"Hauerwas: A (Very) Critical Introduction", by Nicholas M. Healey (2014)

Hauerwas: A (Very) Critical Introduction by Nicholas M. Healey.
Stanley Hauerwas is one of the most important and robustly creative theologians of our time, and his work is well known and much admired. But Nicholas Healy -- himself an admirer of Hauerwas’s thought -- believes that it has not yet been subjected to the kind of sustained critical analysis that is warranted by such a significant and influential Christian thinker. As someone interested in the broader systematic-theological implications of Hauerwas’s work, Healy fills that gap in Hauerwas: A (Very) Critical Introduction.

After a general introduction to Hauerwas’s work, Healy examines three main areas of his thought: his method, his social theory, and his theology. According to Healy, Hauerwas’s overriding concern for ethics and church-based apologetics so dominates his thinking that he systematically distorts Christian doctrine. Healy illustrates what he sees as the deficiencies of Hauerwas’s theology and argues that it needs substantial revision.

Reviews

Approaching the End: Eschatological Reflections on Church, Politics, and Life (2013)

Approaching the End: Eschatological Reflections on Church, Politics, and Life
In this book Stanley Hauerwas explores the significance of eschatological reflection for helping the church negotiate the contemporary world.

In Part One, "Theological Matters," Hauerwas directly addresses his understanding of the eschatological character of the Christian faith.

In Part Two, "Church and Politics," he deals with the political reality of the church in light of the end, addressing such issues as the divided character of the church, the imperative of Christian unity, and the necessary practice of sacrifice. End, for Hauerwas, has a double meaning -- both chronological end and end in the sense of "aim" or "goal."

In Part Three, "Life and Death," Hauerwas moves from theology and the church as a whole to focusing on how individual Christians should live in light of eschatology. What does an eschatological approach to life tell us about how to understand suffering, how to form habits of virtue, and how to die?

Without Apology: Sermons for Christ's Church (2013)

Without Apology: Sermons for Christ's Church
Sermons from one of the country’s best-known theologians 17 sermons, from “Saints” and “Letting Go,” to “Recognizing Jesus/Seeing Salvation” and “Clothe Your Ministers in Righteousness” Two bonus presentations on “Leadership” and “An Open Letter to
Christians Beginning College” in the appendix.

Stanley Hauerwas - Biographical Information

Interviews with Stanley Hauerwas

Interviews

Collected Articles & Addresses by Stanley Hauerwas

Sermons on September 11 - from The Ekklesia Project

Collected Articles About Stanley Hauerwas

Unsettling Arguments: A Festschrift on the Occasion of Stanley Hauerwas's 70th Birthday

Unsettling Arguments: A Festschrift on the Occasion of Stanley Hauerwas's 70th Birthday Unsettling Arguments: A Festschrift on the Occasion of Stanley Hauerwas's 70th Birthday
by Charles R. Pinches, Kelly S. Johnson, and Charles M. Collier.
Cascade Books (July 15, 2010).

"Stanley Hauerwas is a public provocateur, a ravenous reader, a restless wrestler with the truth, and an eccentric devotee of baseball, murder mysteries, and liturgically-shaped discipleship. But most of all is he is a devoted, demanding, and dogged academic father to dozens of doctoral students. The breadth of his character takes a community to display. Here, more than ever before, that community of character does in public what Hauerwas and his students do best: tussle, and refine, and introduce new interlocutors, and dismiss out of hand, and rephrase more charitably, and rediscover ancient wisdom, and go back to Aquinas, and quote Barth, and dismantle platitudes, and unsentimentally face the gift and demands of Christ for church, academy, and politics today. This is a work of love turned into a call to renewal, a family reunion transformed into a symposium, a tribute in the guise of a challenge. Admirers and critics of Hauerwas will be enriched by these compelling essays, an ordered array of disagreements in love."

—Sam Wells
Dean of the Chapel, Duke University

Reviews

War and the American Difference: Theological Reflections on Violence and National Identity (2012)

War and the American Difference: Theological Reflections on Violence and National Identity
How are American identity and America's presence in the world shaped by war, and what does God have to do with it? Esteemed theologian Stanley Hauerwas helps readers reflect theologically on war, church, justice, and nonviolence in this compelling volume, exploring issues such as how America depends on war for its identity, how war affects the soul of a nation, the sacrifices that war entails, and why war is considered "necessary," especially in America. He also examines the views of nonviolence held by Martin Luther King Jr. and C. S. Lewis, how Jesus constitutes the justice of God, and the relationship between congregational ministry and Christian formation in America.

