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. 7, April 1

African Church Leaders Oppose Female Genital Mutilation in Hospitals
International rights groups, churches, and activists are escalating campaigns against female genital mutilation now that girls are checking into hospitals to have the procedure. In what is being referred to as the medicalization of FGM, doctors,...
Assyrian Christians Face Attacks from Islamic State
Assyrian Christians who live in Syria and Iraq have faced religious persecution for much of their modern history. The world was reminded of that stark reality in late February when militants from the self-described Islamic State reportedly captured...
Choices and Lives: The Changing Politics of Abortion
THOSE WHO ATTEMPT to limit abortion in the United States are often described by their opponents as "moving backward." In the summer of 2013, for instance, the Texas legislature moved to ban abortion after 20 weeks and to require all abortion facilities...
Christians, Muslims Persecuted in Myanmar
Despite democratic reforms and international pressure that have pushed Myanmar to improve its human rights record in recent years, religious freedom remains heavily constrained across the country. The persecution of the Rohingya Muslim minority...
Dementia and Resurrection
OUR CULTURE'S JUDGMENT on dementia comes down to three words. The first is deficit. No one has a positive association or reaction in relation to dementia. It's all subtraction from regular life, all taking away, all negative. There's nothing good to...
Episcopal Church Examines Policies on Alcohol Abuse after Bishop's DUI Crash
Episcopal Church clergy and laypeople alike are rereading church policy on alcohol and the consecration of bishops after a fatal December crash in Baltimore in which a bishop drove while drunk. They are discussing how addiction is handled and whether...
Faith and Wisdom in Science
Faith and Wisdom in Science By Tom McLeish Oxford University Press, 304 pp., $29.95 In 1959, C. P. Snow delivered a lecture called "The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution." The two cultures are the humanities and the sciences, and...
Fred B. Craddock
Fred B. Craddock, a preeminent teacher and practitioner of preaching, died March 6 at age 86 in Blue Ridge, Georgia. He had been ill with Parkinson's disease. Craddock taught preaching at Emory University's Candler School of Theology from 1979 to...
Going Smaller and Deeper
When one looks at a classic painting of an idyllic town, it's usually not difficult to spot the church. The steeple pierces the sky and soars above the homes and other buildings. It isn't just the architecture that has set the church apart. We have...
Guerilla Disability Roc: Sloan Meek and His Music
"ALL RIGHT, LEE," murmurs a robotic voice. "If you're ready, take it away." The voice comes from a laptop affixed to Sloan Meek's wheelchair. The 26-year-old has cerebral palsy and cannot speak. His longtime live-in caregiver, Wendy Lincicome, spends...
Holy Terror
Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence By Karen Armstrong Knopf, 528 pp., $30.00 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] READERS MIGHT DISAGREE with Karen Armstrong's specific arguments, but never has she been faulted for lack of scholarly...
Not Yet Spring: Notes from the Farm
A MOVEMENT catches the corner of my eye just before dark on an early February evening. I glance up from my seed and fruit tree catalogs to see the silhouette of an owl in flight--steady, silent, strong. I forget to breathe for a moment as he glides...
Reason for Hope
A FRIEND OF MINE recently announced that he had lost hope for the human race. The news each day was so consistently and relentlessly depressing, he said, that he was certain that the human project had run its course. We might flail about for a few...
Reflections on the Lectionary
April 5, Easter Sunday Mark 16:1-8 IT IS NEVER taking the easy way out to preach Mark's Gospel on Easter Sunday. The first time I tried it, I spent more time than usual in study. I looked for connections to the shock and awe the women at the...
Religious Noise Pollution in a Buddhist Culture
WHILE MYANMAR'S strict curbs on religious freedom continue to draw international scrutiny, its lax enforcement of noise limits is attracting the ire of locals. Residents of the densely populated cities of Mandalay and Yangon are demanding stronger...
Social and Economic Life in Second Temple Judea
Social and Economic Life in Second Temple Judea By Samuel L. Adams Westminster John Knox, 268 pp., $35.00 paperback Samuel Adams of Union Seminary in Richmond has written a book that is important on two counts. First, he focuses on the historical...
Still Targeted
One has to go out of one's way in Denmark to find a synagogue to terrorize--the country has only a few thousand Jews. And one has to go out of one's way in France to find a kosher market to attack. The terrorizing of the grocery in east Paris, where...
Studying Faith and Hope in the Face of Death
After the recent death of 26-year-old aid worker Kayla Mueller of Prescott, Arizona, who was held captive for months by the so-called Islamic State, her parents released a brief, handwritten letter she had sent to her family. "I remember Mom always...
The New Evangelical Social Engagement
The New Evangelical Social Engagement Edited by Brian Steensland and Philip Goff Oxford University Press, 336 pp., $29.95 paperback Recently an academic friend whose views and worship practices meet all the usual criteria of evangelical told...
Transparent Need
There are two ways in American media to introduce the viewing public to a minority group: you can present a member of the group as a "normal" and "respectable" member of the middle class (think of the gay couple Mitch and Cam on Modern Family) or as...
Unjustifiable Acts
Mainstreaming Torture: Ethical Approaches in the Post-9/11 United States By Rebecca Gordon Oxford University Press, 240 pp., $29.95 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In early December, after months of behind-the-scenes wrangling and delay, the Senate...
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