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. 133, No. 21, October 12

"A Book I'd like My Elected Officials to Read"
When Presbyterian pastor Rich Jones had a chance to meet Hillary Clinton in July, he presented her with a copy of Soren Kierkegaard's Works of Love. We asked professors, writers, and policy makers to tell us about a book they would want to hand to...
A Prosecutor's Shame
On November 5, 1983, Isadore Rozeman, a respected jeweler in Shreveport, Louisiana, was killed by a single gunshot to the head. Glenn Ford, who had done some yard work for Rozeman, was apprehended along with three other suspects accused of robbing...
Archaeologists Restore Floor from Second Temple Period on Jerusalem Mount
Archaeologists in Jerusalem say that they have reconstructed part of the ancient stone floor of one of the holiest sites in the world, the ancient temple that Jews call Har HaBayit (Temple Mount), and Muslims call Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary)....
Best Sellers
Oxford University Press All Things Made New: The Reformation and Its Legacy by Diarmaid MacCulloch The Catholic Enlightenment: The Forgotten History of a Global Movement by Ulrich L. Lehner A Theology in Outline: Can These Bones Live?...
George Herbert: 100 Poems
George Herbert: too Poems Selected and edited by Helen Wilcox Cambridge University Press, 174 pp., $19-99 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In Wallace Stegner's novel Crossing to Safety a young woman named Charity advises her boyfriend to find something...
Ghetto: The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea
Ghetto: The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea By Mitchell Duneier Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 304 pp., $28.00 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] She could not quite complete the sentence. "I wonder if you can explain how it is that some black...
Good Christian Sex: Why Chastity Isn't the Only Option-And Other Things the Bible Says about Sex
Good Christian Sex: Why Chastity Isn't the Only Option--And Other Things the Bible Says about Sex By Bromleigh McCleneghan HarperOne, 256 pp., $16.99 paperback [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] I teach at a religious college in a small town littered...
In the Darkroom
In the Darkroom By Susan Faludi Metropolitan, 432 pp., $32.00 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] I've got some interesting news for you," the e-mail began. "I have had enough of impersonating a macho aggressive man that I have never been inside." Attached...
In Turkey, Erdogan Builds a Megamosque That Outdoes the Sultans
"This isn't being built for the people who live here," said Ethem Ozdemir, as he considered the enormous concrete dome gradually rising beyond his home. His neighborhood lies on Istanbul's Camlica Hill, a spot so favored that the Ottoman sultans...
In Uganda, a New Synagogue for Tiny Jewish Community
They are unlike any other group of Jews in the world, and they are growing in what may seem an unlikely place: a remote collection of villages in eastern Uganda. The Abayudaya (which means "people of Judah" in Luganda, the group's language) live...
Madness in Civilization: A Cultural History of Insanity, from the Bible to Freud, from the Madhouse to Modern Medicine
Madness in Civilization: A Cultural History of Insanity, from the Bible to Freud, from the Madhouse to Modern Medicine By Andrew Scull Princeton University Press, 432 pp., $39.50 Madness: American Protestant Responses to Mental Illness...
Mischling: A Novel
Mischling: A Novel By Affinity Konar Lee Boudreaux Books, 352 pp., $27.00 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Affinity Konar's harrowing novel invites us into the world of twin sisters Stasha and Pearl Zamorski, a world whose portal is a crowded journey...
New Rituals for New Realities
Kristen got a panicky feeling when she saw the older woman marching toward her. Gripping her coffee cup, Kristen glanced around the fellowship hall looking for an escape. The woman pulled Kristen aside. "Sweetheart, when are you going to have a...
New Smithsonian Museum Aids Baylor's Preservation of Black Gospel Recordings
One professor's quest to preserve historic black gospel music earned the attention of the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian's recently opened National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., features a permanent...
One Afternoon in October
I WAS in sixth grade. The teacher was Sister Everard. She was a slight but imposing woman. She was ancient beyond measure: 40. If you misbehaved or got lippy or were unprepared in class, she would lower her eyebrows and glare at you and you would feel...
Outside the Frame
In her 1977 book On Photography, Susan Sontag argued that photography creates its own "ethics of seeing." Sontag suggested that photography has created "the sense that we can hold the whole world in our heads--as an anthology of images." This not only...
Partial Depravity
I WAS 18, grieving at the loss of my mother and confused about the immediate future, when I met a remarkable man. He was fascinating, challenging, charismatic, thrilling, and intriguing. Around him was a community of young men and women. I was captured...
Prophecy without Contempt: Religious Discourse in the Public Square
Prophecy without Contempt: Religious Discourse in the Public Square By Cathleen Kaveny Harvard University Press, 464 pp., $49-95 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Karl Barth famously proclaimed that ministers should preach with the newspaper in one...
Randolph Marshall Hollerith
* Growing up in Alexandria, Virginia, Randolph Marshall Hollerith recalls visiting the Washington National Cathedral as it was being built, especially watching the stone carvers work. Now he is the cathedral's dean. "I have powerful memories of...
Real Books, Fake Store
NEAR THE Kindle display at the brick-and-mortar Amazon bookstore in Seattle, I overheard one man say to another, "Some people like the feel of a book." Then he shrugged and added, "Even though you could put every book in this store on one device."...
Reflections on the Lectionary
October 23, 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time Jeremiah 14:7-10, 19-22; Luke 18:9-14 NOBODY IS more dangerous than he who imagines himself pure in heart," writes James Baldwin, "for his purity, by definition, is unassailable." Such people clothe themselves...
Somewhere near the End
When Breath Becomes Air By Paul Kalanithi Random House, 256 pp., $25.00 The Violet Hour: Great Writers at the End By Katie Roiphe Dial Press, 320 pp., $28.00 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] OF THE MAKING of books there is no end, but with...
St. Teresa of Kolkata
* As indicated by her new name, St. Teresa of Kolkata, canonized September 4 in Rome, Mother Teresa is most closely associated with India. But the order she founded in 1950, the Missionaries of Charity, carries on her work all over the globe. In...
The Underground Railroad: A Novel
The Underground Railroad: A Novel By Colson Whitehead Doubleday, 320 pp., $26.95 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Slavery is the sort of topic that makes novels seem trivial, even as it demonstrates in blood the power of a pernicious cultural fiction....
Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging
Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging By Sebastian Junger Twelve, 192 pp., $22.00 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Sebastian Junger is a masterful documentarian of modern warfare. His 2010 book War, along with companion films Restrepo (2010) and Korengal...
Uses and Abuses of Moses: Literary Representations since the Enlightenment
Uses and Abuses of Moses: Literary Representations since the Enlightenment By Theodore Ziolkowski University of Notre Dame Press, 360 pp., $60.00 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A great deal has changed in scripture interpretation since the high...
U.S. Religion Worth $1.2 Trillion
Religion is big bucks, contributing $1.2 trillion annually to the U.S. economy, according to the first comprehensive study to tabulate such a figure. "In perspective, that would make religion the 15th largest national economy in the world, ahead...
Whose Land, Whose Oil?
More than 200 tribes and First Nations from across North America have gathered to protect a site just off the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota, where Energy Transfer LLC, a Texas-based energy company, plans to build an oil pipeline across...
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