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Stanley Hauerwas presents an overall introduction to the themes and method that have distinguished his vision of Christian ethics. Emphasizing the significance of Jesus’ life and teaching in shaping moral life, The Peaceable Kingdom stresses the narrative character of moral rationality and the necessity of a historic community and tradition for morality. Hauerwas systemati Stanley Hauerwas presents an overall introduction to the themes and method that have distinguished his vision of Christian ethics. Emphasizing the significance of Jesus’ life and teaching in shaping moral life, The Peaceable Kingdom stresses the narrative character of moral rationality and the necessity of a historic community and tradition for morality. Hauerwas systematically develops the importance of character and virtue as elements of decision making and spirituality and stresses nonviolence as critical for shaping our understanding of Christian ethics.


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Stanley Hauerwas presents an overall introduction to the themes and method that have distinguished his vision of Christian ethics. Emphasizing the significance of Jesus’ life and teaching in shaping moral life, The Peaceable Kingdom stresses the narrative character of moral rationality and the necessity of a historic community and tradition for morality. Hauerwas systemati Stanley Hauerwas presents an overall introduction to the themes and method that have distinguished his vision of Christian ethics. Emphasizing the significance of Jesus’ life and teaching in shaping moral life, The Peaceable Kingdom stresses the narrative character of moral rationality and the necessity of a historic community and tradition for morality. Hauerwas systematically develops the importance of character and virtue as elements of decision making and spirituality and stresses nonviolence as critical for shaping our understanding of Christian ethics.

30 review for The Peaceable Kingdom: A Primer In Christian Ethics

  1. 4 out of 5

    Spencer

    I supervised a course on Christian Ethics at Thorneloe University, and I read this as part of my ongoing reflection about Christian ethics. Hauerwas often does not say anything original. Much of what he says presupposes Yoder, MacIntyre, and others. Hauerwas, however, distinguished himself because of his ability to communicate difficult concepts succinctly and beautifully. In this little primer, he hits key topics (freedom, character, nature, grace, etc.) leading into Jesus and the church with I supervised a course on Christian Ethics at Thorneloe University, and I read this as part of my ongoing reflection about Christian ethics. Hauerwas often does not say anything original. Much of what he says presupposes Yoder, MacIntyre, and others. Hauerwas, however, distinguished himself because of his ability to communicate difficult concepts succinctly and beautifully. In this little primer, he hits key topics (freedom, character, nature, grace, etc.) leading into Jesus and the church with a level of depth and brevity that reveals his mastery of the material. No comprehensive account of Christian ethics is intended here in this 150 page book (indeed if he did, it would be so cursory and dry it would be worthless), but he hits the major issues in just the right way to give a person a "primer." There are things that the primer does not deal or insufficiently deals with. I really liked what he said about character and agency, but I still wanted him to say more about the nature of free will. I think the power of narrative is true as well, but that leads any evangelical to think: What about the narratives of the Old Testament that seem morally regressive? Hauerwas did not seem interested in offering a hermeneutic of Scripture for Christian ethics that I think would be essential to a primer.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Abby

    “The nature of Christian ethics is determined by the fact that Christian convictions take the form of a story, or perhaps better, a set of stories that constitutes a tradition, which in turn creates and forms a community. Christian ethics does not begin by emphasizing rules or principles, but by calling our attention to a narrative that tells of God’s dealing with creation. To be sure, it is a complex story with many different subplots and digressions, but it is crucial for us at this point in t “The nature of Christian ethics is determined by the fact that Christian convictions take the form of a story, or perhaps better, a set of stories that constitutes a tradition, which in turn creates and forms a community. Christian ethics does not begin by emphasizing rules or principles, but by calling our attention to a narrative that tells of God’s dealing with creation. To be sure, it is a complex story with many different subplots and digressions, but it is crucial for us at this point in the book to see that it is not accidentally a narrative.” Unflinching and clear. Just the kind of primer I had been looking for.

