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. 25, December 10

After Ten Years of Debate, Jerusalem Elects Rabbis for Its Two Top Positions
After more than a decade of rancorous debates and court decisions over the election of two chief rabbis of Jerusalem, Aryeh Stern and Shlomo Amar were chosen for the roles. By tradition Jerusalem has two chief rabbis, one who is Sephardic and one...
Aquinas on the Beginning and End of Human Life
Aquinas on the Beginning and End of Human Life By Fabrizio Amerini; translated by Mark Henninger Harvard University Press, 288 pp., $29.95 It is a well-known and somewhat embarrassing fact that Thomas Aquinas does not agree with the current...
Cosmic Questions
Perhaps science fiction movies are always theological movies in disguise. The question "Are we alone in the universe?" sounds big, ponderous, and existential. But if we discover life on other planets, as a friend of mine opines, "We'll just be alone...
Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House
Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House By Peter Baker Doubleday, 832 pp., $17.95 paperback Presidential history is a venerable and popular art. Vice presidential history, not so much. One of Franklin Roosevelt's vice presidents,...
Egypt's Christians, Attacked for Supporting Coup Leader, Await Rebuilding
At the Amir Tadros Church in Minya, worshipers pray in what amounts to a building site. Nestled among the scaffolding, a bright blue sign proclaims that work will be completed by June. This past June. The church in this Upper Egyptian city of a...
Federal Court of Appeals Reverses Judge's Decision on Clergy Housing Taxes
A federal court of appeals rejected a case brought by an atheist organization that would have declared tax-exempt clergy housing allowances unconstitutional. The November 13 ruling overturns a 2013 decision by U.S. District Court judge Barbara Crabb,...
Healthy Churches, Faithful Pastors: Covenant Expectations for Thriving Together
Healthy Churches, Faithful Pastors: Covenant Expectations for Thriving Together By David Keck Rowman & Littlefield, 206 pp., $20.00 paperback What's the hardest thing about being a pastor?" Church members and lay friends ask me this question...
Hyphenated Life
EACH SUMMER when I was a girl, my family would drive from Kentucky to Minnesota for our annual visit with relatives. We made the trip in two days, stopping for lunch and breaks at rest areas and the occasional fast-food restaurant. On the day of...
Insurgents Displace Nigerian Christians
In the violence inflicted by Boko Haram insurgents in northeastern Nigeria, the Ekklesiyar Yan'uwa a Nigeria (the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) has been increasingly caught in the middle. Samuel Dante Dali, EYN president, called for urgent...
Jesus against the Scribal Elite: The Origins of the Conflict
Jesus against the Scribal Elite: The Origins of the Conflict By Chris Keith Baker Academic, 208 pp., $22.99 paperback Chris Keith sets out to answer two questions. Most basically: What lay at the heart of the conflict that led some religious...
Kawal Tagore
Kawal Tagore, a Sikh accountant, won a settlement from the U.S. government that will open the doors of federal buildings to many of her fellow Sikhs around the country. Tagore worked at the Internal Revenue Service in 2005 when she was baptized...
Music That Changes
As I settled into the pew at All Souls Episcopal Church in Berkeley, California, my eyes turned to the crayons strategically placed in the seats as an invitation for the adults to color their bulletin along with the children. I had a strange kid-at-a-birthday-party...
Pickles: A History
I'VE LONG HAD it in mind to write a book with the title Pickles: A History. My husband thinks it's a crazy idea, but there is precedent in the recent spate of social microhistories--big books about small things--which has given us books like Salt:...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, December 14 Luke. 1:46b-55 THE SANCTUARY of the congregation I serve is built into the ground, with two stories of windows rising from its lowest level. The glass windows--some lightly stained and some clear--show through to an area outside...
Refugee Crisis
In November a third American was beheaded by the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which has taken control of parts of those two countries. Peter Kassig was captured in Syria, where he was working as a volunteer medical assistant, trying to...
Refuge in Uganda
LAST SUMMER, while the attention of the world was focused on the World Cup in Brazil--the two weeks of the year when even Americans get excited about soccer--another competition was being organized in northern Uganda. According to a news release from...
Right-Brained Apologetics
FRANCIS SPUFFORD has won several literary awards in Great Britain for his nonfiction works, which include I May Be Some Time: Ice and the English Imagination and a memoir of childhood, The Child That Books Built. In 2012 he published what he calls...
Serious Waiting
Oh! You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I'm tellin' you why: Santa Claus is coming to town. THERE'S SOMETHING almost painful yet delicious about a child who's waiting for Christmas, counting the days, wishing and...
Tensions Rise in Jerusalem over Site of Temple Mount and Dome of the Rock
A site holy to both Jews and Muslims, the Temple Mount--known as the Haram al-Sharif to Muslims--is at the center of an intense debate. Tensions were sparked in late October by the attempted assassination of Yehuda Glick, an advocate for building...
The Other Woman
THE BIBLE IS not good propaganda. This is one of the things I like best about it. Its heroes often lie, steal, and drink too much. Institutions are established and then undermined by counternarratives that expose their corruption. Seeds for the...
The Preacher's Wife
Lila By Marilynne Robinson Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 272 pp., $26.00 Marilynne Robinson's readers already know the title character of her new novel, having met Lila twice: once as the mother of John Ames's son in Gilead, and once as a skeptical...
To Give & to Receive: Christmas Recommendations from Century Editors and Columnists
PHILIP JENKINS To give If you know anyone interested in history, religion, art, or travel, or who simply has an interest in superb writing, alert him to Patrick Leigh Fermor, arguably the finest English-language travel writer of the last century....
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