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. 24, November 28

American Talmud
The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation By Stephen Prothero HarperOne, 544 pp., $29.99 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The American Bible, Stephen Prothero's latest assault on the best-seller lists, is a compendium of...
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A Reason to Bargain
As the dust of the election settles, the nation's economic woes are what they were before campaign fever set in: an immediate unemployment problem and a longer-term deficit problem. And when it comes to solving the latter problem, the two parties remain...
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A Role for Everyone: Casting the Christmas Pageant
YOU ARE ABOUT to enjoy an animated Christmas pageant in your congregation. Congratulations. If it includes live camels, plan accordingly. If it involves live babies, plan on having a backup baby in case your chosen star doesn't want to be anointed...
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Awaiting God's Reign
THE LARGE CHRISTMAS TREE in Macy's department store in downtown Chicago (formerly Marshall Field's) was lighted in a festive public ceremony on November 2, two days after Halloween and almost eight weeks before Christmas. The event made me think of...
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Awarded a Free Campus, Christian College Declines
Five weeks after accepting a free, 217-acre campus in western Massachusetts, a for-profit Christian university has walked away from the gift. Grand Canyon University of Phoenix, Arizona, faced millions in unanticipated costs as it moved to open...
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Deaths
* Frank Moore Cross, a biblical scholar who taught 35 years at Harvard University and influenced studies of Israelite history, the Dead Sea Scrolls and Near Eastern inscriptions, died at age 91 on October 17 in Rochester, New York. The son and grandson...
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Descendants Want Justice for Connecticut Witches
At age 82, Bernice Mable Graham Telian doubts she'll live long enough to see the name of her great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother and ten others hanged in colonial Connecticut for witchcraft cleared. Telian was researching her family...
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Foot Traffic a Worry at the Sistine Chapel
Five hundred years ago, on October 31, 1512, Pope Julius II led an evening prayer service to inaugurate the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo's newly finished vault frescoes. As Pope Benedict XVI on October 31 celebrated the 500th anniversary of the...
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Immortal Dreams
PRAGMATISM," G. K. Chesterton said, "is a matter of human needs; and one of the first of human needs is to be something more than a pragmatist." So too, faith is a matter of human desires; and one of the first of human desires is to be in contact with...
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India's Original Christians
If Westerners are no longer astonished to meet fellow Christians from distant corners of the world, many still assume that these believers must be newcomers to the faith. In some cases, though, African and Asian Christians can trace a thriving church...
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Jesus' Barrio: Inmates as Apostles
MY FRIEND NEANERS called me collect from a Washington State prison to tell me he was back in the hole-back in solitary confinement. "I guess one of the homies took off on a cop," he said, "and then a fight popped off." Neaners was born Jose Israel...
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Lost in Transition
Lost in Transition by Sixpence None the Richer [self released] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] It's been 14 years since Sixpence None the Richer released the single "Kiss Me." That irresistible pop song dominated the radio, peaked at number two...
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Moral Decisions in the Megastorm
As Hurricane Sandy bore down on the barrier islands of New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie gave stubborn residents one more thing to worry about. Their decisions to defy evacuation orders, he suggested, were "selfish" and morally unjustified. "This...
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New to the Neighborhood: Worship and Community in East Austin
IN 2006, VOX VENIAE ("voice of grace") was a nondenominational church plant growing out of the Austin Chinese Church's ministry to Asian students at the University of Texas. These were the stereotypical children of "tiger mothers"--Asian moms who raise...
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New Worlds: A Religious History of Latin America
New Worlds: A Religious History of Latin America By John Lynch Yale University Press, 384 pp., $35.00 With this synthesis of the 500-plus-year history of the Roman Catholic Church in Latin America, John Lynch has furnished an important and...
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On Sex, Muslims and Hindus Practice What They Preach
With their "True Love Waits" jewelry, conferences and T-shirts, Christians may be the face of the abstinence movement, but Muslims and Hindus are more likely to abstain from premarital sex. That's the conclusion of a new study in the American Sociological...
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Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, December 2 Jeremiah 33:14-16; Luke 21:25-36: 1 Thessalonians: 3:9-13 WHEN ADVENT comes, I worry, agonize and cry. Advent is daunting. Advent is my Everest. That's why this year I've decided to add humor. I've taped a greeting card above...
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Religion Said to Be Key to Combating Female Genital Mutilation
The one thing that Afrah Farah will tell you about her genital cutting experience is that it happened. She doesn't want to say how old she was, where it happened or who was or wasn't with her. Yet despite the painful memories that the experience...
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The Bovine Offices: Meditation and Milking
GOOD MORNING, cowgirls!" Sister Carol Bernice calls. We have two cows and a new calf on the farm. Syl, Jiffy and her daughter Mercy are lovely fawn-colored Jerseys. "I think I was predisposed to love cows," says Sister Carol Bernice. Her grandfather...
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The Zombie War
Christ promised a resurrection of the dead. I'm not sure this is what he had in mind." So marvels one of the characters in The Walking Dead, a zombie-apocalypse survival story on AMC which recently began its third season (seasons one and two are available...
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Thinking in an Emergency
Thinking in an Emergency By Elaine Scarry Norton, 176 pp., $14.95 paperback In the mid-20th century, Clinton Rossiter argued that one inevitable feature of the nuclear age is the state of "chronic emergency" in which we find ourselves. This...
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Voters in Three States Endorse Gay Marriage
VOTERS MADE history on Election Day three times over by endorsing moves to allow gay marriage in Maine, Maryland and Washington state. At the same time, Minnesota voters rejected a ballot measure that would have enshrined an antigay marriage law...
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Who Is Communion for? the Debate over the Open Table
THIS IS the Lord's Table. It is not Grace Church's table. All are welcome to receive communion." It is not unusual to hear or read these or similar words-with the local parish or its denomination named--at a service of worship in which the Eucharist...
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