Hauerwas, Stanley 1940-
Hauerwas, Stanley 1940-
(Stanley Martin Hauerwas)
Born July 24, 1940, in Dallas, TX; son of Coffee Martin (a bricklayer) and Gertrude Hauerwas; married Anne Harley (in crafts), December 29, 1962; children: Adam John. Education: Southwestern University, B.A., 1962; Yale University, B.D., 1965, M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D.; University of Edinburgh, D.D. Politics: Radical. Religion: Christian.
Office—Duke University Divinity School, Box 90967, Durham NC 27708-0967. E-mail—[email protected]
Augustana College, Rock Island, IL, assistant professor of theology, 1968-70; University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, associate professor of theology, 1970-84; Duke University Divinity School, Durham, NC, professor of theology, 1984-88, professor of divinity and law, beginning 1988, currently Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics, also teaches at the law school. Member of board of directors, St. Joseph County Council for the Retarded, 1973-76. Gifford Lecturer, University of St. Andrews, Scotland, 2000-01.
American Association of Religion, American Society of Christian Ethics, Society for Religion and Higher Education.
Vision and Virtue: Essays in Christian Ethical Reflection, Fides (South Bend, IN), 1974.
(With Richard Bondi and David B. Burrell) Truthfulness and Tragedy: Further Investigations in Christian Ethics, University of Notre Dame Press (South Bend, IN), 1977.
A Community of Character: Toward a Constructive Christian Social Ethic, University of Notre Dame Press (South Bend, IN), 1981.
(Editor) Responsibility for Devalued Persons: Ethical Interactions between Society, the Family, and the Retarded, C.C. Thomas (Springfield, IL), 1982.
The Peaceable Kingdom: A Primer in Christian Ethics, University of Notre Dame Press (South Bend, IN), 1983.
(Editor, with Alasdair MacIntyre) Revisions, Changing Perspectives in Moral Philosophy, University of Notre Dame Press (South Bend, IN), 1983.
Should War Be Eliminated?: Philosophical and Theological Investigations, Marquette University Press (Milwaukee, WI), 1984.
Against the Nations: War and Survival in a Liberal Society, Winston Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1985.
Suffering Presence: Theological Reflections on Medicine, the Mentally Handicapped, and the Church, University of Notre Dame Press (South Bend, IN), 1986.
Christian Existence Today: Essays on Church, World, and Living in Between, Labyrinth Press (Durham, NC), 1988.
(Editor, with L. Gregory Jones) Why Narrative?: Readings in Narrative Theology, Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 1989.
(With William H. Willimon) Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony, Abingdon (Nashville, TN), 1989.
Naming the Silences: God, Medicine, and the Problem of Suffering, Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 1990.
After Christendom?: How the Church Is to Behave If Freedom, Justice, and a Christian Nation Are Bad Ideas, Abingdon (Nashville, TN), 1991.
(Editor, with John H. Westerhoff) Schooling Christians: "Holy Experiments" in American Education, Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 1992.
(With William H. Willimon) Preaching to Strangers, Westminster/John Knox Press (Louisville, KY), 1992.
Unleashing the Scripture: Freeing the Bible from Captivity to America, Abingdon (Nashville, TN), 1993.
(Editor, with Nancey Murphy and Mark Nation) Theology without Foundations: Religious Practice and the Future of Theological Truth, Abingdon (Nashville, TN), 1994.
Dispatches from the Front: Theological Engagements with the Secular, Duke University Press (Durham, NC), 1994.
In Good Company: The Church as Polis, University of Notre Dame Press (South Bend, IN), 1995.
(With William H. Willimon) Where Resident Aliens Live: Exercises for Christian Practice, Abingdon (Nashville, TN), 1996.
(With William H. Willimon and Scott C. Saye) Lord, Teach Us: The Lord's Prayer and the Christian Life, Abingdon (Nashville, TN), 1996.