  3. 4 out of 5

    William

    This is a good primer on Christian ethics. Hauerwas doesn't present much that's original. He seems mostly to be presenting and building on the work of Alisdair MacIntyre and John Howard Yoder. It's a 150 page primer, so Hauerwas doesn't go into much detail, but he hits the high points pretty well. I particularly appreciate his thoughts on the importance of narrative and community and the way the Church *is* an ethic rather than the place where ethics are worked out in the abstract.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ian Caveny

    Stanley Hauerwas writes with that stubborn formal-informality that immediately signifies a serious and radical academic mind-at-work. What begins as a promise of a fresh take of Christian ethics delivers far more, overturning every concept of morality - Christian and secular - that has been proposed for the past centuries, with not a glance to classical ethics nor a moment to spare for Immanuel Kant's Enlightenment project. The result is an atomic bomb on the entire world of ethics. No, Hauerwas' Stanley Hauerwas writes with that stubborn formal-informality that immediately signifies a serious and radical academic mind-at-work. What begins as a promise of a fresh take of Christian ethics delivers far more, overturning every concept of morality - Christian and secular - that has been proposed for the past centuries, with not a glance to classical ethics nor a moment to spare for Immanuel Kant's Enlightenment project. The result is an atomic bomb on the entire world of ethics. No, Hauerwas' nonviolence would bemoan such an appellation; the better metaphor would be an earthquake. One has the feeling that Hauerwas is taking the room in which one stands and turning it upside down, only for you to realize that you've been standing on he ceiling the entire time: he is that convincing, and he writes with such a well-informed conviction on the values of Christ and His Kingdom. The sixth and seventh chapters are particularly replete with wisdom and theological interventions, but the book as a whole unworks so many uncritical presuppositions we assume regarding ethics, violence, and Christian morality that it would be dizzying to read too quickly. A chapter a day is a fine pace. Most compelling is how Hauerwas establishes a firm, narrow, and provocative Christian ethic that takes no prisoners, gives no ground, and demands nothing less than the values of the Kingdom. It is a Puritan (in the good sense) vision that nonetheless has the palpability of communal Christian life, the pragmatism of Christian hospitality, and commitment to God's Kingdom purposes. It is a masterwork of the field, and entirely swallows the postmodern ethical quandaries by redescribing the "quandary" itself as a product of modernity. Hauerwas' narrative theology does the work that do many (secretly) modernist evangelical works have not the power to accomplish. In this one stroke, he deconstructs ethics and constructs (vividly) a thorough description of Christian ethics. It is brilliant.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nate Pequette

    Hauerwas continues to be one who speaks to the church in powerful ways especially in this season of our country and life. He helps keep me sane. Christian ethics is not just a list of does and don'ts or a game of "what would I do if..?"...Christian ethics is more about who we are and what narrative we are choosing to live in. As Christians, we are living in the story of the God of Israel and Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. And it is a community living in this story that forms us, which has Hauerwas continues to be one who speaks to the church in powerful ways especially in this season of our country and life. He helps keep me sane. Christian ethics is not just a list of does and don'ts or a game of "what would I do if..?"...Christian ethics is more about who we are and what narrative we are choosing to live in. As Christians, we are living in the story of the God of Israel and Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. And it is a community living in this story that forms us, which has to be a community of peace. He says the number one Christian ethic is patience. Like Jesus who went to the cross and died by the hands of those who were against him, the empire, we must not use violence to stop injustice. We just live into being places of living out what justice looks like in the story of Jesus death and resurrection. We need to have the imagination and trust that God uses this kind of community to work out justice in the world. We often don't have the patience to watch the crucifixion, we try to stop it no matter what the cost. But without that, we don't get the resurrection. Do we actually believe in this story and this God? Lord in our day today, help my unbelief and help us, your church, to live in your story.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Sverker

    En fantastiskt övertygande bok och väl argumenterad för att att kristen etik främst handlar om vilken sorts person man är och vill vara. utifrån det agerar man sedan etiskt. Etik är partikulärt och Hauerwas ifrågasätter om etik kan vara allmän i annat än abstrakta filosofiska problemställningar. Vad som är problemet med dessa är att de hindrar oss att tänka kreativt och de för in en sorts determinism som Hauerwas menar inte finns. Jag kan verkligen förstå att den här boken fortfarande upplevs so En fantastiskt övertygande bok och väl argumenterad för att att kristen etik främst handlar om vilken sorts person man är och vill vara. utifrån det agerar man sedan etiskt. Etik är partikulärt och Hauerwas ifrågasätter om etik kan vara allmän i annat än abstrakta filosofiska problemställningar. Vad som är problemet med dessa är att de hindrar oss att tänka kreativt och de för in en sorts determinism som Hauerwas menar inte finns. Jag kan verkligen förstå att den här boken fortfarande upplevs som så pass aktuellt efter dryga 25 år av så många. Jag är själv en av dem som tror att den kommer att leva vidare länge till.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    This is an early work of Hauerwas' (early 80s) which draws heavily from the moral philosophy of Alisdair MacIntyre and the social ethics of John Howard Yoder. Here, he depicts the task of Christian ethics in terms of the particularity of the community of faith, moving away from foundationalst axioms/universals/etc. and toward a communal understanding of the "good" and the "true". While this certainly leaves the reader feeling quite uneasy, I can't help but resonate with Hauerwas' thoughts. He wa This is an early work of Hauerwas' (early 80s) which draws heavily from the moral philosophy of Alisdair MacIntyre and the social ethics of John Howard Yoder. Here, he depicts the task of Christian ethics in terms of the particularity of the community of faith, moving away from foundationalst axioms/universals/etc. and toward a communal understanding of the "good" and the "true". While this certainly leaves the reader feeling quite uneasy, I can't help but resonate with Hauerwas' thoughts. He wants to say (and, I think, rightly so) that "goodness" is a contingent category. That is to say, we cannot understand goodness as an ideal set of right or wrong actions, positions, etc. that universally appeals to the consciences of all people. Instead, he argues that the Church is the community wherein right knowing and true goodness can exist, not by virtue of its superior rationality, but instead by virtue of its association with the Truth, that is Jesus. Goodness is not a category that makes sense outside of the Church's accordance with the Triune God manifest in the life of Christ. It is a relational, communal set of virtues. Readers may be frustrated by the lack of clear lines of argumentation, namely because this book is a presentation of his position rather than a thorough defence of it. As such, Hauerwas' emphasis on peaceableness as the governing virtue of the Church or the unsubstantiated appeals to narrative left me feeling like I really needed to sit down with him to hash out these ideas.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Austin Mathews

