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History of Religion After 1900

  1. 1984: Orwell and Barmen by Robert McAfee Brown

    1984 is the 50th anniversary of the Confessing Church in Germany’s Barmen Declaration, issued in May 1934, well into Hitler’s second year in power. This declaration was one of the very few corporate challenges to Hitler and to what the Nazis were doing in Germany. We must protest today, as the signers of the Barmen Declaration did yesterday, when the leaders of a government begin to say, “Hear, trust and obey us.

  2. A Wider Vision: A History of the World Congress of Faiths, 1936 - 1996 by Marcus Braybrooke

    (ENTIRE BOOK) The story of The World Congress of Faiths as one attempt to realize the vision and dream that all religions of the world might become one in spirit or at least forgo prejudice and hostility and work together for a happier world. NOTE: The Notes for all chapters will be found in the Notes at the end of the book.

  3. Adopting Realism: The Century 1962-1971 by James M. Wall

    What we did have throughout that decade (1962-1971), as the Century pages indicate, was a growing dismay over the inability of a democracy to halt racism at home and an immoral war abroad.

  4. After Twenty Years by George W. Norris

    Senator Norris here presents his arguments why he was the only senator who voted against our entry into World War I: we have multiplied most of the problems we went into that war to solve.

  5. All Agnostics Here by Martin E. Marty

    Bloom declares that the American religion is not Protestant or Christian but Gnostic, that even most American Methodists, Roman Catholics, and even Jews and Muslims are more Gnostic than normative in their deepest and unwariest beliefs. Even our secularists, indeed even our professed atheists, are more Gnostic than humanist in their ultimate presuppositions.

  6. Azusa Street Revival by Edith Blumhofer

    The imaginative power of the Azusa Street revival shapes not only narrative but also practice and makes the historiography of Pentecostalism surprisingly contentious because adherents generally embrace a particular version of the revival’s story and often engage parts of its legacy rather the whole.

  7. Beginning at Jerusalem by Samuel McCrea Cavert

    The Jerusalem meeting made it clear that the missionary enterprise is coming to be not something that we do for other peoples but something that we do with them. Gone was the note of condescending superiority. It was a high-water mark in the history of foreign missions when the council declared that the churches of the West need to receive Christian missionaries as well as send them.

  8. Breadlines and Storm Clouds: The Century 1930-1937 by Dean Peerman

    In the opinion of the Century’s editors, the 1929 depression signaled something more basic than a temporary malfunctioning of the capitalist system; it was indicative of fundamental flaws in the system itself. And in the war to follow, editor Morrison’s own position differed from that of both Niebuhr and Kirby Page, though it was closer to Page’s.

  9. Charles Atlas with a Halo: America's Billy Graham by Grant Wacker

    Following a brief summary of Billy Graham’s popularity over nearly a half century, Wacker notes the hostility Graham has engendered from both the religious left and right. In what is essentially a complimentary review of William Martin’s book, A Prophet With Honor: The Billy Graham Story, Wacker credits the author with showing a balanced view of Graham, and summarizes Graham’s appeal from political, social, cultural, as well as homiletical, ecclesiastical and theological perspectives.

  10. Charles Clayton Morrison: Shaping a Journal’s Identity by Linda-Marie Delloff

    In 1908 Charles Clayton Morrison took over The Christian Century, by then a publication floundering in financial distress, and eventually turned it into the most influential Protestant magazine of its time.

  11. Christian Faith and the World Crisis by Reinhold Niebuhr

    We think it dangerous to allow religious sensitivity to obscure the fact that Nazi tyranny intends to annihilate the Jewish race, to subject the nations of Europe to the dominion of a "master" race, to extirpate the Christian religion, to annul the liberties and legal standards that are the priceless heritage of ages of Christian and humanistic culture, to make truth the prostitute of political power, to seek world dominion through its satraps and allies, and generally to destroy the very fabric of our western civilization.

  12. Christianity and the Status Quo by Herbert Butterfield

    After World War I there emerged a form of international "idealism" which was gravely weakened by legalistic and pharisaical heresies. It involved a system which was very convenient for the French and the British. This form of internationalism was bound to as a gigantic machine for the freezing of the status quo.


  13. Days of Protest by Mark G. Toulouse

    After World War II, the Century was in not about to engage in simple anti-communist banter. Instead, by 1968, editorials more regularly faced and addressed the shortcomings of American life..

