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. 134, No. 3, February 1

After Obamacare
The Republicans are in power in Washington, and their priority is ending Obamacare. The plan is to pass repeal legislation during the filibuster-proof budget process, but to delay implementation while they turn to a persistent question: What will they...
A Preacher Builds Bridges: My Summer Job as an Ironworker
I WAS AN IRONWORKER. Earl was my foreman. We worked for a company building bridges in Florida. Some of them were simple overpasses for an expanding interstate highway. Others were the top layer of a three-layer-cake structure--they swirled over the...
A Toy Figure of Luther Sparked Accusations of Anti-Semitism
Cloaked in black robes, Playmobil's toy figure of Martin Luther holds a quill in one hand and his German translation of the Bible in the other. But the inscription on the open pages of the Bible led to a theological controversy and a change to the...
Blurring the Lines: Can Retiring Pastors Mentor Their Own Successors?
AFTER 40 YEARS of ministry, the pastor of a small, rural church was starting to show signs of forgetfulness and disorientation. He was dearly loved by his parishioners, and no one wanted to talk to him about retirement. But as time went on, he grew...
Brazil's Iconic Statue Christ the Redeemer Is in Need of Restoration
The Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro has launched an international appeal for donations to help restore Christ the Redeemer, Brazil's 98-foot-tall statue, considered one of the modern Seven Wonders of the World. "Christ the Redeemer, with its open...
Building Jerusalem: Elegies on Parish Churches
Building Jerusalem: Elegies on Parish Churches Edited by Kevin J. Gardner Bloomsbury, 224 pp. 16.99 [pounds sterling] An elegy is a poetic lament for the dead. It is above all about loss and sorrow. This timely collection of elegies mourns...
By Number, Christians Overrepresented in Congress
Even as the percentage of Americans who claim no religious identification has risen to nearly a quarter of the population, 91 percent of representatives in the current Congress call themselves Christian--about the same amount as in 1961--according...
Casting Lots: Creating a Family in a Beautiful, Broken World
Casting Lots: Creating a Family in a Beautiful, Broken World By Susan Silverman Da Capo Press, 256 pp., $24.99 Not many memoirs leave readers with the question "How will I respond?" This one does. Our most basic human right is to grow up...
Chasing Beauty, Finding Grace
DAVID BROOKS is a columnist for the New York Times and a commentator on PBS NewsHour. He has worked as a senior editor at the Weekly Standard and as a reporter and editor at the Wall Street Journal. His books include Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper...
Death of a Caregiver: At the Bedside of a Man Who Visited the Bedridden
WHEN I ARRIVE at the intensive care unit, the doctor tells me that Cameron is unresponsive, that he will die soon, very soon, perhaps that night. I stare at Cameron through the sliding-glass door. He's lying on a bed with tubes and wires connecting...
Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World By Cal Newport Grand Central Publishing, 296 pp. $28.00 I evolved gradually into the person who checked her e-mail on her phone almost every hour of the day. Who could spend a mindless...
Family Fears
In a scene from This Is Us, NBC's powerful new family dramedy, nine-year-old Randall, who's black, is struggling with his identity while his white, adoptive parents are arguing about whether to try to find his biological parents. "He's our son,"...
Hope That Flows
Water in Plain Sight: Hope for a Thirsty World By Judith D. Schwartz St. Martin's Press, 256 pp., $26.99 Thirst for Power: Energy, Water, and Human Survival By Michael E. Webber Yale University Press, 248 pp., $30.00 The rain that...
Ibrahim Nseir Was Chatting at a Beirut Hotel in Late November with Others Attending a Gathering of Protestant Leaders from around the Middle East and beyond When a Call Came from His Wife in Aleppo, Syria
* Ibrahim Nseir was chatting at a Beirut hotel in late November with others attending a gathering of Protestant leaders from around the Middle East and beyond when a call came from his wife in Aleppo, Syria. She had just heard that one of the families...
In Middle East Conflicts, Families Struggle to Care for Elderly Members
War and its problems are never far from Jafar Ghazi's family. One recent night, two bodies were found on a street near the Iraqi family's Baghdad home; just days before, two children from the neighborhood were kidnapped. But such violence isn't...
Microbial Life
I was attending a fancy dinner party in someone's home last year when I spotted something that no one else in the living room saw. The caterers in the kitchen, who were dashing to serve the meal hot, accidentally spilled some chicken breasts onto the...
New Protected Area in Utah Includes Land That's Sacred for Native Americans
When President Obama established new national monuments in Utah and Nevada, he noted that the area is "profoundly sacred" for the Ute, Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni peoples. At the start of his proclamation in late December protecting 1.35 million acres...
Reflections on the Lectionary
February 19, Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany Matthew 5:38-48 LOVE YOUR ENEMIES. It's easy to claim that these words are countercultural, like so much of the Sermon on the Mount. It can be theologically fruitful to highlight the beautiful paradox...
We Are God's Artwork
I INHERITED an impressive sequence of art commissions from my predecessor at St. Martin's. He not only conceived a number of projects but also gathered an expert panel of art consultants and found donors for a remarkable east window, two altars, a...
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