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. 127, No. 26, December 28

Acacias in the Desert: Breaking the Cycle of Drought
LIFE IN AFRICA'S Sahel region is precarious. Summer temperatures often reach 116 degrees in this ecozone that stretches from the Atlantic to Africa's Horn, between the Sahara desert and the savannas. Most soils are degraded from mismanagement. There...
A Second Spring
As an intellectual exercise, imagine that the September 11 attacks had never occurred. While we can speculate about what would have been the main issues in U.S. politics over the past decade, it's almost certain that North Americans would have paid...
Black Swan
Black Swan Directed by Darren Aronofsky Starring Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis and Vincent Cassel Director Darren Aronofsky performs a psychological pas de deux with composer Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky in Black Swan, a fractured, fascinating study...
Church of England Gives OK to Anglican Covenant
The Church of England, defying opposition from its traditionalist wing, has given its support to a global covenant aimed at keeping the Anglican Communion intact in the face of disputes over homosexuality and female bishops. The Church's General...
Freelance Theologian: Anna Madsen Sets Up Shop
IN 2009 Anna Madsen left her tenure-track job at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and started a business as a freelance theologian. Her venture is called OMG: Center for Theological Conversation. She works with individuals and with churches...
Gays in the Armed Forces: Israelis Say 'No Problem'
Israel, like the United States, is a largely secular society with deep religious roots. And Israel, like the U.S., is home to vocal religious conservatives who frown on homosexuality. But Israel, unlike the U.S., has allowed gays and lesbians to serve...
Muslims Say Respect Is Key to Better Relations
About half of Muslims surveyed worldwide believe that the West does not respect them, according to a new Gallup report, and many say not desecrating the Qur'an and portraying more "accurate" Muslim movie characters could improve a strained relationship....
Negotiating the Presidency
By conviction and temperament, President Obama seeks the middle ground. Though many of his opponents see him as a wild radical, intent on expanding the reach of government at all costs, his actions reveal something quite different: a pragmatist interested...
Palestinians Pull Claim to Western Wall after U.S. State Department Objects
Following condemnation from the U.S. State Department and others, the Palestinian government has pulled a report stating that Jews have no historic connection to the Western Wall. The study, which was prepared by Al-Mutawakel Taha, a well-known...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, January 2 Jeremiah 31:7-14; Psalm 147: 12-20; Ephesians 1:3-14; John 1:(1-9), 10-18 ON THE FIRST morning of every new year, I take a three-foot-long saw with three-inch teeth, walk out onto Lake Michigan at 20 below in my sandals and...
Set Apart: The Haredim in Israel
NO WEEK PASSES in Israel without an article being published--usually negative in tone--about the Haredi community. According to the Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics, the Haredim, or ultra-Orthodox Jews, constitute about 8 percent of Israel's population,...
Surveys Support Openly Gay in the Military
The long-awaited Pentagon survey of military personnel found that the majority sees little negative impact if and when gays are allowed to serve openly in the U.S. armed forces. The possible repeal of a 17-year policy of "don't ask/don't tell" was...
The Sound of Silence
THE COURSE TITLE was "Negative Theology: Lamentations, The Cloud of Unknowing, and The Dark Night of the Soul." Before class started at 9 a.m. I had to have the house cleaned to my military officer husband's specifications, cook a hot breakfast and...
Top Religion News in 2010 Evoked Sense of Deja Vu
The calendar may have said 2010, but for Pope Benedict XVI and much of his global flock, it looked and felt a lot like 2002. For the second time in a decade, damning charges of child molestation at the hands of Catholic priests dominated headlines,...
Vatican Defends Pope's Record on Sexual Abuse
While still a cardinal, Pope Benedict XVI sought in vain to expedite the process for defrocking priests guilty of grave crimes, according to a 1988 letter published in the official Vatican newspaper. The letter, which appears in the December 2 edition...
Violent America
DURING THE PAST YEAR, Chicago has experienced a disturbing spate of murders of police officers. Just a few days ago a 20-year veteran of the Chicago police force, a husband and father of four, was killed during a routine investigation, along with a...
Voices of 2010
"Every time Haiti takes one half step forward, something like this happens .... It's so unfair. Why does this happen to Haiti over and over again?" --Lauren Stanley, an Episcopal missionary in Haiti, after an earthquake in January devastated the...
Where Our Money Goes: An Itemized Tax Receipt
THE REPUBLICANS are about to take control of the House of Representatives, and House leader-to-be John Boehner (R., Ohio) says their top priority will be creating jobs by cutting government spending. That's dubious as economic theory, but it's good...
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