Christians among the Virtues: Theological Conversations with Ancient and Modern Ethics, University of Notre Dame Press (South Bend, IN), 1997.
Wilderness Wanderings: Probing Twentieth-Century Theology and Philosophy, Westview (Boulder, CO), 1997.
Sanctify Them in the Truth: Holiness Exemplified, Abingdon (Nashville, TN), 1998.
(With William H. Willimon) The Truth about God: The Ten Commandments in Christian Life, Abingdon (Nashville, TN), 1999.
(Editor, with others) The Wisdom of the Cross: Essays in Honor of John Howard Yoder, Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 1999.
Prayers Plainly Spoken, InterVarsity Press (Downer's Grove, IL), 1999.
A Better Hope: Resources for a Church Confronting Capitalism, Democracy, and Postmodernity, Brazos Press (Grand Rapids, MI), 2000.
With the Grain of the Universe: The Church's Witness and Natural Theology: Being the Gifford Lectures Delivered at the University of St. Andrews in 2001, Brazos Press (Grand Rapids, MI), 2001.
The Hauerwas Reader, edited by John Berkman and Michael Cartwright, Duke University Press (Durham, NC), 2001.
(With Samuel Hope) Justice for All, edited by Jake B. Schrum, Southwestern University (Georgetown, TX), 2001.
(Editor) Growing Old in Christ, Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 2003.
(Editor, with Frank Lentricchia) Dissent from the Homeland: Essays after September 11, Duke University Press (Durham, NC), 2003.
(Editor, with Samuel Wells) The Blackwell Companion to Christian Ethics, Blackwell (Malden, MA), 2004.
Cross-Shattered Christ: Meditations on the Seven Last Words, Brazos Press (Grand Rapids, MI), 2004.
Performing the Faith: Bonhoeffer and the Practice of Nonviolence, Brazos Press (Grand Rapids, MI), 2004.
Also author of epilogue for Speak up for Just War or Pacifism: A Critique of the United Methodist Bishops' Pastoral Letter "In Defense of Creation," Pennsylvania State University Press (University Park, PA), 1988; contributor to Critical Reflections on Stanley Hauerwas' Theology of Disability: Disabling Society, Enabling Theology, edited by John Swinton, Haworth Pastoral Press (Binghamton, NY), 2004. Associate editor of Encyclopedia of Bioethics, 1973-76.
Stanley Hauerwas is a professor of theological ethics whose writings often spark controversy because they fly in the face of liberal theologians' attempts to integrate church and state in matters pertaining to the conduct of life. A self-described "aggressive Christian," Hauerwas sees Christianity as a "polis" in and of itself, with Christians forming their own community outside of the American political theater. In America, James T. Bretzke cited Hauerwas for "a strong disdain for political liberalism; a call for Christians and the church to stand clearly apart from the secular world; a suspicion about many contemporary approaches to ethics, and a strong emphasis on character, story and community as essential features of not only the moral life, but of systematic ethical reflection as well." In his book In Good Company: The Church as Polis, Hauerwas states that he is striving to "foment a modest revolution by forcing Christians to take themselves seriously as Christians."
As might be expected from this stated agenda, Hauerwas does not write with the tepid civility that is often a hallmark of academia. As Christopher Beem put it in the Journal of Religion: "Hauerwas's essays have always had more of the character of a jeremiad than of disinterested scholarly analysis." In Christian Century, Max L. Stackhouse wrote: "Hauerwas the antiliberal laments that he is not much liked by his professional colleagues, and he constantly takes pot-shots at the university. He is mistaken—on both points. Who could not enjoy this bumptious child of the Vietnam protest era, the one with the quick wit, furnished mind, the clever phrase, the brazen tongue and the disarming effrontery of the clown? Furthermore, his views are rooted in the historicist reaction against those forms of Enlightenment thought that embraced universalistic principles, a reaction that has recently become mainstream in the liberal arts departments of our universities."