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Hannah's Child: A Theologian's Memoir

Hannah's Child: A Theologian's Memoir
A loving, hard-working, godly couple has long been denied a family of their own. Finally, the wife makes a deal with God: if he blesses her with a child, she will dedicate that child to God's service. The result of that prayer was the birth of an influential — some say prophetic — voice. This is the story of Stanley Hauerwas, once named by Time magazine as the "best theologian in America." In this compelling memoir he gives a frank account of his own life interwoven with the development of his thought.

The story of Hauerwas's journey into Christian discipleship is captivating and inspiring. With genuine humility, he describes his intellectual struggles with faith, how he has dealt with the complex reality of marriage to a mentally ill partner, and the gift of friendships that have influenced his character. Throughout the narrative shines Hauerwas's conviction that the tale of his life is worth telling only because of the greater Christian story providing foundation and direction for his own.

Related

Reviews / Discussions

Working With Words (2011)

Working with Words: On Learning to Speak Christian
The crucial challenge for theology is that when it is read the reader thinks, "This is true." Recognizing claims that are "true" enables readers to identify an honest expression of life's complexities. The trick is to show that theological claims—the words that must be used to speak of God—are necessary if the theologian is to speak honestly of the complexities of life. The worst betrayal of the task of theology comes when the theologian fears that the words he or she must use are not necessary. This new collection of essays, lectures, and sermons by Stanley Hauerwas is focused on the central challenge, risk, and difficulty of this necessity—working with words about God. The task of theology is to help us do things with words. "God" is not a word peculiar to theology, but if "God" is a word to be properly used by Christians, the word must be disciplined by Christian practice. It should, therefore, not be surprising that, like any word, we must learn how to say "God.

Reviews

Christian Existence Today

Christian Existence Today: Essays on Church, World, and Living in Between
Stanley Hauerwas begins this volume with a vigorous response to the charge of sectarianism leveled against his work by James Gustafson, among others. "Show me where I am wrong about God, Jesus, the limits of liberalism, the nature of the virtues, or the doctrine of the church," Hauerwas replies to his critics, "but do not shortcut that task by calling me a sectarian." The essays that follow explore in a lucid, compelling, firm, and provocative way the church's nature, message, and ministry in the world. Hauerwas writes on the church as God's new language, on clerical character, on the pastor as prophet, on the ministry of the local congregation, on grace and public virtue, and on the relation of church and university. Underlying Hauerwas's argument is his conviction that "the most important knowledge Christian convictions involve, and there is much worth knowing for which Christians have no special claim, requires a transformation of the self. Christianity is no 'world view,' not a form of primitive metaphysics, that can be assessed in comparison to alternative 'world views.' Rather, Christians are people who remain convinced that the truthfulness of their beliefs must be demonstrated in their lives. There is a sense in which Christian convictions are self-referential, but the reference is not to propositions but to lives."

Cross-Shattered Church: Reclaiming the Theological Heart of Preaching (2009)

Cross-Shattered Church: Reclaiming the Theological Heart of Preaching
In this work, eminent theologian Stanley Hauerwas shows how the sermon is the best context for doing good theology. He writes, "I am convinced that the recovery of the sermon as the context for theological reflection is crucial if Christians are to negotiate the world in which we find ourselves." The book includes seventeen sermons preached by Hauerwas, which he considers his best theological work and hopes exemplify the work of theology. The sermons are divided into four sections: seeing, saying, living, and events. Titles range from Believing Is Seeing and Was It Fitting for Jesus to Die on the Cross? to Only Fear Can Drive Out Fear and To Be Made Human. Each sermon includes where and when it was preached and references relevant Scripture passages.
I have increasingly come to the recognition that one of the most satisfying contexts for doing the work of theology is in sermons. That should not be surprising because throughout Christian history, at least until recently, the sermon was one of the primary places in which the work of theology was done. For the work of theology is first and foremost to exposit scripture. That modern theology has become less and less scriptural, that modern theology has often tried to appear as a form of philosophy, is but an indication of its alienation from its proper work. I am, therefore, making these sermons available because I think they are not only my best theological work, but because I hope they exemplify the work of theology.

Reviews

Living Gently in a Violent World: The Prophetic Witness of Weakness (2008)

Living Gently in a Violent World: The Prophetic Witness of Weakness (Resources for Reconciliation)

How are Christians to live in a violent and wounded world? Rather than contending for privilege by wielding power and authority, we can witness prophetically from a position of weakness. The church has much to learn from an often overlooked community--those with disabilities.

In this fascinating book, theologian Stanley Hauerwas collaborates with Jean Vanier, founder of the worldwide L'Arche communities. For many years, Hauerwas has reflected on the lives of people with disability, the political significance of community, and how the experience of disability addresses the weaknesses and failures of liberal society. And L'Arche provides a unique model of inclusive community that is underpinned by a deep spirituality and theology. Together, Vanier and Hauerwas carefully explore the contours of a countercultural community that embodies a different way of being and witnesses to a new order--one marked by radical forms of gentleness, peacemaking and faithfulness.

