Stanley Hauerwas & Jean Vanier: Living Gently in a Violent World: The Prophetic Witness of Weakness

Hauerwas has had a very specific interest in the mentally disabled for a long time, and it is not surprising that he would run in to the L’Arche movement sooner or later. This book is the product of the first meeting between him and Vanier and consist of two chapters each written by them, were they discuss the theological background, meaning and challenge of L’Arche.

As one could expect, Hauerwas does not really do much here that he hasn’t done elsewhere, though I think his engagement with Nussbaum here is clarifying – the problem Hauerwas has with Nussbaum is that she gives reasons to care for the mentally diabled, but not for living with them, i.e. there is in her thinking still att difference between ”them” and ”us” that seems to be about value.

But of course this book is about L’Arche, and the most imporatant purpose of the book is I think to bridge the gap between the theoretical and the practical in this case. And this little book does this in a very engaging way.


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