Hauerwas's call for Christians to end their accommodations of the nation-state and seek the truth through engagement with the Bible and other Christians has provoked much discussion both in academe and from the pulpits of America's churches. Robert Yarbrough declared in Christianity Today that the author seeks "to shatter the fetters that confine the Bible's message today." Commonweal essayist Michael O. Garvey noted: "To follow Hauerwas's recommendations … may well be to despair of lunch meetings with Henry Kissinger, appearances before Senate subcommittees, and the respectful attention of the movers and shakers, but it is not an invitation to withdraw from the world. It is an insistence that Christians engage the world first and foremost as citizens of God's alien kingdom." Hauerwas has brought this message to general readers in several volumes, including Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony, Where Resident Aliens Live: Exercises for Christian Practice, and A Better Hope: Resources for a Church Confronting Capitalism, Postmodernity, and America. In a review of the last title in Publishers Weekly, a contributor noted Hauerwas's "classic style—sweeping, engaging and provocative." Steven Schroeder maintained in a Booklist review of A Better Hope that those who expect "sparks to fly … will not be disappointed."
Some critics have found much to admire in Hauerwas's strident opinions. In a First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life review of Christians among the Virtues: Theological Conversations with Ancient and Modern Ethics, Jerry L. Walls observed: "Consistently provocative and rich with insight, the book deserves a wide audience. Philosophers as well as theologians will find much in it to stimulate their thinking and challenge their convictions." Gloria H. Albrecht admitted in an Interpretation review that Hauerwas "delights in argument," but added: "Where he pricks our faith in modernity, we are all the better for the challenge." In an America review, Patrick H. Samway concluded that, "though controversial, Hauerwas shows no hesitation in confronting very serious issues." Writing in the Journal of Church and State, Steven C. Heyduck commented that the author's work "is worthy of the attention of all those interested in church-state matters."
In an essay for Lion and Lamb magazine online, Alwyn Thomson quoted Hauerwas as writing: "Religion departments … are more likely to be made up of people who most fear being caught with religious conviction. Religion professors usually are willing to study a religion if it is dead or they can kill it. They may be ‘personally’ religious, but they think it would be ‘unprofessional’ for their students to get a hint that they may actually believe what they teach. We live in an academic world where some professors can enthusiastically promote capitalism between consenting adults, but the same professors would be outraged if they heard that Christian theology was being taught, as if what Christians believe and practice might be true."
Among the author's many other works is Dispatches from the Front: Theological Engagements with the Secular. This book contains essays focusing on various topics, from ideas of forgiveness and reconciliation to the Christian obligation to nonviolence and Christianity's differences from liberalism. The work is "challenging, sometimes difficult reading, animated by saving grace," according to Ray Olson in Booklist. Stephen M. Fields, writing in America, called the book "a trenchant set of essays concerning the ways Christianity can engage contemporary U.S. culture in light of the demise of the liberal doctrine that once assured religion a place within our culture."
Hauerwas collaborated with William H. Willimon to write Where Resident Aliens Live. Here the authors present their case that Christians are not meant to feel at home in the world, accept widespread liberal social values, or to be one with the political process. "Hauerwas and Willimon erect a healthy framework for redeveloping the debate over such issues as whether flags belong in the sanctuary and whether welfare reform belongs on the vestry agenda," wrote Kevin R. Armstrong in the Christian Century.
Hauerwas presents fourteen essays that he wrote over a decade in Sanctify Them in the Truth: Holiness Exemplified. In the essays, the author focuses on such issues as the relationship between holiness and truth and between the Christian church's liturgy and truth. Philip E. Thompson, writing in Interpretation, commented: "This collection reflects the intellect, but also the pathos, of Stanley Hauerwas." In another collection of essays, Wilderness Wanderings: Probing Twentieth-Century Theology and Philosophy, the author discusses various twentieth-century philosophers and theologians and their ideas. "Hauerwas does not always agree or disagree where we might expect him to, and we learn a great deal as the journey progresses," reported Kent Reames in the Journal of Religion.
