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. 21, October 17

Americans Overstate Size of Religious Minorities
The typical American underestimates how many Protestants there are in the United States and vastly overestimates the size of religious minorities such as Mormons, Muslims and atheist/agnostics, according to a new study. Grey Matter Research and...
At Judson Church, Howard Moody Was a Social Justice Leader
DURING HIS long ministry at Judson Memorial Church in New York's Greenwich Village, ex-marine Howard Moody led religious assaults on tough social issues of the 1960s, '70s and '80s--openly aiding women seeking abortions, blacks calling for civil rights...
Baptist Again: Going Back to Church
IN A BAPTIST church at age seven I "accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior"--an emotional and powerful experience that I have tried to respectfully write about in fiction. Sixty years later, I sometimes think about what drove me toward that decision....
Best Sellers
HarperOne 1. Christianity after Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening by Diana Butler Bass 2. Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life by James Martin...
Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet
Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet By John G. Turner Harvard University Press, 512 pp., $35.00 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Brigham Young, unlike Joseph Smith, played no role in the translation of the Book of Mormon. He never ran for president of...
Canada
Canada By Richard Ford HarperCollins, 432 pp., $27.99 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] To help us understand ourselves, every age needs its Huckleberry Finn, a naive boy on the lam, harmed or abandoned by his parents and left to confront evil and...
Closed for Business: The Fight against Human Trafficking
A MAN STEPS INTO a small convenience store on a side street in Poipet, Cambodia, and buys a lottery ticket. He probably has no idea that in that same shop, only ten years ago, he could have bought a human being. In a 2011 New York Times op-ed, Nicholas...
Does This Church Make He Look Fat? A Mennonite Finds Faith, Meets Mr. Right, and Solves Her Lady Problems
Does This Church Make He Look Fat? A Mennonite Finds Faith, Meets Mr. Right, and Solves Her Lady Problems By Rhoda Janzen Grand Central Publishing, 272 pp., $24.99 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Isn't that an off-brand religion?" One of my son's...
Ethics of Hope
Ethics of Hope By Jurgen Moltmann, translated by Margaret Kohl Fortress, 288 pp., $29.00 paperback [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Here's the thing about Jurgen Moltmann. Almost everything he says, you feel you've read somewhere before. Now there...
Fiction Chronicle
The Brief History of the Dead By Kevin Brockmeier Vintage, 272 pp., $15.00 paperback Arcadia By Lauren Groff Voice, 304 pp., $15.99 paperback The Monsters of Templeton By Lauren Groff Voice, 384 pp., $14.95 paperback Broken...
For-Profit Christian School Is Awarded a Free Campus
A for-profit Christian university in Arizona has won one of the education world's most sought-after prizes: a free, historic, freshly renovated campus in the rolling hills of western Massachusetts. Phoenix-based Grand Canyon University plans to...
Giving and Receiving
Mitt Romney's claim that half of all Americans mooch off the hard-earned tax money of the other half was quickly deconstructed by budget experts. The 47 percent of Americans Romney was pointing his finger at for not paying income tax are mostly either...
Healing Hands
WHEN MY 90-year-old father fell at home a few months ago, a trip to the emergency room revealed that he was shaken and dazed by the experience but not seriously injured. A follow-up visit to his clinic, however, turned into an unexpected piece of medical...
Inheriting Abraham: The Legacy of the Patriarch in Judaism, Christianity and Islam
Inheriting Abraham: The Legacy of the Patriarch in Judaism, Christianity and Islam By Jon D. Levenson Princeton University Press, 288 pp., $29.95 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] As long ago as 1996, Jon Levenson wrote an important article, "The...
Into the Darkness
Halloween draws near. The holiday began in Christian tradition as a time to ponder death and the recently departed. Though we do not always take it so seriously today, Halloween's tradition of ghouls, witches and other shadowy characters makes it as...
Jesus' Wife? Questions about a Coptic Fragment
In an announcement from Rome that seemed scripted by The Da Vinci Code novelist Dan Brown, a Harvard professor stated that an ancient scrap of papyrus mentions Jesus' wife. The fourth-century fragment written in Coptic contains part of a dialogue between...
