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. 120, No. 3, February 8

Antiwar Sermons Infuse King Services. (News)
Pleas and protests against war, issued again by the pope and by demonstrations in U.S. cities, punctuated some Martin Luther King Jr. holiday observances in mid-January--and appropriately so, said speakers who echoed a similar stance by the late civil...
A Quilt a Day. (the Widows of Afghanistan)
YOU DON'T HAVE to knock before entering Shkiba's flat in the southern section of Kabul. Just walk up three flights of poorly aligned stairs in a vacated school building, and avoid the rubble and large holes caused by rocket explosions. Shkiba lives...
Capital Offense: Can the Death-Penalty System Really Be Sufficiently Reformed?
GEORGE RYAN, until last month the Republican governor of Illinois, has revolutionized the debate over capital punishment. His genius, such as it is, has been to ignore the great moral and philosophic questions that surround the topic and focus on the...
Charges Filed against UMC Bishop Sprague. (News)
Official charges of heresy have been filed against the United Methodist bishop of Chicago, accusing him of abandoning some Christian doctrines. On the basis of a speech he gave a year ago and a recently published book, 28 Methodists say C. Joseph...
Choral. (Classical Music)
Franz Josef Haydn. Die Schopfung (The Creation). Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists. John Eliot Gardiner. Archiv 449217, $32.00. Hearing Handel's oratorios (including Messiah), Haydn at age 65 was inspired to respond with this masterpiece...
Class Dismissed
FROM ITS OPENING sequence, The Emperor's Club, set in an eastern prep school for boys in the early 1970s, is behind the cinematic eight ball, and it knows it. That eight ball is the tremendously successful 1989 film Dead Poets Society, starring Robin...
Dreaded `D-' Words. (M.E.M.O)
IN 1974 the University of Chicago Press informed me that it had received a manuscript on the rise of the Celtic church. I was editing Church History at the time and had a log of the church historians, so the press asked me to recommend referees who...
Episcopal Leader Says Church Has Confidence. (News)
The Episcopal Church is "not obsessed with sexuality" and is brimming with "graced confidence," according to the church's top bishop. Frank T. Griswold III, in Washington to celebrate five years as presiding bishop, said that the 2.3-million-member...
Grace Notes. (Faith Matters)
IT BRINGS BACK goodness for me," my friend said when, after the midnight service, I sought her out to wish her a blessed Christmas. She was sharing her joy in singing with the choir on Christmas Eve. I had urged her to sing a few years earlier,...
Instrumental. (Classical Music)
Johann Sebastian Bach. Sonatas and Partitas, arranged for lute. Hopkinson Smith. Astree 8678, $34.00. This is one of Smith's newest projects, his transcription of Bach's violin sonatas and partitas. As always, Smith's performances have a quiet intensity...
Lame Excuse: Those Who Walk with the Ill through Their Painful Journey Are Sent by God Whether They Know It or Not. (Living by the Word)
Sunday, February 23 Isaiah 43:18-25; Mark 2:1-12 PEOPLE IN JESUS' TIME thought that illness arose from people's sins. They thought this happened in a fairly immediate cause-and-effect relationship. And they had thought so for a long time. Many of...
Miracle Market: A Miracle Has to Be Magic and Full of Special Effects before We'll Pay Any Attention. (Living by the Word)
Sunday, February 16 2 Kings 5: 1-14, Mark 1:40-45 THERE IS AN ODD reticence about the healings in the lessons for this Sunday--there's an expectation of big-bang pyrotechnics, followed by a matter-of-factness in the healings that seems to disappoint....
On Not Throwing Stones. (Christian and Muslim Conflict in Nigeria)
WILL AMINA Lawal Kurami be stoned to death for having a baby out of wedlock? Amina was sentenced to that punishment in northern Nigeria on August 20, 2002, in accordance with Islamic Shari'a law, which prescribes death by stoning for the sin of adultery....
Presbyterians Avoid Extra May Meeting. (News)
ON A MID-JANUARY day, as Presbyterian leaders met in their Louisville, Kentucky, offices to discuss how to cut $2.6 million from one budget and patch a $1.5 million hole in another, a West Coast surgeon walked in with a petition that was likely to...
Scam Artist
IN STEVEN SPIELBERG'S Catch Me If You Can, Leonardo DiCaprio plays Frank Abagnale, the real-life con man whose exploits--posing as an airline pilot, an ER doctor, a lawyer and a college professor--had a nutty, playful, romantic quality. His highly...
Solomon-Era Tablet Found in Jerusalem. (News)
A 2,800-year-old stone tablet inscribed with a passage describing the renovation of Solomon's Temple has been found in Jerusalem. It may be the first bit of archaeological evidence to confirm biblical descriptions of Solomon's dynasty and the elaborate...
Top Ten Films of '02. (Impressions)
MRS. DALLOWAY said she would buy the flowers herself." In Steven Daldry's film The Hours, this opening line from Virginia Woolf's novel Mrs. Dalloway connects three women in three stories. In the first, Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman) is writing a novel...
Watch Group: War on Terror Endangers Rights. (News)
Echoing concerns by some U.S. religious organizations, a prominent New York-based human fights group has criticized the U.S. government for its war against terrorism, saying the Bush administration "has refused to be bound by human rights standards."...
Why Is the Dead Sea Dying? Disappearing Act
ACROSS FROM JERICHO, on the Jordan side of the Jordan River, is the site where Jesus may have been baptized. It is 300 meters east of the river. During the decades of conflict between Jordan and Israel this area was a military zone, strewn with mines...
Your Money and Your Life: It's Time to Bring Money out of the Closet
NO ONE KNOWS more clearly or more uncomfortably the tensions of life lived between the gospel and economic necessity than a parish clergyperson whose text for the day is "do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink ... look...
Zimbabwe Cleric Urges Judges to Be Impartial. (News)
Methodist Bishop Cephas Mukandi, who heads his denomination in Zimbabwe, has implored judges and magistrates in the country to resist political pressure and "courageously shun selective justice" imposed by the governing party in that strife-torn African...
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