With the Grain of the Universe: The Church's Witness and Natural Theology: Being the Gifford Lectures Delivered at the University of St. Andrews in 2001 is a printing of a lecture given by the author. Writing in First Things, R.R. Reno noted: "The topic is natural theology, which in the modern Christian tradition is often understood as the effort to use reasons available to all in order to establish the basis for a religious outlook. Against this standard approach, Hauerwas insists that natural theology is a dogmatic discipline. The truth of Jesus Christ is the key to the truth about everything else. Or to use the Hauerwasian idiom, learning the Christian language trains us to speak truthfully about the world."
In Performing the Faith: Bonhoeffer and the Practice of Nonviolence, Hauerwas reflects on the Christian's duty to be a pacifist, and he organizes his thoughts around the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in America. John Jaeger commented in Library Journal that the reader will recognize "the inner tension Hauerwas experiences as a pacifist trying to address these difficult issues," adding that the book is "fascinating reading." Cross-Shattered Christ: Meditations on Christ's Seven Last Words focuses on the final words of Jesus before he died on the cross. Library Journal contributor Graham Christian described this book as a "brief but intensely observed discussion."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Albrecht, Gloria H., The Character of Our Communities: Toward an Ethic of Liberation for the Church, Abingdon (Nashville, TN), 1995.
Hauerwas, Stanley, In Good Company: The Church as Polis, University of Notre Dame Press (South Bend, IN), 1995.
Jones, Gregory L., Reinhard Hutter, and C. Rosalee Velloso Ewell, editors, God, Truth, and Witness: Engaging Stanley Hauerwas, Brazos Press (Grand Rapids, MI), 2005.
Kallenberg, Brad J., Ethics as Grammar: Changing the Postmodern Subject, University of Notre Dame (South Bend, IN), 2001.
Katongole, Emmanuel, Beyond Universal Reason: The Relation between Religion and Ethics in the Work of Stanley Hauerwas, University of Notre Dame Press (South Bend, IN), 2000.
Nation, Mark Thiessen, and Samuel Wells, editors, Faithfulness and Fortitude: In Conversation with the Theological Ethics of Stanley Hauerwas, T&T Clark (London, England), 2000.
Rasmusson, Arne, The Church as Polis: From Political Theology to Theological Politics as Exemplified by Jürgen Moltmann and Stanley Hauerwas, University of Notre Dame Press (South Bend, IN), 1995.
Wells, Samuel, Transforming Fate into Destiny: The Theological Theics of Stanley Hauerwas, Paternoster Press (Carlyle, Cumbria, England), 1998.
America, May 27, 1995, Stephen M. Fields, review of Dispatches from the Front: Theological Engagements with the Secular, p. 27; March 16, 1996, Patrick H. Samway, review of The Church as Polis: From Political Theology to Theological Politics as Exemplified by Jürgen Moltmann and Stanley Hauerwas, p. 22; May 23, 1998, James T. Bretzke, review of Christians among the Virtues: Theological Conversations with Ancient and Modern Ethics, p. 33.
American Prospect, March 11, 2002, Charles Marsh, review of With the Grain of the Universe: The Church's Witness and Natural Theology, p. 32.
Booklist, June 1, 1994, Ray Olson, review of Dispatches from the Front, p. 1730; December 1, 2000, Steven Schroeder, review of A Better Hope: Resources for a Church Confronting Capitalism, Postmodernity, and America, p. 680; March 1, 2004, Steven Schroeder, review of Performing the Faith: Bonhoeffer and the Practice of Nonviolence, p. 1113.