Christianity, Democracy, and the Radical Ordinary: Conversations Between a Radical Democrat and a Christian (2008)

Christianity, Democracy, and the Radical Ordinary: Conversations Between a Radical Democrat and a Christian (Theopolitical Visions)

In Christianity, Democracy, and the Radical Ordinary, theologian Stanley Hauerwas and political theorist Romand Coles reflect about possibilities and practices of radical democracy and radical ecclesia that take form in the textures of relational care for the radical ordinary. They seek to shift political and theological imaginations beyond the limits of contemporary political formations (such as global capitalism, the mega-state, and empire), which they argue are based upon both the denial and production of death.

Hauerwas and Coles call us to a revolutionary politics of wild patience that seeks transformation through attentive practices of listening, relationship-building, and a careful tending to places, common goods, and diverse possibilities for flourishing. Both authors translate back and forth across--as well as dwell in the tensions between--the languages of radical democracy and of trial, cross, and resurrection. Engaging each other through a variety of genres--from essays, to letters, to cowriting and dialogue--Hauerwas and Coles seek to enact a politics that is evangelical in its radical receptivity across strange differences and that cultivates power in relation to vulnerability.

The authors argue that there is a strong relation between hope and imagination, as well as between imagination and the encounter with and memory of those who have lived with receptive generosity toward the radical ordinary. Hence, throughout this book they think extensively in relation to specific lives and practices: from Ella Baker and the early Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee organizing efforts for beloved community and civil rights, to L'Arche communities founded by Jean Vanier, to contemporary faith-based radical democratic organizing efforts in dozens of cities by the Industrial Areas Foundation. Pushing and pulling each other into new and insightful journeys of political imagination, this conversation between a radical Christian and a radical democratic trickster spurs us toward a politics that acknowledges, tends to, and enacts the powers of the radical ordinary.

Cross-Shattered Christ: Meditations on the Seven Last Words (2005)

Cross-Shattered Christ: Meditations on the Seven Last Words
In Cross-Shattered Christ, theologian Stanley Hauerwas offers a moving reflection on Jesus's final words from the cross. This small and powerful volume is theologically poignant and steeped in humility. Hauerwas's pithy discussion opens our ears to the language of Scripture while opening our hearts to a truer vision of God. Touching in original and surprising ways on subjects such as praying the Psalms and our need to be remembered by Jesus, Hauerwas emphasizes Christ's humanity as well as the sheer "differentness" of God. Ideal for personal devotion during Lent and throughout the year, Cross-Shattered Christ offers a transformative reading of Jesus's words that goes directly to the heart of the gospel.

Disrupting Time Sermons Prayers and Sundries (2004)

Disrupting Time Sermons Prayers and Sundries

Performing the Faith: Bonhoeffer and the Practice of Nonviolence (2004)

Performing the Faith: Bonhoeffer and the Practice of Nonviolence
September 11, Afghanistan, Iraq--more than ever, this is a time for the church to be taking up the question of what, as Christians, our response to violence should be. In Performing the Faith, Stanley Hauerwas revisits the familiar territory of political nonviolence through discussion of the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer-Christian ethicist, theologian, and by some definitions, martyr. This book is an intriguing commentary on Bonhoeffer's bold claim that if our common life rests on lies and injustice, we cannot be a community of peace. Pastors, seminarians, and those interested in Christian ethics are among the many who will be interested in this new word from an unwavering, faithful voice.

Reviews

The Peaceable Kingdom: A Primer in Christian Ethics (2003 | 2nd Ed.)

The Peaceable Kingdom: A Primer in Christian Ethics

In this classic work, Stanley Hauerwas presents an overall introduction to the themes and method that have distinguished his vision of Christian ethics. Rather than survey ethical thinkers or quandaries he develops one straightforward account of a Christian ethic, systematically displaying ideas introduced in his previous works and emphasizing peaceableness as a hallmark of Christian life. This new edition includes an extensive Postscript in which Hauerwas discusses how he regards The Peaceable Kingdom twenty years after it was first published.

Christian Existence Today: Essays on Church, World, and Living in Between (2001)

Christian Existence Today: Essays on Church, World, and Living in Between

Stanley Hauerwas begins this volume with a vigorous response to the charge of sectarianism leveled against his work by James Gustafson, among others. "Show me where I am wrong about God, Jesus, the limits of liberalism, the nature of the virtues, or the doctrine of the church," Hauerwas replies to his critics, "but do not shortcut that task by calling me a sectarian."

