There are some advantages to teaching online. Often instructors complain that the online format robs them of give-and-take moments with students. But given the current size of many history survey sections—50, 90, 300, even 500 people—how realistic is it to expect those real-time opportunities for conversation? Online threaded discussions are often more substantive, inclusive, and productive than the traditional classroom format.
Reinhold Niebuhr once broke with the editor of this magazine to argue that moral responsibility requires resisting evil with force. It’s a compelling argument, but it doesn’t justify torture.
Readers may or may not accept Charles Hefling's reconstruction of the doctrine of original sin. But he continues the tradition of rethinking the faith in light of new knowledge, contexts, and concerns.
Obama embraces both the idealistic and realistic poles of Christian action. He recognizes with Niebuhr that politics is inherently tragic.
Two years before he died, Reinhold Niebuhr published one of his best-known articles. He didn't write it alone.
In the first issue of the magazine named the Christian Century, in January 1900, the editors said that their special interest was in “the application of Christian principles to character and social problems.” They also spoke of their hope to make the kingdom of God “a divine reality in human society.” This, of course, was what we know today as the “social gospel”—the attempt to move beyond individual piety to address broad social problems. What relevance does that social gospel vision have today?