Christian Century, June 2, 1993, Paul P. Parker, review of Against the Nations: War and Survival in a Liberal Society, p. 609; October 18, 1995, Max L. Stackhouse, review of Dispatches from the Front, p. 962; June 18, 1997, Kevin R. Armstrong, review of Where Resident Aliens Live: Exercises for Christian Practice, p. 598; August 23, 2005, Allyne Smith, review of The Blackwell Companion to Christian Ethics, p. 33.
Christianity Today, April 25, 1994, Robert Yarbrough, review of Unleashing the Scripture: Freeing the Bible from Captivity to America, p. 52; January 6, 1997, Robert W. Patterson, review of In Good Company: The Church as Polis, p. 50; October 6, 1997, Susan Pendleton Jones, review of Lord, Teach Us: The Lord's Prayer and the Christian Life, p. 60; January, 2004, Cindy Crosby, review of Growing Old in Christ, p. 72.
Commonweal, April 9, 1993, Michael O. Garvey, review of Against the Nations, p. 41; February 9, 1996, Patrick Jordan, review of In Good Company, p. 24.
Cross Currents, summer, 1993, Leslie E. Gerber, "The Virtuous Terrorist: Stanley Hauerwas and ‘The Crying Game,’" p. 230.
Ethics, July, 1998, Diana Fritz Cates, review of Christians among the Virtues, p. 851.
First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, January, 1998, Jerry L. Walls, review of Christians among the Virtues, p. 56; December, 1999, J. Budziszewski, review of Sanctify Them in the Truth, p. 45; January, 2002, R.R. Reno, review of With the Grain of the Universe, p. 57; May, 2004, review of Performing the Faith, p. 55.
Interpretation, April, 1999, Gloria H. Albrecht, review of Wilderness Wanderings: Probing Twentieth-Century Theology and Philosophy, p. 208; April, 2000, Philip E. Thompson, review of Sanctify Them in the Truth: Holiness Exemplified, p. 214; spring, 2002, Michael J. Quirk, "Stanley Hauerwas: An Interview," p. 4.
Journal of Church and State, spring 1997, Steven C. Heyduck, review of In Good Company, pp. 365-366.
Journal of Ecumenical Studies, spring, 1997, Arthur F. McGovern, review of In Good Company, p. 245.
Journal of Religion, July, 1997, Christopher Beem, review of In Good Company, p. 491; July, 2000, Kent Reames, review of Wilderness Wanderings, p. 523; July, 2001, Kent Reames, review of The Wisdom of the Cross: Essays in Honor of John Howard Yoder, p. 485.
Library Journal, March 1, 2004, John Jaeger, review of Performing the Faith, p. 83; January 1, 2005, Graham Christian, review of Cross-Shattered Christ: Meditations on Christ's Seven Last Words, p. 120.
National Catholic Reporter, June 21, 2002, Patrick O'Neill, "Theologian's Feisty Faith Challenges Status Quo; Forget Labels. Stanley Hauerwas Is Antiwar, Anti-Death Penalty and Antiabortion," p. 3.
Publishers Weekly, November 27, 2000, review of A Better Hope, p. 73.
Review of Metaphysics, June, 1998, V. Bradley Lewis, review of Christians among the Virtues, p. 931.
Theological Studies, June, 1995, Joseph J. Kotva, Jr., review of Dispatches from the Front, p. 388; December, 1996, Joseph Woodill, review of In Good Company, p. 782.
Duke University Divinity School Web site,http://www.divinity.duke.edu/ (May 7, 2006), faculty profile on the author.
First Things Online,http://www.firstthings.com/ (May 7, 2006), Gilbert Meilaender, "Keeping Company"; Jerry L. Walls, "Do Only Christians Know?"
Lion and Lamb Online,http://www.econi.org/LionLamb/ (May 7, 2006), Alwyn Thomson, "Stanley Who?: An Introduction to Stanley Hauerwas."
Southwestern University Web site, http://alumni.southwestern.edu/ (May 7, 2006), Jean Bethke Elshtain, "Stanley Hauerwas '62."