The essays that follow explore in a lucid, compelling, firm, and provocative way the church's nature, message, and ministry in the world. Hauerwas writes on the church as God's new language, on clerical character, on the pastor as prophet, on the ministry of the local congregation, on grace and public virtue, and on the relation of church and university.

Underlying Hauerwas's argument is his conviction that "the most important knowledge Christian convictions involve, and there is much worth knowing for which Christians have no special claim, requires a transformation of the self. Christianity is no 'world view,' not a form of primitive metaphysics, that can be assessed in comparison to alternative 'world views.' Rather, Christians are people who remain convinced that the truthfulness of their beliefs must be demonstrated in their lives. There is a sense in which Christian convictions are self-referential, but the reference is not to propositions but to lives."

With the Grain of the Universe: The Church's Witness and Natural Theology (2001)

With the Grain of the Universe: The Church's Witness and Natural Theology

Stanley Hauerwas is a no-nonsense, confessional Christian theologian whose scholarship, sometimes disputed yet always demanding a response, has earned him a prominent reputation on the theological horizon. This fall, Brazos Press is proud to present With the Grain of the Universe: The Church's Witness and Natural Theology, Hauerwas's distinguished Gifford lectures at the University of St. Andrews (2001).

These lectures explore how natural theology, divorced from a confessional doctrine of God, inevitably distorts our understanding of God's character and the world in which we live. Hauerwas criticizes those who use natural theology to defend theism as the philosophical prerequisite to confessional claims. Instead, after Karl Barth, he argues that natural theology should witness to "the non-Godforsakeness of the world, even under the conditions of sin."

Stanley Hauerwas has good news for the church: theology can still tell us something significant about the way things are. In fact, the church is more than a social institution, and the cross of Christ, never peripheral, is central to knowing God. Whatever our native moral intelligence, the truth that is God is not available apart from moral transformation. Ultimately-and despite the scars left by modernity-theology must translate into a life transformed by confession and the witness of the church.

Reviews

The Hauerwas Reader (2001)

The Hauerwas Reader

Stanley Hauerwas is one of the most widely read and oft-cited theologians writing today. A prolific lecturer and author, he has been at the forefront of key developments in contemporary theology, ranging from narrative theology to the “recovery of virtue.” Yet despite his prominence and the esteem reserved for his thought, his work has never before been collected in a single volume that provides a sense of the totality of his vision.

The editors of The Hauerwas Reader, therefore, have compiled and edited a volume that represents all the different periods and phases of Hauerwas’s work. Highlighting both his constructive goals and penchant for polemic, the collection reflects the enormous variety of subjects he has engaged, the different genres in which he has written, and the diverse audiences he has addressed. It offers Hauerwas on ethics, virtue, medicine, and suffering; on euthanasia, abortion, and sexuality; and on war in relation to Catholic and Protestant thought. His essays on the role of religion in liberal democracies, the place of the family in capitalist societies, the inseparability of Christianity and Judaism, and on many other topics are included as well.

Perhaps more than any other author writing on religious topics today, Hauerwas speaks across lines of religious traditions, appealing to Methodists, Jews, Anabaptists or Mennonites, Catholics, Episcopalians, and others.

Sanctify Them in the Truth: Holiness Exemplified (1998)

Sanctify Them in the Truth

Stanley Hauerwas has long argued against one of the hallmark assumptions of modernity: that the truth of the gospel can be discovered apart from its embodiment in specific communities of faith, and the habits, virtues, and commitments that define those communities. In this new volume, Hauerwas reminds us that for Christians there is no such thing as truth that is not embodied truth. The Christian life, he argues, is not about being in possession of "the truth," defined as a set of timeless and universal principles of belief and action. Rather, it is about learning and living the life of truthfulness toward God and one another. In other words, sanctification and truth - which stood together so naturally in Jesus' prayer in John 17 - have come unglued in the modern world. Drawing on a wide variety of sources and insights, including his own background in the Wesleyan tradition, Hauerwas sketches a blueprint of how the contemporary church must rejoin the two if it is to remain faithful to its calling.
Reviews

Christians Among the Virtues: Theological Conversations With Ancient and Modern Ethics (1997)

Christians Among the Virtues: Theological Conversations With Ancient and Modern Ethics

Christians among the Virtues investigates the distinctiveness of virtues as illuminated by Christian practice, using a discussion of Aristotle's ethics together with the work of significant contemporary scholars such as Alasdair MacIntyre and Martha Nussbaum. Hauerwas and Pinches converse with, learn from, and also critically engage powerful and explicitly non-Christian accounts of virtue and then form a specifically Christian account of certain key virtues, including obedience, hope, courage, and patience. This book will deepen the current public debate about virtue by showing how different traditions and practices yield distinctive understandings of the virtues, and by articulating the particularity of virtues informed by Christian practice.
Reviews