  14. Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Ecumenical Vision by Victoria J. Barnett

    Saints are people whose faith is so much a part of their being that it leaves visible traces, just as the work we do leaves lines on our faces and alters our posture.

  15. Dietrick Bonhoeffer by Craig L. Nessan

    In this comprehensive collection of letters, documents, essays and notes, as well as a smaller number of sermons and meditations, we read how Bonhoffer dealt with the escalating interruption that was Nazi Germany.

  16. Hans Küng and Tübingen: Compromise and Aftermath by John J. Carey

    The Tübingen compromise which allowed Hans Küng to remain on the university faculty and to retain his status as director of the Ecumenical Institute, but at the same time removed him from the Roman Catholic theological faculty, appears initially to have resolved a delicate situation.

  17. How Baptists Assessed Hitler by William Loyd Allen

    Some U.S. Baptists wrote sympathetically of Hitler’s Germany in 1934: an emphasis on personal piety, an evangelism based on a bifurcated doctrine of salvation (which therefore had no ability to criticize national policy), and an anybody-but-the-communists criterion for judging foreign governments. Nevertheless, most members of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Berlin spoke boldly against racism, nationalism and militarism which was so prevalent in Germany in 1934.

  18. Impasse in India by Pankaj Mishra

    This essay is based on THE CLASH WITHIN: DEMOCRACY, RELIGIOUS VIOLENCE, AND INDIA'S FUTURE, by Martha C. Nussbaum. Martha Nussbaum received her Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard. She currently hold a position in Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago Law School. She also holds cross-appointments in the Divinity School and in the Departments of Philosophy and Classics.

  19. Integration and Imperialism: The Century 1953-1961 by James M. Wall

    In the Christian Century, during the period of 1953 to 1961, the editors believed that the best way to propagate democracy was by example and through financial support, not by military might.

  20. Irony of Ironies: Evaluating the Moderns by George Marsden

    A review of Martin E. Marty’s Modern American Religion (Vol. 1): The Irony of It All: 1893-1919. This book is balanced and fair, filled with wisdom, and informed by a voluminous array of historical scholarship.

  21. John Bennett on Oxford '37 by David McCreary

    Not only was Oxford for many a more significant embodiment of the universal church than they had previously experienced but it also confronted them with both theological and ethical thinking about the church which transcends nations.

  22. John XXIII: His Council and Achievement Remembered by J. Robert Nelson

    The wall of division, built up during 1,000 years, had been breached.  Pope John XXIII, the jolly old caretaker, had done it, and for reasons which were transparently in accord with the purpose declared in the New Testament.

  23. Keep It Religious!: The Morrison Era at the Century by Robert Wood Lynn

    More often than not during his tenure at the Century, the magazine was caught up in the romance of some cause, whether it was pacifism, ecumenism, the ideal of separation of church and state, the fight against the encroachments of an authoritarian Roman Catholic hierarchy, or one of any number of other movements.

  24. Memories of Martin Niemöller by Ewart E. Turner

    The finding and freeing of Martin Niemöller at the end of the war.

  25. Nazism and Communism by Karl Barth

    History has proved that if an Englishman or a Swiss puts on a uniform that is not the same as when a German puts one on. The German becomes a total soldier too easily and too quickly. In common with many Europeans I would rather not see the re-emergence of the German soldier. And even if I were a German, and perhaps particularly if I were a German, I would rather not have his re-emergence, not even when the peril from the East is considered.

  26. No Communion Without Compassion: Visser ’ t Hooft , An Interview by Geiko Muller-Farenholtz

    Churches that are not ready -- despite far-reaching theological agreement -- to put their individual traditions and idiosyncrasies in the background forego the right to proclaim to the nations an international order of law and peace.

  27. On Anti-Semitism by Jacques Maritain

    If the anti-Semitic regulations and propaganda are to endure for some years, we may imagine that many weak people will resign themselves to the worst. They will think that, after all, the concentration camps are more comfortable for their neighbors than the Jews say, and finally they will find themselves perfectly able to look at or contribute to the destruction of their friends, with the smile of a clear conscience (life must go on!).

  28. Peace and Pluralism: The Century 1946-1952 by Martin E. Marty

    On October 3, 1949, thirty-eight denominations set out to win as many as possible of the 70 million unchurched people of this country to a living evangelical faith.  Realism soon shattered their plans, and if latter-day celebrators of belligerence, tribalism and hard-headedness disdain some of their goals, this does not mean they have nothing to teach us.

