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. 125, No. 21, October 21

American Soundings
Autumn arrives September 22 (in the Northern Hemisphere). If you are like me, you depart reluctantly from summer, the season of light. Fall carries intimations of death--leaves dry and shrivel, grass bleaches corpse-pale, insects perish, squirrels...
An Ultimate Somebody
THE RECENT DEATH of a friend has given me much to think about. Tomislav Simic, whom we called Toma, was from Novi Sad, the town in Serbia in which I grew up. He was 58. Over the past 20 years or so Toma spent much of his life confined to psychiatric...
A Second Time Around: What Books Compel a Second-Or Third or Repeated-Reading? How Is the Second Reading Different from the First, and What Does the Difference Reveal about the Book or the Reader? We Asked Ten Writers to Reflect on Their Rereadings
In the summer after second grade, I read Louisa May Alcott's story of the March sisters, Little Women. I related most to Amy, the youngest sister, who was artistic, headstrong and eager to grow up. Of the four sisters, she found it most difficult to...
Chaplains Aid Wall Street Workers as Commentators Blame Greed, Risk-Taking
As stock market fears and billion-dollar emergency proposals rocked Wall Street, some dazed employees in the financial sector whose faith in the economy was shaken are turning to religious leaders for personal guidance. In the background, clergy,...
Churches Get Innovative in Response to Gas Prices
At St. Stephen Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, the 14,000-member congregation billed itself as a "seven-day-a-week" hub of activity, with choir practices, ministry meetings or small groups scheduled every night. Then Pastor Kevin Cosby noticed...
Discerning the Faith Factor: Pollster John Green
DESCRIBED BY the Los Angeles Times as the "preeminent student of the relationship between religion and American politics, "John Green has conducted surveys on religion for every presidential election since 1992. A professor of political science at...
Dissident Bishop Is Removed from Episcopal Ministry
Episcopal bishops have removed Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh from the denomination's ministry, saying the leading conservative in a church split has renounced and abandoned the Episcopal Church. The action began on September 18--with 88 bishops...
'Female Pastors' Story Rattles SBC Nerves
When Lutherans recently celebrated 50 years of ordaining women as pastors in Sweden, they invited Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first woman presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, to speak at festive events in Uppsala and Stockholm. In Nashville,...
Heaven Accessible to Many, Americans Say
Heaven is no longer viewed as an exclusive place by many Americans, according to a new survey from Baylor University. When researchers polled U.S. adults about who (and how many) will get into heaven, 54 percent of the respondents said at least...
Living by the Word: Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, October 26 Matthew 22:34-46; 1 Thesalonians 2:1-8 JESUS IS CLEAR that the greatest commandment is to love God and that a second commandment is to love our neighbors as ourselves. The commandment to love is the basis of all the world's...
Orthodox Body Seeks New Leader in Wake of Financial Scandal
Reeling from an internal investigation that revealed financial misconduct at its highest levels, the Orthodox Church in America has vowed to work on "building a culture within the church which fosters communication, transparency and personal responsibility."...
State Department Raps China on Religious Rights
The U.S. State Department, in its annual report on international religious freedom, has admonished several Asian nations, including China, for severely repressing religion. Listing "countries of particular concern" that engage in or tolerate "particularly...
The Founders' Failures
MANY OF THE ISSUES before us in this election year were present at the founding of the nation, as I learned from Joseph J. Ellis's American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the Republic. I have never read such a clear explanation...
The Wages of Greed: Credit Meltdown
THE SOURCES of the current economic crisis are complex and the blame for the crisis difficult to assess precisely. But it's clear that for years leading investment firms have disregarded the common good and even their own long-term interest in their...
Trouble the Water
Trouble the Water. Directed by Tia Lessin and Cart Deal Footage by Kimberly Roberts. Tia Lessin and Carl Deal's documentary Trouble the Water is a devastatingly effective depiction of the experience and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It isn't...
Tutu Disturbed at Mbeki Ouster in South Africa
NOBEL PEACE PRIZE laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu says that ousted South African president Thabo Mbeki scored significant economic achievements and promoted peace in Africa, but he made enemies within his own party due to "his intolerance of challenges...
Untruths
Barack Obama promised to practice a different kind of politics, a politics that would stick to the issues. Yet his campaign has produced an ad that shows an old photo of McCain, wearing an out-of-style suit and large glasses, in an effort to convey...