13. A Worldwide Interfaith family </P>  in  A Wider Vision: A History of the World Congress of Faiths, 1936 - 1996

Book Chapter by Marcus Braybrooke

Although Younghusband quickly took steps to establish the World Congress of Faiths as an international organization, the Second World War largely destroyed his efforts. Subsequently, small WCF groups have come into being in some other countries. The journal has had a small international circulation. WCF has also had friendly links with organizations with similar aims in several parts of the world, such as, in the fifties, the World Alliance for International Friendship Through Religion and subsequently with the International Association for Religious Freedom, the Temple of Understanding and the World Conference on Religion and Peace.

After Twenty Years

Article by George W. Norris

I am the only living man in the Senate who voted against the declaration of war with Germany. In my service of about thirty-five years in Congress I have undoubtedly made many mistakes, but my vote against the declaration of war was not one of them. On that April day twenty years ago when the …

All Agnostics Here

Article by Martin E. Marty

BOOK REVIEW: The American Religion: the Emergence of the Post-Christian Nation. By Harold Bloom. Simon & Schuster, 288 pp., $22.00.   Theologians, sociologists, historians and other standard commentators on religion are not likely to grow insecure reading this account of “the American religion.” by Harold Bloom, who according to the dust jacket and a wide …

Breadlines and Storm Clouds: The Century 1930-1937

Article by Dean Peerman

When the stock market crashed in October of 1929. The Christian Century was not unduly distressed; in fact, it viewed what had happened on Wall Street as potentially salutary, offering the American public “the privilege of sobering up” after a two-year “speculative debauch.” But the Century was hardly alone in thinking that the crash could …

Days of Protest

Article by Mark G. Toulouse

Part of the fabric of public life in America during the post- World War II years, perhaps the cross-stitch that held the symbolic boundaries in place, was anticommunism. Most mainline church editors were part of it. The launching of Sputnik in 1957 provoked a “crisis” and, explained a Century editorial, exploded the “assumption of a …

Dietrick Bonhoeffer

Article by Craig L. Nessan

Book Review: Conspiracy and Imprisoninent, 1940-1945: Dietrich Bonhocifer’s Works, Volume 16. Edited by Mark Brocker. Fortress, 882 pp . This book documents a life interrupted. It might be argued that every life knows interruption, though we rarely look at it that way. For all of us human fallibility, accidents, illness, political events and death overtake …

Hans Küng and Tübingen: Compromise and Aftermath

Article by John J. Carey

The Tübingen compromise, which allowed Hans 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, appeared initially to resolve a delicate situation. It relieved all parties concerned from a lengthy and costly court hearing; …

Impasse in India

Article by Pankaj Mishra

Last summer Foreign Affairs, Time, Newsweek, and The Economist highlighted a major shift in American perceptions of India when, in cover stories that appeared almost simultaneously, they described the country as a rising economic power and a likely “strategic ally” of the United States. In 1991, India partly opened its protectionist economy to foreign trade …

Integration and Imperialism: The Century 1953-1961

Article by James M. Wall

The Christian Century centennial history series moves now into what we could call the “modern era.” That designation is relative since “modern” means recent, and recent covers more time for some of us than for others. But as the current editor, I am exercising an administrative prerogative by beginning the “modern” years in 1953 — …

John Bennett on Oxford ’37

Article by David McCreary

The 1937 Oxford Conference “Church, Community, and State” of the Life and Work movement brought together many representatives of the ecumenical community. In the shadow of Nazism, it addressed the churches with words of hope and courage regarding social witness. Its concerns — war, racism and economic strife – have proved enduring, and many of …

Keep It Religious!: The Morrison Era at the Century

Article by Robert Wood Lynn

On a propitious day 70 years ago, the new minister of the Monroe Street Christian Church in Chicago was asked to become the owner and editor of a small, insolvent journal called The Christian Century. As Charles Clayton Morrison (1874-1966) later recalled his response: “The proposal to ‘purchase’ flattered me more than the proposal to …

Nazism and Communism

Article by Karl Barth

You think it would be advisable if I stated expressly why I do not want the logic of my letter to Hromadka applied to the present East-West conflict, why I do not find the present situation analogous to that of 1938. One could put the question even more clearly: Why do I not write to …

No Communion Without Compassion: Visser ’ t Hooft , An Interview

Article by Geiko Muller-Farenholtz

Willem A. Visser ‘t Hooft’? Never heard of him!” We Can picture members of younger Christian generations thus responding to the too brief interview which follows. Sad to say. Christian heroes — and Visser ‘t Hooft is an authentic one — do not stay long in the public eye. We have a way of taking …

On Anti-Semitism

Article by Jacques Maritain

I have already spoken of anti-Semitism many times. I never would have thought that I would have to do so in connection with anti-Semitic laws promulgated by a French government—which are a denial of the traditions and the spirit of my country. I am well aware that these decrees have been adopted under German pressure …