Jury Finds 16 Amish Guilty in Beard-Cutting Attacks
Amish bishop Samuel Mullet has been convicted of federal hate crimes and conspiracy for exhorting followers to forcibly shear the hair and beards of those who opposed his breakaway Ohio sect. Mullet's three sons, his daughter and 11 other family...
Just and Unjust Peace: An Ethic of Political Reconciliation
Just and Unjust Peace: An Ethic of Political Reconciliation By Daniel Philpott Oxford University Press, 368 pp., $29.95 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Almost a decade after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, many Americans have become numb to the...
Living by the Word: Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, October 21 Mark 10:35-45 I'VE ALWAYS BEEN a goal-oriented person. I like to run marathons, for example, because they turn my daily training runs into a work in progress. What I do today will get me closer to the finish line several months...
Luther's Legacy
LUTHERAN theologian Carl Braaten once lamented that while Roman Catholics do not understand why the Reformation was necessary, Protestants do not understand why it was tragic. It's taken me many years to appreciate the tragic consequences of the...
Mormon Blogger Faces Probe over Comments on Temple, Not on Romney
A MORMON BLOGGER who has written critical web essays about Mormon history, temple worship and contemporary issues--including essays about GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney--is facing church discipline for "apostasy." Initially, the Florida blogger,...
Mormons Have Complex Relationship with America
Whenever Americans celebrate flag-waving holidays, some Mormons may outdo their neighbors in fireworks and fanfare to express their outsized patriotism. Love of the U.S.A., they believe, stretches beyond appreciation and gratitude. It is theological,...
Reading Habits
My daily reading is tethered to the rhythms of the sun. In the evening, there is the slow burn of the substantial book beside the easy chair, which I savor in small portions. These days, I lean toward nonfiction--history, cultural analysis and theology...
Reading Habits
I would love to tell you that I read psalms every morning, poetry every noon, theology every afternoon and prize-winning fiction every night. The truth is that I read largely by necessity during the school week, saving the good stuff for late nights...
Reading Habits
I am seldom without reading material--the Economist is my staple for doctors' waiting rooms--but lately I find it more difficult to concentrate on reading that requires sustained attention, like poetry. I have to work at making time and a quiet heart....
Report Says Religion Spurs African Illegal Ivory Trade
Since the ban on international trade of ivory in 1989, the ivory black market has been on the rise, and a National Geographic investigation found that demand for religious art pieces carved out of the precious material has played a considerable role....
Rev
Rev. Created by Tom Hollander and James Wood Starring Tom Hollander, Simon McBurney, Steve Evets and Olivia Colman I turned to Rev. belatedly, having ignored friends' praise and a British TV audience nearing 2 million. I feared it would reprise...
Saved by Fiction: Reading as a Christian Practice
OVER THE COURSE of my life, I have taken on all manner of spiritual practices, from now-I-lay-me-down-to-sleep to centering prayer. I have prayed with the Psalms, with the rosary, with icons. I have picked up practices and put them down. Some still...
Summoned from the Margin: Homecoming of an African
Summoned from the Margin: Homecoming of an African By Lamin Sanneh Eerdmans, 299 pp., $24.00 paperback [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] For the last three decades, Lamin Sanneh has been a reliable and perceptive guide for those of us trying to think...
The Reading Congregation: Editor Christopher Smith
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] EMERGING FROM Englewood Christian Church in Indianapolis, the Englewood Review of Books is a weekly online book review and quarterly print magazine that goes out to members and friends of the congregation. We talked to the...
The Short American Century: A Postmortem
The Short American Century: A Postmortem Edited by Andrew J. Bacevich Harvard University Press, 296 pp., $25.95 The World America Made By Robert Kagan Knopf, 160 pp., $21.00 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In February...
U.S. Copts, Muslims Decry Film
Coptic Christian leaders in the United States distanced themselves from an anti-Muslim film that has sparked protests in more than 20 countries and denounced the Copts who reportedly produced and promoted the film. "We reject any allegation that...