  29. Planning ahead: The Enduring Appeal of Prophecy Belief by Grant Wacker

    The author reviews a study of what he calls "prophecy belief," which is traced to its origins in Darbyite theology, sketched in outline, and described in terms of contemporary American church life.

  30. Progress and ‘Relapse’: The Century and World War I by Mark G. Toulouse

    This is the second in a series of articles on the 100th anniversary of The Christian Century examining particular eras in the life of the magazine. In spite of its extensive support for the World War I effort, the Century did not exhibit an uncritical jingoism.

  31. Rauschenbusch Today: The Legacy of a Loving Prophet by Max L. Stackhouse

    The thought of Walter Rauschenbusch in the light of the new biography by Paul Minus.

  32. Rauschenbusch's Christianity and the Social Crisis by Gary Dorrien

    Rauschenbusch’s encounter with urban poverty and the tragedies of it’s effects on children led him to reshape modern Christianity with his insights into the social gospel. He believed that the radical core of the social gospel was that though the kingdom of God may not be here and will probably never be totally here, it is always coming.

  33. Remembering Rwanda by David P. Gushee

    Ninety percent of Rwanda is Christian, yet all the clerical garb and regalia, the Christian vocabulary and books, schools, seminaries and parishes, Bible studies, religious titles and education degrees, did nothing to stop genocide in that country.

  34. Schism Memoirs by Bill J. Leonard

    At the center of the feud in the ‘70s that resulted in the schism in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod was John H. Tietjen. Bill J. Leonard reviews Tietjen’s autobiographical reflections on that era of turmoil.

  35. Seventy Years of the Century by Harold E. Fey

    Struggling against poverty, inexperience and the low estate of religious journalism generally, Charles Clayton Morrison, within 15 years, lifted an obscure publication to a position of influence in church and state.

  36. Socializing Capitalism: The Century During the Great Depression by Mark G. Toulouse

    During the Great Depression, at a time when the vast majority of clergy in America disapproved of Roosevelt’s New Deal reforms, the Christian Century endorsed his 1936 bid for reelection.

  37. Survivor of the First Degree by Werner Weinberg

    The Holocaust is a phenomenon that must not be classified with anything else. People will continue to be dumbfounded as to how the Holocaust could have happened, and the fate of the victims will continue to haunt humankind.

  38. The Century and Civil Rights: Indirect Action by Mark G. Toulouse

    This is the fifth in a series of articles during the 100th-anniversary of The Christian Century. It discusses the Century's involvement in civil rights movement.. The Century supported the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the NAACP and the Urban League.

  39. The Century and Women Feminist Gains by Mark G. Toulouse

    Throughout the mid-nineteenth century, mainline Christian editors remained reluctant to support women’s working outside the home. Although the Century did not necessarily taken the lead in feminist issues, it did open its pages to the contributions of those who had.

  40. The Century in Transition: 1916-1922 by Linda-Marie Delloff

    From 1919 to 1922 the Century became nondenominational and assumed a role as a leading forum for the expression of social-gospel positions.

  41. The ‘Unnecessary Necessity’: The Century in World War II by Mark G. Toulouse

    This is the fourth in a series of 100th anniversary articles examining key moments in the life of the Christian Century magazine. Because of the shame they continued to feel for their unqualified blessing of World War I, many Protestants were hesitant to bless another war. Reinhold Niebuhr and Charles Clayton Morrison differed in what to do about the rise of Hitler in Germany.

  42. The Barbaric 20th Century by William Schweiker

    A review of Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century. Jonathan Glover undertakes the momentous task of offering a moral history of the past century -- a history of the failure of our humanity and the concurrent rise of barbarism. He charts the constant threat of barbarism, and suggests ways to build up ethical defenses against it.

  43. The Church Faces Its World by Winfred Ernest Garrison

    To ask the members of an ecumenical conference to give, within a fortnight, a diagnosis of the world’s ills, an evaluation of the church’s previous and present efforts to cure them, a statement of the rights and duties of the church in relation to political and cultural organizations, and a prospectus for future action which will satisfy the legitimate claims of both and promote the welfare of all mankind -- that seems to be asking the impossible. The Oxford Conference; with certain limitations, made significant advances in these directions.

