
Religion in Decline?
Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics By Ross Douthat Free Press, 352 PP., $26.00 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Ross Douthat knows how to throw a punch. Readers accustomed to his regular New York Times op-ed column likely will expect Bad...
Sherlock
Sherlock Created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, based on the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Directed by Toby Haynes, Euros Lyn and Paul McGuigan Theologians have long posited a God who is omniscient. The British television show Sherlock (six...
Sikhs Remembered for Piety, Kindness
People gathered early that fateful Sunday at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin to meditate on God and to serve others--key requirements of their religion. Six of them were fatally shot August 5 as they performed customary acts of prayer and kindness. ...
The Gospel in Seven Words
IN HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY Brother to a Dragonfly, Will Campbell recalls how his friend P. D. East had badgered him for a succinct definition of Christianity. East did not want a long or fancy explanation. "I'm not too bright," he told Campbell. "Keep it...
The Power of Poetic Preaching
OUR SIX-YEAR-OLD son Jonah likes to have his toenails painted. Who wouldn't, really? It's downright delightful to express yourself with color and sparkle and to receive a few precious minutes of creative, quiet and undivided attention from Mom or Dad....