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. 123, No. 13, June 27

Africans See Flaws in UN Summit on AIDS
A three-day United Nations meeting on the global AIDS pandemic has ended with a declaration that some diplomats praised as a landmark but that AIDS activists--including at least one prominent religious figure--called a failure. "Once more we are...
Armed and Defenseless
THE SUBJECT came up before dinner as several sporting writers bragged, over glasses of Scotch, about their expensive gun vaults and the loaded pistols they keep bedside for "home defense." When everyone had spoken but me, I said: "I keep all my guns...
Creepy
OGDEN NASH taught us most of what we need to know about centipedes when he wrote about the one that was happy until a toad asked, "Which leg goes after which when you run?" Whereupon the centipede pitched into a ditch, paralyzed by confusion. Recently,...
Delta Blues
TEN MONTHS AGO, the nation was riveted by televised images of people, most of them African Americans, fleeing the floodwaters in New Orleans. It was obvious that poor black neighborhoods were the most vulnerable when Hurricane Katrina hit and the levees...
Facing Truth: A Televised Reconciliation in Northern Ireland
DESMOND TUTU makes headlines, and often changes hearts and minds. In the fall of 2005, the I headlines were made in Belfast, where Tutu, former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa, was filming Facing the Truth, three programs for the Northern...
Friends
WHAT PEOPLE FIND out in time" writes Meg Greenfield, 'is that the false self they are inhabiting isn't much of a friend after all. Nor is it any great shakes as a refuge or consolation. They begin to live lives of pantomime, in which gesture is all....
Harvard Announces Stem Cell Research with Human Embryos
Describing an ambitious, privately funded study using human embryonic stern cells, Harvard University researchers announced an ethically charged, long-term project that could produce treatments for a variety of diseases. The Harvard Stem Cell Institute,...
Iowa Prison Ministry Ruled Unconstitutional
In what could be a major setback for the government's ability to fund religious charities, a federal judge has ruled against an Iowa program designed to rehabilitate prisoners through Christianity. Federal judge Robert Pratt of Des Moines ruled...
Living by the Word: Power Source
Sunday, July 9 2 Corinthians 12:2-10 THE CLOSEST I GET to the kind of religious experience the apostle Paul describes in 2 Corinthians 12 is the occasional Sunday when the music and the congregation merge in worship that is unrestrained praise....
Living by the Word: Pressed into Service
Sunday, July 2 2 Corinthians 8:7-15 IN THE MID-1980s I attended a church that still honored "Money Sunday," a practice begun in the 1950s. Once a year members of the congregation gathered to make financial pledges to support missions efforts. As...
Lutheran Hospital Caught in Palestinian Monetary Dilemma
Jerusalem's Augusta Victoria Hospital, a facility that treats Palestinian residents from the West Bank as well as some Arabs from East Jerusalem, has a million-dollar view from its perch atop the Mount of Olives. Built in 1910 by Germany's Kaiser...
Marriage Amendment Dead-For Now
A CONSTITUTIONAL amendment to outlaw same-sex marriage died in the Senate this month despite intense pressure from President Bush, prominent religious leaders and a host of conservative activists. The amendment, which would have limited marriage...
Measure of Success: What Is a Well-Lived Life?
BE LIKE MIKE!" A famous and successful television commercial used that slogan to invite viewers to emulate Michael Jordan--simply by purchasing the same brand of sneakers he wore. This is rather like suggesting that one could be like Jesus of Nazareth...
Portrait of the Artist
THE SATIRICAL COMEDY Art School Confidential features Jerome Platz (Max Minghella) as a student at a prestigious Manhattan art college who discovers that it's not the paradise he dreamed it would be. His classmates lack taste and imagination, his instructors...
Safe Spaces
IN TIMES OF CRISIS, churches rise to the occasion. Rich Preheim's article about ministry on the Gulf Coast (p. 21) makes me proud of the often-maligned institutional church, which has poured dollars and volunteers into the disaster-struck areas. Ronald...
Storm and Stress: Ministry after Katrina
ON PALM SUNDAY, when Christians remember Jesus' entry into Jerusalem, First Presbyterian Church in New Orleans enacted its own triumphal entry--or reentry. Since Hurricane Katrina and the breaking of the levees flooded the church with 28 inches of...
Suffering Foolishness
LET'S FACE IT. Christianity is a spectacular means to an end. We have a power structure that is open and accessible to people who have not earned or been granted much power from our culture. In churches there is money to be made, power to be had and...
U.S. Needs Religious Advisers in Diplomacy, Says Albright in Book
Former secretary of state Madeleine Albright is breaking ranks with the conventional wisdom of her profession. Diplomats, she says, were traditionally taught to keep far away from potentially controversial subjects like religion. Albright is now...