Progress and ‘Relapse’: The Century and World War I

Article by Mark G. Toulouse

Before the outbreak of World War I, the Century, not unlike many other American journals, regularly expressed an idealistic and basically isolationist position when considering America’s role in the world. In this approach, the magazine reflected the attitudes of Presidents William Howard Taft (1909-1913) and Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921), both idealists who were shaped by the …

Rauschenbusch Today: The Legacy of a Loving Prophet

Article by Max L. Stackhouse

Modern American Protestantism has not, for the most part, focused on the lives of the saints. The psychic energy of contemporary pastors, theologians and church leaders has more often centered on the kerygmatic Word as it encounters "the problem of history," on struggles against the idolatries of fascism and Stalinism abroad and racism, classism and …

Remembering Rwanda

Article by David P. Gushee

April marks the ten-year anniversary of the beginning of the genocide in Rwanda, a catastrophic mass slaughter which claimed 850,000 lives in three months. Ten years later, Christian reflection must focus on the role Rwandan Christians played in the swiftest and in some ways most brutal genocide of the 20th century. Rwanda was the most …

Schism Memoirs

Article by Bill J. Leonard

Book Review: Memoirs in Exile: Confessional Hope and Institutional Conflict, by John H. Tietjen. Fortress, 384 pp. paperback.   John H. Tietjen became president of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis on May 19, 1969. Two months later, to Tietjen’s surprise, Jacob A. O. Preus was elected president of the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod, the …

Socializing Capitalism: The Century During the Great Depression

Article by Mark G. Toulouse

In the decade following World War I, Americans confronted a rapidly changing cultural context. Prohibition took effect in 1919 and gave birth to an era characterized by the frustrations of law enforcement and a booming business for “bootlegging” and organized crime. Throughout the decade, the CENTURY underestimated the strength of voices opposing prohibition. Editors condemned …

The Century and Civil Rights: Indirect Action

Article by Mark G. Toulouse

During the early 1950s, the Century’s editors could hardly be classified as strategists in the war for civil rights, but they tried their hand at analysis and expressed sympathetic support for both the commanders and the ground troops. As Supreme Court decisions moved toward desegregation, editors urged “Christian forces” to assume their responsibility in assuring …

The Making of Taizé

Article by Lukas Vischer

Almost everyone engaged in the search for Christian unity has at some point received important impulses from the Taizé community. And whoever speaks of Taizé is bound to speak of Roger Schutz (1915-2005), whose intuitions and initiatives turned the community into a focus and center of the ecumenical movement. The origins of Taizé lie in …

The Origins of the Christian Century, 1884-1914

Article by Mark G. Toulouse

The Christian Century emerged from rather humble origins. It started as just another local denominational publication speaking for the Disciples of Christ in Des Moines, Iowa, and surrounding regions. Those connected with its founding chose the name Christian Oracle for the journal and adopted the motto “Speak as the Oracles of God” True to Disciples …

The Quest for Unity

Article by Charles Clayton Morrison

The Conference on Faith and Order which has been in session in this city since August 3 seems, in outward appearance, like an adjourned sitting of the Oxford Conference on Church, Community and State. I would guess that more than one-half of the personnel is the same. The vice-chairmen, representing, as well as four men …

Tutu’s Story

Article by Lawrence Wood

Book Review: Rabble-Rouser for Peace: The Authorized Biography of Desmond Tutu. By John Allen. Free Press, 496 pp.     Americans have sometimes seen the campaign against South African apartheid as a reprise of their own civil rights movement. P. W. Botha and other Afrikaners with clipped accents seem to have inherited the Bull Connor …

When History Is All We Have

Article by Will Campbell

They say that Baptists have always fought among themselves. And that there is no fight like a family fight. The latter is true. But the original Baptists, whether the Anabaptists of sixteenth century Europe or the English Separatists of the seventeenth, were too busy struggling for physical survival to engage in internecine squabbles. However, on …

Who’s Great

Article by Mark A. Noll

Billy Graham and John Paul II are indisputably great men. However much of what they accomplished should be attributed to their own actions and however much is due to other factors, these two must be considered significant actors in 20th-century history. For Billy Graham in 1957 to invite participation at his New York City evangelistic …

Why I Did Not Leave Nazi Germany in Time

Article by Werner Weinberg

The life of a Jew of my generation and background is most fittingly divided into a pre-, during- and post-Holocaust existence. Any other periodizing, such as peacetime/wartime/new beginning, or childhood/youth/adulthood, becomes insignificant measured by the criterion of the Holocaust. Already the third, the post-Holocaust, phase has for someone of my age lasted longer than the …

Wide-angle Historian

Article by David C. Steinmetz

Jaroslav Pelikan was not a historian easy to characterize. Most historians of Christianity pick some small subfield from the past, which becomes the focus of their research and writing. The really good historians will push back the boundaries of what is known in their subfield or find new and imaginative ways to read old evidence …