Stanley Hauerwas: Unleashing the Scripture. Freeing the Bible from the Captivity to America.

This one is special. This is the Hauerwas book I give to friends of mine that enter the ministry. It might also be the most provocative book he has written. It is also, from a European point of view, misleadingly marketed. It is not a book about America as far as I can see. This is Stanley Hauerwas book on political biblical hermeneutics.

It thus argues, in the opening essay ”Taking the Bible Away from North American Christians”:

No task is more important than for the Church to take the Bible out of the hands of individual Christians in North America. … North American Christians are trained to believe that they are capable of reading the Bible without spiritual and moral transformation. They read the Bible not as Christians, not as a people set apart, but as democratic citizens who think their ”common sense” is sufficient for ”understanding” the Scripture. They feel no need to stand under the authority of a truthful community to be told how to read. (p. 15)

It is a small book, consisting of four essays and 12 sermons (do have a look at the titles below!), and in many ways it is the answer to the question ”Yes but what does all this (Hauerwas theology) mean in the concrete practice of the Church?” It is thus, perhaps because of that cover, a book that has not received the attention it deserves.


  1. Taking the Bible Away from North American Christians
  2. Stanley Fish, the Pope, and the Bible
  3. The Bible and America
  4. Political Preaching
  5. The Insufficiency of Scripture: Why Discipleship is Required
  6. A Sermon on the Sermon on the Mount
  7. You Are Not Accepted
  8. On Having the Grace to Live Contingently
  9. The August Partiality of God’s Love
  10. On the Production and Reproduction of the Saints
  11. On Being De-Possesed: Or This Is a Hell of a Way to Get Someplace
  12. Sin, Complexity, and Violence
  13. Hating Mothers as a Way to Peace
  14. Lust for Peace
  15. The Water to Drown the Fire
  16. Resurrection, the Holocaust, and the Obligation to Forgive


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