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. 18, September 2

After an International Outcry, Yat Michael and Peter Yein Reith, Pastors Who Faced Possible Death Sentences in Sudan, Were Set Free Following a Court Hearing August 5
After an international outcry, Yat Michael and Peter Yein Reith, pastors who faced possible death sentences in Sudan, were set free following a court hearing August 5. Yat and Reith, pastors in the South Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church, were...
An Anxious Age: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America
An Anxious Aqe: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America By Joseph Bottum Image, 320 pp., $25.00 According to Joseph Bottum, "the single most significant fact over the past few decades in America--the great explanatory event from...
Building Baltimore: A Coalition Connects Police and Community
ON WEDNESDAY, July 8, Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts joined a long list of police commissioners who've been fired by Baltimore mayors. For many Baltimoreans, the firing fit a familiar pattern: a rise in murders leads to community pressure...
Congregational Leaders Make Buildings More Accessible for People with Disabilities
The Americans with Disabilities Act-marking its 25th anniversary this summer--didn't require places of worship to make their spaces more accessible. But congregations such as Bet Shalom, a Reform Jewish synagogue in Minnetonka, Minnesota, did it...
Dealing with Iran
September 2, 2015 In a forceful speech at American University, President Obama laid out in a few words the best argument there is for the nuclear deal with Iran: there's "no plausible alternative," he said. "The choice we face is ultimately between...
Fifty Years after Voting Act, Black Churches Fight New Voting Restrictions
Fifty years after the signing of the Voting Rights Act, many black churches are redoubling efforts to maintain access to the ballot box. James C. Perkins, president of the historically black Progressive National Baptist Convention, said the denomination...
Holding Each Other Loosely: After My Wife's Brain Aneurysm
THE NEUROSURGEON who operated on my wife's brain told us to anticipate an 18-month window of healing. "After 18 months," he said, "there's a plateau. What you have by way of recovery at that point is pretty much the function you can expect for the...
In Contested Syrian Town, Neighbors Bridge Divide
It was the first day of the holy month of Ramadan when two former neighbors reunited in Akcakale, a Turkish border town. Both were hot, thirsty, and impatient to return to Syria once the border gate reopened. The two men and their families had been...
Inklings of Good News
The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings--J.R.R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams By Philip Zaleski and Carol Zaleski Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 656 pp., $35.00 THE INKLINGS will not go away. College courses...
Kenya Debates How to Welcome Home Extremist Fighters
By 4 p.m. each weekday at a parking lot in the Nairobi suburb of Eastleigh, the cars clear out. Volunteers lay down straw mats on the tarmac, and young men and women trickle in--sitting on separate sides--to listen to the daily teaching of Salim...
Living by the Word
September 6, 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Mark 7:24-37 EACH SUNDAY evening, following the sermon, a member of our church stands before the 40 or so people gathered and makes an invitation: "Where did you sense God's Holy Spirit among us tonight?"...
Oceanside Reading
SOMETHING ABOUT BEING dose to the ocean is conducive to reading. I experienced it again this year when my wife and I vacationed on a barrier island off the coast of North Carolina. The only necessary activity is biking to Captain Pete's Seafood Market,...
Post-Traumatic Texts
Holy Resilience: The Bible's Traumatic Origins By David M. Carr Yale University Press, 336 pp., $32.50 Since the 19th century, biblical study has accepted history as its defining cognate discipline. History has dictated the questions asked...
Reflections on the Lectionary
September 13, 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time Psalm 19; James 3:1-12 I'VE ONLY READ the first few chapters of The Flame Alphabet, Ben Marcus's dystopian novel about a time when the language of children inflicts deathly wounds on adults. But it's...
Restored Pilgrim Paths
In 1944, the legendary director Michael Powell made the film A Canterbury Tale, now recognized as one of the greatest and British cinema. This strange fantasy depicts a group of conflicted modern people on a dreamlike trip to the city of Canterbury,...
Rom-Com in the Flesh
Why Harry Wouldn't Meet Sally in 2013" was one of many headlines announcing the death of the romantic comedy. The notices extended well into 2014 with articles on "Who Killed the Romantic Comedy?" and "The Romantic Comedy Is Dead." Some would suggest...
The Church Assembled: Why I Love Denominational Gatherings
THE NEXT General Assembly for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is scheduled for 2017 in Indianapolis. It might be the last of its kind. The church's tradition has been to meet every other year, and the agenda always includes approving plans...
Under ISIS Rule, Health Care Is Limited
THE SELF-DESCRIBED Islamic State has lured thousands of foreign fighters and their families to Syria with the promise of building a Utopian caliphate. And Syrians living in IS-run cities such as Raqqa say it is providing basic governance in a country...
White House Proposes Rules on Faith-Based Social Services
The Obama administration released proposed rules August 5 designed to protect the religious freedom of people who receive social services from government-funded religious programs. The regulations, involving nine federal agencies, would extend rules...
Witnesses in the Cloud
I'M LATE TO THE PARTY, but I've just taken up the hobby whose popularity in the United States is second only to that of gardening and whose online presence is surpassed only by pornography. Stamp collecting, ham radio, amateur astronomy, knitting,...
Writing the Christian Life: The Essence of Spiritual Memoir
A SPARROW FLUTTERS through the window into a banquet hall filled with light, music, and feasting. Then, just as quickly, the bird flies away again into the darkness. The flight of the bird is our life--brief, dramatic, and framed by two immense darknesses....
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