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. 126, No. 16, August 11

Abortion Top Topic as Obama Meets with Pope
President Obama met Pope Benedict XVI for the first time in a closed-door meeting at the Vatican that focused on the Catholic Church's opposition to abortion but covered other topics as well. The pope gave Obama a copy of his recent encyclical on...
A Corner of the City: Caring for One Place
WHEN WE MOVED to New York, my husband, Chris, picked a corner of the city to own. The Soldiers and Sailors Monument, which commemorates those who died in the American Civil War, is a templelike structure surrounded by formal paved terraces. It's also...
A Second Jerusalem
Lalibela, in Ethiopia, should be high on anyone's list of contenders for the title of most astonishing site in the history of Christian art and architecture. Imagine coming over a hill and seeing what looks like a low stone blockhouse sticking slightly...
Bound to the Sex Trade: Bangkok's Red-Light Districts
I ARRIVED AT the Bangkok airport at midnight. After making my way through customs and immigration, I was greeted by an airport information agent who helped me arrange transportation to my hotel. I was astonished when he asked me if I would be interested...
Churches May Be Affected by FCC Change on Wireless Microphone Frequencies
When the switch to all-digital television signals was completed nationwide in mid-June amid great fanfare, many churches were unaware that their wireless microphone systems could be affected. The Federal Communications Commission auctioned off the...
Educated Choice
MOST PROSTITUTES do not make a conscious choice to go into that way of life. Many are led into it by a childhood experience of sexual abuse. Others turn to it as the only way to earn a living. Especially in the developing world, prostitution is often...
Episcopalians Open Doors for Gay Bishops
Only days after Archbishop Rowan Williams of the worldwide Anglican Communion cautioned Episcopalians against making decisions "that could push us further apart," delegates at their July 8-17 convention in California voted--swiftly and by a large majority--to...
Foreclosing on Mabel: A Case of Predatory Lending
ALL MABEL WANTED was a roof over her head. Well, a bit more than that: she wanted the same roof that had been over her head for most of her life. Mabel and her husband, Chester, had bought the house back in the 1940s under the GI Bill. They had raised...
Hunger
Hunger. Directed by Steve McQueen. Starring Michael Fassbender and Liam Cunningham. The first feature-length film by video installation artist Steve McQueen (no relation to the late actor) presents a detailed and disturbing look at conditions...
McNamara's Conflicts on War, Peace, Morals, Ethics
When he died recently at age 93, former U.S. defense secretary Robert S. McNamara was still viewed by many with opprobrium as the chief architect of the Vietnam War. Others praised his efforts, however late in life, to publicly wrestle with his inner...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, August 16 John 6:51-58 I GREW UP on a sterile communion ritual: Jesus' flesh was never mentioned. There were neatly cubed pieces of white bread and silver thimblefuls of grape juice, but we did not talk about the blood. On Christmas and...
Religious Groups Resist India Ruling on Gays
India's Supreme Court agreed July 9 to hear an appeal of a lower-court decision that decriminalized homosexuality after a yoga guru said the right to privacy does not "include the right to enjoy deviant sexual preferences and sexual behavior." Gay...
The Price of Print
THE ONLY DOWNSIDE to spending time on a barrier island in North Carolina in the summer is that it's hard to find a good newspaper. You can locate the New York Times if you look for it, but it's not easy. My son-in-law peruses the Times on the Internet,...
The U.S. Takes on Trafficking
THE INTERNATIONAL Labor Organization estimates that 12.3 million people worldwide are in forced labor, bonded labor or sexual servitude. Approximately 800,000 people are trafficked across national borders each year. Up to half of trafficking victims...
Together on the Ark: The Witness of Intentional Community
I ONCE HEARD a preacher say that it might have been crowded and a little smelly inside Noah's ark, but the folks inside knew it was better to be on board than not. The same thing goes for living together in the church. Traveling together isn't always...
Undermanaged
"NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS tend to be overled and undermanaged." Thomas Tierney, chair and cofounder of the Bridgespan Group, has published several important studies on "the leadership deficit." But what does he mean by this apparent contradiction? ...
U.S. Delusions: An Army Man Changes His Mind
ANDREW BACEVICH, professor of international relations at Boston University, uses strong words to describe what is going on in the U.S. He speaks of a "crisis of profligacy," "collective recklessness" and a "dysfunctional country." He says our political...
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