Stanley Hauerwas: A Better Hope. Resources for a Church confronting Capitalism, Democracy, and Postmodernity.

The subtitle really sums this book up well, this a book that takes on ”the outside” from a Church persepctive, at least in many of its articles. This means that there are several important texts here, such as the opening essay ”On Being a Christian and an American”, and a text on postmodernism called ”The Christian difference”. In general I would say this is one of the stronger collections.

Another theme tha reoccurs here is Christian ethics as an academic field (there is e.g a long text on Rauschenbusch), as well as texts on Jenson, Yoder, and Rowan Greer.

A particular faviorite of mine is the fairly short text ”Sinsick” which tries to approach sin in a way that is different from the big 20th century theologians, using sickness as an analogy. This is (one of, I think) the text where Hauerwas compares students in theology with studnets in medical schools:

For example, a person can come to divinity school today saying, ”I am not really into Christology this year. I am really into relating. I would like to take more courses in CPE.” They are likely to be confirmed in that option by being told, ”Right, take CPE; after all that is what ministry is – relating. Learn to be a wounded healer.”

Contrast that with a medical student who might say, ”I am not really inte anatomy this year. I am really into people. I would like to take another course in psychiatry. ” He or she would be told, ”We do not care what you are ’into’. Take anatomy or ship our.”

This is a rather diverse collection of texts, so I guess the most valuable information here is its contents. I hope I do not break an rules by provinding that information.

  1. On Being a Christian and an American
  2. The Christian Difference: Or, Surviving Postmodernism
  3. Resisting Capitalism: On Marriage and Homosexuality
  4. Christian Ethics in America (and the Journal of Religious Ethics): A Report on a Book I will not Write
  5. Walter Rauschenbusch and the Saving of America
  6. Not Late Enough: The Divided Mind of Dignitatis Humanae Personae
  7. Only Theology Overcomes Ethics: Or, What ”Ethicists” Must Learn from Jenson
  8. Why The Politics of Jesus Is Not a Classic
  9. Why Time Cannot and Should Not Heal the Wounds of History, But Time Has Been and Can Be Redeemed
  10. Worship, Evangelism, Ethics: On Eliminating the ”And”
  11. Enduring: Or, How Rowan Greer Taught Me How to Read
  12. Captured in Time: Friendship and Aging (with Laura Yordy)
  13. Sinsick
  14. McInerny Did It: Or, Should a Pacifist Read Murder Mysteries?

That’s right people, four subtitles starting with ”Or,”. Just sayin’.


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