    "The task of the Christian people is not to seek to control history, but to be faithful to the mode of life of the peaceable kingdom." (106) Stanley Hauerwas frames the study of ethics in light of its qualifier; in Christian ethics, 'Christian' determines the way of life. A Christian ought to be shaped and influenced by the Christian narrative, the story and witness of Israel and the church. The Christian must not ask "What do I do?" but "What is going on?" The Christian ought not to use 'effecti "The task of the Christian people is not to seek to control history, but to be faithful to the mode of life of the peaceable kingdom." (106) Stanley Hauerwas frames the study of ethics in light of its qualifier; in Christian ethics, 'Christian' determines the way of life. A Christian ought to be shaped and influenced by the Christian narrative, the story and witness of Israel and the church. The Christian must not ask "What do I do?" but "What is going on?" The Christian ought not to use 'effectiveness' as the aim of the ethical life, but instead faithfulness to God. And as Hauerwas argues, the central nature of God is nonviolence. Thus faithfulness to God (rather than 'accomplishing' and 'controlling') is the Christian ethic, and nonviolence is a way of being in the present, unfulfilled peaceable kingdom. Being Christian means finding alternatives to violence. It means challenging our practices in light of our story ('casuistry'). It means imagining an adventurous world of the Other, the stranger God, where violence is never a lesser evil. Hauerwas does not shy away from detractors' most common arguments against the 'irrationality' and 'irresponsibility' of nonviolence as a lifestyle, and through brilliant turns of intellect he convinced me that nonviolence is the way of the Lord, because God rules the world on the cross. Such peace disrupts the world's normative violence, and provokes further violences upon us and our loved ones; yet this only motivates us to serve and care for the victims of our ever-violent world. Knowing that it is not our mission to change the world, but simply to testify to a loving God, we gain the freedom to wait and the joy of realizing that life itself is not inherently defective, but rather our human proclivity to sinfulness. The kingdom is one of radical peace, not one that waits for a better tomorrow or forces an idealistic utopia, but challenges violence as a possibility with peace as a necessity born out of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joey

    Loved this book. True, I spent the first 50 pages with google in hand, looking up every other word. However, once I got a feel for the vocabulary, and Hauerwas' argument started coming together, I was hooked. In a nutshell, this book is about letting go, realizing that control is an illusion and that virtually every conflict in our lives comes when something or someone threatens our illusion of control and we struggle to restore it. This books speaks about choosing to embrace your place in the C Loved this book. True, I spent the first 50 pages with google in hand, looking up every other word. However, once I got a feel for the vocabulary, and Hauerwas' argument started coming together, I was hooked. In a nutshell, this book is about letting go, realizing that control is an illusion and that virtually every conflict in our lives comes when something or someone threatens our illusion of control and we struggle to restore it. This books speaks about choosing to embrace your place in the Christian narrative and is saturated with scripture encouraging community, selflessness, and being joyful in the midsts of life's surprises. I know it is easy to celebrate a book that reaffirms your own leanings, but I can assure you that this book challenged me in so many ways, and the time it took me to parse through the big words was so very worth it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nathan