  44. The Conference at Stockholm by Lynn Harold Hough

    Every question regarding the practical application of Christianity came in for frank and free discussion. And there was no attempt to disguise those disagreements which emerged as the discussions wore on. God’s purposes for the world, economic and industrial problems, social and moral problems, international relations, Christian education and plans and methods of co-operation were all discussed from almost every conceivable point of view.

  45. The Holocaust’s Lessons for the Church by Victoria J. Barnett

    Three books on the Holocaust are reviewed: When the available evidence is examined in its entirety, Pius XII emerges as neither a saint nor a Nazi, but as a complex, enigmatic figure who reveals a great deal about the troubling ambiguity that characterized the Christian world’s response to the Holocaust.

  46. The Making of Taizé by Lukas Vischer

    From a small group of Monks at Taizé the influence upon the Christian community has been immense, both on Catholics and Protestants.

  47. The Menace of the New Paganism by Arnold J. Toynbee

    Post-Christian paganism has succeeded in capturing, for its own trivial and narrow ends, some of that wholehearted Christian devotion which ought to be given to God alone.The idolatrous worship of organized human power is the fatal error which is common to all the varieties of our postwar paganism. The error is so profound that the triumph of this paganism could spell nothing but disaster for mankind.

  48. The Origins of the Christian Century, 1884-1914 by Mark G. Toulouse

    The Christian Century started humbly as the Christian Oracle. Early on, the magazine displayed a tendency to use both contemporary events and cultural mainstays to speak of larger truths through the influence of Charles Clayton Morrison.

  49. The Quest for Unity by Charles Clayton Morrison

    Our most realistic minds have become aware of the fact that the church has been giving away both itself and its treasures in its compromises with secular philosophies. Others have seen this surrender as due mainly to the preoccupation of the divided churches with their fractional apprehension of Christian truth, which left each sect an easy prey to the encroachment of an aggressive secularism.

  50. The World Missionaiy Conference, 1910 by Charles Clayton Morrison

    There is no home problem which the church is today facing which is not forced to the foreground in the consideration of missionary expansion. This meeting in Edinburgh is a gathering of missionary specialists, in the main, who come together to exchange views on the ways and means of executing the Lord’s command to preach the gospel to the whole creation.

  51. The World Missionary Conference by Charles Clayton Morrison

    This meeting in Edinburgh was a gathering of missionary specialists, in the main, who come together to exchange views on the ways and means of executing the Lord’s command to preach the gospel to the whole creation. The missionary conscience is assumed here. The church’s duty is taken for granted. Every delegate is already an ardent missionary believer.

  52. Tutu’s Story by Lawrence Wood

    In this book review, Bishop Tutu merits the highest praise. An unlikely prophet, he brought the Christian gospel into a real world of slums, past laws, detentions and deferred hopes.

  53. War’s Dilemmas: The Century 1938-1945 by Martin E. Marty

    While monitoring the war and its devastations, the Century stayed faithful to the Day-to-day doings of Americans in culture and society. Nevertheless, the war colored almost everything in those years. Dr. Morrison’s legacy sounded strong and clear throughout the war years: “Keep it religious!”

  54. When History Is All We Have by Will Campbell

    "What does this mean?" a journalist from Fort Worth asked me. "It means that the Baptist movement is over," I replied. "Over. Done. Gone. Dead."

  55. Who's Great by Mark A. Noll

    Even if simplistic assumptions about great men and history have been abandoned, Billy Graham and John Paul II must be considered significant actors in 20th-century history.

  56. Why I Did Not Leave Nazi Germany in Time by Werner Weinberg

    We did not leave because we thought Hitler would fail; we thought we would be able to endure the threats; it's difficult to tear one away from ones home, culture and friends.  Nobody could possibly see the "final solution;" it was considered immoral to leave, it was a feeling of duty to stay; where would you go and where would you stay.  Opportunities decreased rapidly; in many situations one could not leave; an international conference convened by President Roosevelt did not permit the immigration of any more Jews.  Finally, the borders were closed.

  57. Wide-angle Historian by David C. Steinmetz

    In this tribute to Jaroslav Pelikan upon his death David Steinmetz salutes a career that knew no boundaries in the details of the Christian past, for Pelikan’s career aspired to interpret that past, to explain its development from its earliest beginnings to the present.