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. 129, No. 16, August 8

After Ardent Debates, PCUSA Changes Little
The nation's largest Presbyterian denomination has decided not to redefine marriage as a contract between "two persons" instead of between a woman and a man. And the nearly 700 delegates, or "commissioners," at its General Assembly in Pittsburgh which...
Breakaway Catholic Group Spurns Vatican's Overture
A breakaway traditionalist Catholic group has rejected a Vatican document that was supposed to lay the foundation for the group's reconciliation with Rome. The move came after three years of complex negotiations between the Vatican and the Society...
Church Historian Sees Catholic Schism Ahead
INFLUENTIAL church historian Diarmaid MacCulloch said he believes that Christianity faces a bright future but predicts that the Roman Catholic Church will undergo a major schism over its moral and social teaching. "Christianity, the world's largest...
Conditions Grow Worse for Somali Refugees in Camps
Conditions in the Dadaab refugee complex in northeastern Kenya are worsening one year after thousands of Somali migrants flocked to the settlement, according to relief agencies, which include church-based organizations. The world's largest refugee...
Dark Horse
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Dark Horse Written and directed by Todd Solondz Starring Jordan Gelber, Selma Blair, Christopher Walken and Mia Farrow Writer-director Todd Solondz is the patron saint of schlubs and schlemiels. From his award-winning...
Ehrman Book Rebuts Claim That Jesus Never Existed
For years, nonbelievers rejoiced at the publication of new books by New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman, relishing the professor's pugnacious attacks on the cherished beliefs of evangelical Christians. But in his latest offering, the University of North...
Episcopalians OK Same-Sex Rites
Gay and lesbian Episcopalians are -celebrating their church's approval of liturgical rites for blessing same-sex couples. But conservatives are threatening to take "drastic" steps to distance themselves from the Episcopal Church. Episcopalians meeting...
Globalization Circa 1578
I have always been fascinated by history's byways and by startling encounters between peoples and cultures that we think of as totally separate from each other. Apart from challenging familiar assumptions, such moments make us contemplate the alternative...
Journey of Light
ON A FLIGHT home from Los Angeles last year, I sat next to a young professor of landscape architecture who had just visited the city's new Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. We discussed sacred architecture all the way to the East Coast, and he encouraged...
Mormon Church Hits Back at Magazine's Portrayal of LDS Prophet and Profits
The Mormon church is lashing back at a business magazine that parodied its prophet's mission and portrayed the affluent church as miserly in its charitable donations. A lengthy story in Bloomberg Businessweek that hit newsstands July 13 detailed...
Perpetual Shalom
I WORKED in a filling station for four years. One day I hurt my back working under the grease rack, and for a while my father, a rural pastor, regularly drove me 12 miles from our small town to another small town to see a chiropractor. Dr. Holt was...
Polish Bishops Rap Europe Norms against Violence to Women as Interference
Poland's Roman Catholic Bishops Conference has denounced a Council of Europe convention prohibiting violence against women and urged the country's liberal government not to sign it. "Although this convention focuses on the important problem of violence...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, August 12 John 6:35, 41-51 IT IS IMPOSSIBLE not to think about life and death when there is a hospital bed in the living room. Perhaps this is one reason why hospice teams recommend that the patient's bed be placed in a public area of the...
Searching for a Church
SOMETIMES ecclesiological wisdom pops up in the unlikeliest of places. Reading through Taoism-influenced Ursula K. Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea for the umpteenth time, I couldn't help noticing that her wizards--the best of whom are trained on the...
Stopping Child Abuse
Virtually everyone by now has heard about Jerry Sandusky, who was convicted of the sexual abuse of ten boys over a period of 15 years that included his tenure as assistant coach of the hugely successful Penn State football team. You are much less likely...
Strangers at Church
YEARS AGO a wise and respected mentor suggested that I needed to experience the church outside the boundaries of our nation. He had friends in Scotland and assured me that he could facilitate a pulpit exchange with a Scottish pastor. All I needed to...
Theology Face Down
THE OTHER DAY a friend of mine sent me a remarkable photograph of an ordination scene: two young men in albs lying face down, straight as arrows, hands crossed under foreheads, on an oriental rug placed before two marble steps mounting to an altar;...
Vatican: Disgraced Legion Must Rethink Identity
The disgraced Legion of Christ religious order needs to rethink its identity before going forward with its internal reform, the papal envoy in charge of the group's overhaul told priests and lay members in a recently published letter. Cardinal Velasio...
Will 'God Particle' Spur Science-Religion Debate?
The Higgs boson is perhaps better known by its sexier nickname: the "God particle." But many scientists, including the physicist for whom it is named, dislike the term. In 1993 when American physicist Leon Lederman was writing a book on the Higgs...