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. 130, No. 3, February 6

After Sandy, Congregations Seek Federal Aid
The interior of the West End Temple in New York City's Rockaway Beach neighborhood in Queens looks like a construction zone--walls and floors gutted down to the wooden studs, bathroom fixtures gone, warped pews piled in the banquet hall. The synagogue...
A Rapid Transition at Luther Seminary
Late last year Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota--the largest of eight seminaries in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America--announced that its president and chief financial officer had resigned amid a $4 million budget shortfall and a hefty...
Baptism: How Young Is Too Young?
Something just clicked for Charity Roberson, and she knew it was time for her to be baptized. Roberson, now the pastor at Sharon Baptist Church in Smithfield, North Carolina, was nine at the time. Some of the memories are vivid. "I clearly remember...
Catholic Church Targeted Via White House's Online Petition Process
The White House's novel online system for allowing citizens to petition the administration on any number of causes has led to such efforts as these: petitions to secede from the U.S.; a petition for Vice President Joe Biden to star in a reality show;...
Celluloid Scripture?
WHEN DIRECTOR Oliver Stone produced JFK, which fantasized that the assassination of President Kennedy resulted from a vast and byzantine conspiracy, he was accused of historical revisionism. Stone took the charges in stride and announced that his next...
China's Homegrown Protestants
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Redeemed by Fire: The Rise of Popular Christianity in Modern China by Lian XI Yale University Press, 352 pp., $45.00 ABOUT 1913, A YOUNG CHRISTIAN convert named Jing Dianying presented himself to a mission hospital...
Classroom Christianity: How Theology Is Flourishing in China
IT IS NO SECRET that China's leaders have officially delayed the once-imminent arrival of socialist utopia and accepted that religion can continue in the meantime. But Christianity's place in Chinese society remains complex and multifaceted. At the...
Clearly Invisible: Racial Passing and the Color of Cultural Identity
Clearly Invisible: Racial Passing and the Color of Cultural Identity By Harcia Alesan Dawkins Baylor University Press, 285 pp., $29.95 The one time I visited my maternal grandfather's house, we had planned to stay four days. I was ten and...
Fewer Americans View Homosexuality as a Sin
AMERICANS' acceptance of gays and lesbians is continuing to grow, with a new poll showing that just over a third of Americans view homosexuality as a sin, down from 44 percent a year earlier. The statistical trend reported by LifeWay Research, which...
Gallup Chief Sees Signs of Religious Revival
Despite a deep drop in the number of Americans who identify with a particular faith, the country could be on the cusp of a religious renaissance, says Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of the Gallup Poll. Grounded in more than a million Gallup interviews,...
Homeland Insecurity
The Showtime series Homeland, which recently ended its second season, has been one of the most acclaimed programs on television. In its first season it won Emmys for best drama, best actress and best actor, and it has won the Golden Globe Award for...
Journal Holds 'Jesus' Wife' Item for More Relic Testing
The Harvard Theological Review is postponing publication of an article on the papyrus fragment in which Jesus seems to refer to his wife, raising further doubts about a discovery that sparked immediate curiosity when it was announced last September....
Lutheran' Comfort Dogs' Welcome Students Back to Newtown School
As the students of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, returned to class in January for the first time since December's deadly shooting spree, they and their parents were greeted by police escorts, support counselors, teachers--and...
Marathon Ministry Trains Runners to Put 'One Foot in Front of the Other'
In a few weeks Mark Simpson will lace up his sneakers, set out some five-gallon water coolers and start waiting for a miracle. Over the past ten years, Simpson, a 47-year-old pastoral counselor from Clinton, Mississippi, and his wife, Robin, have helped...
Of Guns and Neighbors
When the Supreme Court in 2008 declared that the Second Amendment protects an individual's fight to own a gun, the justices made it clear that this right--like any right--is not unlimited. "The court's opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on long-standing...
Pity the Beautiful: Poems
Pity the Beautiful: Poems By Dana Gioia Graywolf Press, 80 pp., $15.00 paperback Poet and critic Dana Gioia, former chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, signals his ambitious artistic tendencies and his firm spiritual commitments...
Praying for the Mideast
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, and security within your towers."--Psalm 122:6 IT'S NOT POSSIBLE to say anything about Israel and Palestine without offending someone. American Jews are...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Ash Wednesday Isaiah 58:1-12;2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 WHY DO WE humans so love to fake goodness? Year after year Lent brings another shout-out to the soul. Year after year we find ourselves dragged forward against the grain...
Top-Down Reform: Colleen McDannell on Vatican II
FIFTY YEARS AGO, Catholic bishops from around the world were taking part in the Second Vatican Council, which from 1962 to 1965 made sweeping changes in Catholic life and practice. In her book The Spirit of Vatican II, Colleen McDannell explores these...
Uneasy in Cairo: Egypt's New Constitution
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] CONCERTS THAT were scheduled for New Year's Eve to mark the 2011 Egyptian revolution were canceled in Cairo after a protester was shot that day in Tahrir Square. Instead of attending those events, many people of different...
Unfolding the Map
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The First Thousand Years: A Global History of Christianity By Robert Louis Wilken Yale University Press, 416 pp., $35.00 Any book by veteran church historian Robert Wilken demands respectful attention. The First Thousand...
Unwanted Publicity: Can a Church Work for Justice and Not Be Political?
THOMAS WINDHAM looked around the circle and felt truly glad to be these people's pastor. "I think it's important to start with a prayer," he said. "Everything we'll do here today is a prayer, but let's start it with words." He began, "O God, we've...
Vengeance Is Mine
Near the end of Django Unchained, a freed slave named Django rides across a Mississippi plain, planning to wreak vengeance on the plantation owners holding his wife captive. All the visual symbols of a western finale are present: a lone hero set in...