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. 132, No. 5, March 4

A Political Theology of Climate Change
A Political Theology of Climate Change By Michael S. Northcott Eerdmans, 345 pp., $30.00 paperback Imagine the homes and cities of nearly half of the world's population under water; the Amazon rainforest turned into a desert; and most of the...
Baptizing Empire
The Cross of War: Christian Nationalism and U.S. Expansion in the Spanish-American War By Matthew McCullough University of Wisconsin Press, 218 pp., $29.95 paperback [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Harry S. Stout's monumental history of religion...
Breakaway Episcopalians in South Carolina Win Major Court Case
The Episcopal Church lost a major court battle on February 3 when a South Carolina judge ruled that the Diocese of South Carolina legally seceded from the denomination and can retain control of $500 million in church property and assets. The Charleston-based...
Carbon and Compost
WHAT IF ONE of the most compelling responses to the overabundance of carbon in the atmosphere is to restore the carbon in the ground beneath our feet? And what if the best inspiration and model for this carbon-restoring work is to be found in the life...
China Cracks Down on Protestants
Prospective Communist Party members in the region of China where Christianity is growing the fastest must renounce religious belief, and current party members must write letters stating their rejection of faith, according to a new mandate by authorities...
Embargoed Pensions
I VISITED CUBA 19 years ago, long before the recent softening of relationships between the Cuban and American governments. As a representative of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), I was visiting the Independent Presbyterian Reformed Church of Cuba,...
England Debates Legalizing in Vitro Technique Giving Baby DNA of Three Parents
England could become the first country to allow the creation of human embryos from the DNA of three people to try to eradicate a type of genetic disease that has caused the deaths of thousands of babies. "This is world-leading science within a highly...
In Israeli Election, Ultra-Orthodox Women Push to Be on Party Lists
A group of determined ultra-Orthodox women are rejecting the male monopoly on politics in their community as, for the first time, they press to be represented on the lists of candidates of the Haredi parties running for Israel's Knesset, or parliament....
Locking Up Kids
President Obama's proposed $4 trillion budget wisely includes $1 billion to address the conditions in Central America that sent tens of thousands of women and children fleeing to the United States last summer. (Similar numbers are anticipated this...
Lone Leaders
PASTORS OFTEN TALK about their loneliness, even though in their work they're surrounded by many people. What pastors mean by loneliness is not what most people think of it as. And it's not unique to their calling. According to more than one editorialist,...
Medicine and Religion: A Historical Introduction
Medicine and Religion: A Historical Introduction By Gary B. Ferngren Johns Hopkins University Press, 256 pp., $24.95 paperback The Cincinnati hospital where I work was founded in the 19th century by women of the Episcopal diocese to provide...
Reflections on the Lectionary
March 8, Third Sunday in Lent John 2:13-22 WHAT IS JESUS so mad about? He has recently been to a family wedding, a joyful event, where his mother imposed on him to help out with the wine. Now he goes to Jerusalem after a few days at home with...
Religious Violence?
THE GRAPHIC KILLINGS, captured on video and posted for the world to see, are horrific enough--and they only begin to tell the tale. The insurgent force known as ISIS, ISIL, or, as it now demands, the Islamic State has slaughtered more than a thousand...
Report Reveals Full History of Theologian's Abuse, Institutions' Response
A 73-page report in the most recent issue of the Mennonite Quarterly Review provides the first-ever comprehensive and detailed examination of theologian John Howard Yoder's sexual abuse and the church's response to it. News of his transgressions...
Sheepdog or Sheep?
In a scene in American Sniper, Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) is told by his father (Ben Reed) that there are three kinds of people in the world: There are sheep, helpless and clueless. There are wolves, dangerous and predatory. And there are sheepdogs,...
Shut Up and Learn
At a meeting of ecumenical leaders working on church planting and evangelism, I noticed that the room collectively leaned in and listened carefully whenever the moderator spoke. He was Ruben Duran, the program director for new congregations in the...
South Sudan Peace Unclear as Talks Leave out Clergy, Other Key Stakeholders
While the parties in conflict in South Sudan signed a recent peace agreement, it did not include key stakeholders--faith groups among them--making long-term hopes for peace uncertain. An estimated 50,000 people have died, and 2 million have been...
Stephen A. Hayner
Stephen A. Hayner, 66, president emeritus of Columbia Theological Seminary and a national leader in campus ministry, died January 31 in Decatur, Georgia, less than a year after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He went on medical leave as...
Surprise Gift Largest Ever for Pittsburgh Seminary
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) received a surprise gift of $20.25 million. Robert Thomson, an insurance company owner who died in September at age 94, did not tell the school about his estate plans, nor did he...
The Pastor as Person: Ministry Counselor Ross Peterson
ROSS PETERSON, a minister in the Evangelical Covenant Church and a clinical pastoral counselor, is executive director at the Chicago office of Midwest Ministry Development, an organization that serves pastors who are wrestling with questions about...
The People's Preaching Class
SOMETIME IN THE late 1980s I was presenting a paper on my dissertation when I noticed that the most important person in postwar American preaching was sitting in the first row. I had the opportunity to meet Fred B. Craddock later, and that day changed...
The Soul of the World
The Soul of the World By Roger Scruton Princeton University Press, 216 pp., $27.95 Philosopher Thomas Nagel has pointed out that a complete scientific description of the world would identify all the objects, forces, and laws of motion but...
Ugandan Anglican Bishop Defends Rebel Commander Accused of War Crimes
In its heyday, the Ugandan rebel force known as the Lord's Resistance Army was accused of killing more than 100,000 people, abducting 60,000 to 100,000 children, and displacing more than 2.5 million civilians. Yet a retired Anglican bishop in northern...
Who's Afraid of Relativism? Community, Contingency, and Creaturehood
Who's Afraid of Relativism? Community, Contingency, and Creaturehood By James K. A. Smith Baker Academic, 192 pp., $19.99 paperback James K. A. Smith is a philosophical theologian concerned about truth. In this simply structured and transparently...
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