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. 131, No. 19, September 17

A Day with No Agenda: Time to Enjoy the World
EVEN MY MOTHER joked that her youngest child emerged with an inclination to save the world. Despite my middle class / Long Island housing development / bourgeois origins, I discovered World Sorrow early and wanted to spend myself on the Greater Good....
A Reader-Supported Journal
FEW MAGAZINES have the digital revolution figured out. That revolution is still very much under way. Like most journals, the CHRISTIAN CENTURY combines print technology that was developed a long time ago with digital technology that continues to evolve...
Black Churches Address Suicide, Mental Illness
The death of comedian Robin Williams has heightened awareness of suicide and mental health. But many African-American churches quietly began educating members on the issue well before. "A lot of times in the past, African Americans have viewed severe...
Congress Creates Envoy for Religious Minorities Persecuted in Asia
As Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria send religious minorities fleeing for their lives, Congress has created a new job at the State Department: Special Envoy to Promote Religious Freedom of Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central...
Containing Ebola
Media reports on the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa have highlighted the dangers of travel to the region, the decision by some airlines to suspend flights, and the debates about the effectiveness and availability of anti-Ebola drugs....
Estela Barnes De Carlotto
Estela Barnes de Carlotto, president and founder of the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina--a World Council of Churches partner--has been reunited with her grandson, who was born in a death camp during Argentina's dictatorship. Guido...
Experiments in Time
Even if you haven't seen Boyhood, you've probably heard of it. Richard Linklater's movie has received a lot of attention because of its unique structure: he filmed it by following his actors--the central one, a child--for a few days each year for 12...
Ferguson-Area Churches Offer Aid after Police Killing
In the weeks since the fatal shooting by police of Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager, in Ferguson, Missouri, F. Willis Johnson has led prayer vigils, met with community leaders, and comforted protesters. Johnson is pastor of Wellspring...
Following Martin
Waking from the Dream: The Struggle for Civil Rights in the Shadow of Martin Luther King, Jr. By David L. Chapped Random House, 272 pp., $27.00 WHAT HAPPENED to the civil rights movement of the late 1950s and the 1960s? The question comes...
From Survival to Love: Evolution and the Problem of Suffering
THE WORLD WATCHES in horror as rebel extremists surge across Iraq. Videos graphically depict the daily violence in Syria. Closer to home, yet another gunman has razed innocent victims in a public place. Behind closed doors, domestic abuse abounds--incidents...
Joyful to the End
STEVE HAYNER is the president of Columbia Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. He's also a husband, father, grandfather, and close friend from whom I have mostly lived too far away. It now appears that he doesn't have long to live. We met over 25 years...
Militarized Policing: The History of the Warrior Cop
MICHAEL BROWN is dead, a young black man gone before he could start college and begin life as an adult. The life of Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot and killed the unarmed Brown, has been forever changed, too. Since the August 8 shooting,...
Mission in Spite of Empire: The Story of Bartholomaus Ziegenbalg
THE WORD mission leads a curious double life in mainline churches nowadays. On the one hand, it's on everyone's lips, a frequently frantic response to declining membership or a thinly veiled borrowing from the business world, the better to market our...
National Clergy Issue Interracial Call for Justice
AS Barbara Williams-Skinner collected signatures for a statement by leaders of African-American church groups about the Ferguson, Missouri, police shooting of Michael Brown, she found more people wanted to join in. The general secretary of the National...
Nuns Honor Elizabeth Johnson, Theologian Criticized by U.S. Bishops
Sister Elizabeth Johnson, who drew U.S. Catholic bishops' ire with what they consider to be radical feminist writings, received the top award of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious August 15 at its assembly in Nashville, Tennessee. In her...
Priest under Threat
Father James Lavelle (Brendan Gleeson) is a faithful, genial priest living in what initially looks like an idyllic corner of western Ireland. In the confessional, he hears a man report being savagely abused by a priest throughout his childhood. As...
Questions for Christians: The Surprising Truths Behind Basic Beliefs
Questions for Christians: The Surprising Truths Behind Basic Beliefs By John Morreall Rowman & Littlefield, 280 pp., $34.00 Blind acceptance of received religious beliefs and practices leaves one a spiritual infant. Although many people...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, September 21 Philippians 1:21-30 A MULTIGENERATIONAL group from our church and school traveled to Kenya to visit a school with which we have a long relationship. Our group pitched in with students and villagers to make bricks for a classroom...
Researchers Tell Faith Communities to Let Trauma Survivors Forgive in Their Own Time
The women came seeking healing. Many of these survivors of the Rwandan genocide had lost family members, and some had been raped and infected with HIV. More than a few were struggling just to make it to another day before they found Solace Ministries....
Revived by the Arts
Walking into the sanctuary of Nashville's Downtown Presbyterian Church reminded me of a revival. The word revival has been used in many different ways in our religious history. Usually it refers to a preacher with great oratory skills who sweeps into...
The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation Is Changing the Middle East
The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation Is Changing the Middle East By Juan Cole Simon & Schuster, 368 pp., $26.00 January 2011. "Mubarak next," said one of our church security guards when news reached us that autocrat Ben Ali had...
With Malice toward Lincoln
Loathing Lincoln: An American Tradition from the Civil War to the Present By John McKee Barr Louisiana State University Press, 480 pp., $35.95 One year after Lincoln was assassinated by the pioneering Lincoln loather John Wilkes Booth, an ex-Confederate...
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