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. 119, No. 14, July 3

Authentic Replica. (My Holy Land Experience)
ON A CRISP January morning when most people were straggling with New Year's resolutions or debating whether the Patriots would get to the Super Bowl, I was snapping my fingers to the tunes of the Century Ensemble. The eight-member Christian singing...
Century Marks
BORN AGAIN? Mayor Rudolph Giuliani seemed to almost walk on water during his deft handling of the World Trade Center crisis. So what happened to that other Giuliani, the one who didn't just mount a bully pulpit, but acted the bully part? Did he experience...
Christ & Culture Clash. (Letters)
PETER R. Gathje, probably in the interest of stirring some intellectual excitement over a sterile "debate," refers not at all to the burden of my Yale Lecture, which was adapted for the preface to the 50th anniversary edition of H. Richard Niebuhr's...
Christianity and Sexuality ... (Letters)
IN READING about the current crisis of the Roman Catholic priesthood, I find an examination of the role of Christianity itself curiously lacking ("The priestly life," April 10-17). What if the problems are symptomatic of difficulties within Christianity,...
Congregations Serve as Beacons of Hope. (News)
They are beacons of hope everywhere. They are houses of worship in every corner of the U.S. providing assistance to individuals and families through hard times, especially in sudden emergencies. And that included a growing number of mosques well before...
Court Bars `under God' Pledge. (News)
AN APPEALS court decision that the Pledge of Allegiance--with its phrase "under God"--is unconstitutional ignited an emotional firestorm that produced about as much heat as the mountain states' raging forest fires. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals...
ELCA's Hanson Seeks Greater Ethnic Growth. (News)
After more than nine months as the top leader in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson has compiled a report card of sorts for his denomination. The ELCA earns top marks for its commitment to social services--Lutheran...
Gender and the Bible. (Evangelicals Wrangle over New Translations)
A NEW TRANSLATION of the Bible has created a tug of words between camps in the evangelical world. Moderates and conservatives are fighting with ultraconservatives over a gender-inclusive New Testament, part of Today's New International Version Bible,...
Help, St. Anthony. (Faith Matters)
AS I WRITE, it is morning on the feast of St. Anthony of Padua, the patron saint of poor people and ship-wreck victims and the finder of lost objects. It is June, the month of the Sacred Heart. The Catholic bishops have just begun their annual meeting...
Innate Value
I HAVE A DIM recollection of Jeremy Bentham's utilitarian philosophy from a course in college. Utilitarianism appealed to me at a time when I was more certain of myself intellectually and more academically confident that I have been since. It had something...
Keating: Remove Errant Bishops. (News)
Catholic bishops who tried to cover up sexual abuse by priests under their jurisdiction are guilty of obstructing justice and are accessories to the crime, the new chairman of an independent review panel said. Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating, named...
Palestinians Push Reform. (Curbing Corruption)
LONG BEFORE George W. Bush began calling for reform of the Palestinian National Authority (and for Yasir Arafat's ouster), a group of Palestinian lawmakers and researchers had outlined plans for creating a democratic society. The elected members of...
PCUSA Balances Salvation Views. (News)
Averting a battle over defining salvation, the annual General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved a statement on theology, 497-11, that appeared to satisfy both conservatives ("Jesus is the only Savior and Lord") and liberals (the...
Quotidian Acts. (M.E.M.O.)
FORTY YEARS AGO, when my kind and I were still young enough to be licensed to write crabby books (they got reviewed as "prophetic") about American religion, the focus often fell on the public face of congregations as reflected in newspapers. Books...
Reforms Required in Capital Punishment. (Supreme Court Actions ...)
Rules that certain states follow in applying the death penalty were impacted by separate decisions of the Supreme Court in June. In one, the justices said that executing mentally retarded prisoners convicted of murder is excessive punishment. In the...
Religious School Vouchers Upheld. (Supreme Court Actions ...)
By a narrow conservative majority, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of tuition voucher programs for parents who wish to send their children to parochial and private schools, giving President Bush a victory and church-state separationists...
Sister Secrets
MY AUNT, who died earlier this year, was a woman of great strength and a raucous sense of humor. But despite having three children who loved her dearly, there was clearly something missing in her life, something that revolved around an arduous marriage...
Small Carrot, No Stick
A SENIOR ISRAELI official, listening to President Bush's June 24 speech outlining U.S. policy on the Middle East, kept waiting to hear what pressure the U.S. was going to apply to Israel. He never heard it mentioned. "I thought all the way through...
Split Personality. (Film)
AS PLAYED BY the remarkable actor Ryan Gosling, Danny Balint is one of the most unconventional and compelling characters on the screen this year. In The Believer, Danny is a brilliant, charismatic young man who denies his Jewish parentage (he claims...
The Joke Is on Us. (Living by the World)
HAVE YOU UNDERSTOOD all this?" Jesus asked, and they answered, "Yes." Today, some 2,000 years later, we are still answering yes with a straight face ... and God must be laughing (or weeping) at our lack of self-critical distance. How could we possibly...
Up for Adoption. (Living by the Word)
LAST SUNDAY's family conflict story in Genesis 25 offers preachers an opportunity to talk about family conflict in their own communities. This is risky business for preachers. As they gaze out on worshipers and prepare to begin a sermon, they know--and...
Who Lives? Who Dies? (the Utility of Peter Singer)
YOU COULD MAKE the case that Peter Singer has done more good than anyone else alive. A professor of ethics at Princeton University, Singer is the author of Animal Liberation (1975), which instigated the modern animal rights movement. Singer didn't...