The magazine Christian Century was originally founded as The Christian Oracle, a denominational magazine of the Disciples of Christ in 1884 in the United States.
Its editor in 1900 proposed to rename it Christian Century in response to the great optimism of many Christians at the turn of the 20th century that "genuine Christian faith could live in mutual harmony with the modern developments in science, technology, immigration, communication and culture that were already under way."
It did not receive widespread support in its denomination and was sold in a mortgage foreclosure in 1908. It was purchased by Charles Clayton Morrison, who continued publication and became a highly influential spokesman for liberal Christianity. In 1916 he labeled the magazine undenominational.
Morrison advocated Higher criticism of the Bible, and the Social Gospel, which included concerns about child labor, Women's suffrage, racism, war and pacifism, alcoholism and prohibition,environmentalism and many other political and social issues.
The magazine was a common target for criticism by Fundamentalists during the Fundamentalist - Modernist debate of the early 20th century.
In 1956 the magazine was challenged by the establishment of the Evangelical Christianity Today by Carl F. H. Henry, which sought to present a theologically conservative Christian viewpoint, while restoring many social concerns abandoned by Fundamentalists. Christian Century's circulation waned as the challenger grew.
Today the publication is published by the non-denominational Christian Century Foundation.
- Charles Clayton Morrison: Shaping a Jornal's Identity by Linda-Marie Delloff, Christian Century January 18, 1984 (centennial edition)
- The Christian Century http://www.christiancentury.org/ (official web site)
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