    As I worked through this title, it felt a bit overwhelming with the amount of foundation Hauerwas laid before really digging in. That said, I really appreciated the back half of the book. Concepts like Jesus as the not merely the shining example of virtue but the physical embodiment of God & the true nature of nonviolence being sourced with the heart rather than the action abound here. While these may be taken for granted in circles where this book may be considered, I found Hauerwas' process fo As I worked through this title, it felt a bit overwhelming with the amount of foundation Hauerwas laid before really digging in. That said, I really appreciated the back half of the book. Concepts like Jesus as the not merely the shining example of virtue but the physical embodiment of God & the true nature of nonviolence being sourced with the heart rather than the action abound here. While these may be taken for granted in circles where this book may be considered, I found Hauerwas' process for arriving at such positions helpful. It has certainly prompted more thought & prayer around the "why" behind active/passive moral, political, & spiritual decisions.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Crouch

    Not much of a primer, but The Peaceable Kingdom provides a rich introduction to Hauerwas’s theology and postliberalism in general. Its most resonate discussions include an explanation of the shortcomings of conservative and liberal discourse, the narrative and communal underpinnings to character building, the role of revelation in understanding the kingdom, and the acknowledgement of tragedy needed to live out a nonviolent life.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    Enlightening Perspective I found the book to be enlightening overall but did not find it to offer a definitively convincing argument for a theology of non-violence. It felt like steps were missing on the route to the conclusion.

  13. 5 out of 5

    John Shelton

    While Hauerwas is at his best in the essay (“A Community of Character” is my favorite collection), this is nevertheless a strong monograph with much worth mulling over.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Imogen

    This book is a huge influence on my ethical thinking and general theological approach and really one of those things that one should not be able to escape a more than cursory education on Christianity without reading. Hauerwas lays out a concise, powerful case for a commitment to absolute non-violence and is refreshing for a theologian in being eminently clear and readable. Hauerwas takes a brief but reasonably thorough tour through the history of Christian ethical thought and the various philoso This book is a huge influence on my ethical thinking and general theological approach and really one of those things that one should not be able to escape a more than cursory education on Christianity without reading. Hauerwas lays out a concise, powerful case for a commitment to absolute non-violence and is refreshing for a theologian in being eminently clear and readable. Hauerwas takes a brief but reasonably thorough tour through the history of Christian ethical thought and the various philosophical approaches underlying it to come round to his proposition that rather than being either truly situational or deontological, a proper Christian ethic is narrative, in that it sees ethics as not being a matter of rules and decisions but of the kind of person we are and the life of the community in which we situate ourselves. He sets this firmly against a Biblical backdrop and particularly that of the Gospels- I won't get all Biblical scholar on this and expand on his point as much as I am often wont to, but the purpose of the Gospels is that it is the story of Jesus we need, not just disjointed soundbites and grandiose theological reflections on his death and resurrection. It is in such context that he argues that the kind of people Christians are called to be are people who are opposed to any and all kinds of violence, and who refuse to appropriate violence for short-term ends, because to be a Christian is to know that it is not our job to "make the world come out right". This is not to say that Christian peaceableness is merely sitting on our hands- rather, a commitment to non-violence means recognising that, in our sin and our violent culture, we are all deeply prone to violence and need to go out of our way to dig the seeds of it out of our hearts in radical acts of peace. However, there is no situation in which it is "in character" for Christian people to be soldiers rather than martyrs, to dehumanise others in being violent towards them and so belie our declaration that God's love is wholly indiscriminate and that the universe is not inclined towards death but resurrection. The book is, however, not without its problems. Nearly three decades after its publication it does show its age more than a little, not least in the angle of its address towards USAmericans facing down global nuclear war under the Reagan presidency. The real failure within Hauerwas's argument might also be attributable to age, but it is still far from excusable: essentially, it is extraordinarily problematic to cry peace from a position of privilege which makes one much less likely to be a victim of our society's most pervasive forms of violence. Hauerwas is a white, middle class, able-bodied man, who I believe is in a heterosexual marriage, and he makes no attempt in The Peaceable Kingdom to address this this undeniable and inherent problem in his position. Actually, the reverse is quite true- his discussion of abortion bothered me the first time I read the book, but perhaps even more so now. It is truly worrying to find such an influential book baldly state such blatant untruths as "societies which prohibit abortion do so out of a commitment to their children". I think he would find with a little basic research and, uh, thought that the opposite is true- that such societies value children about as much as the women who "incubate" them, that both are objects and property used violently by a pervasive and hegemonic system of patriarchy. The question of abortion also leads onto another difficulty implicitly raised by but not even touched upon within the book- what do we actually mean by "violence"? His oft-cited example of nuclear weaponry is obviously clear-cut, and one could draw many more from current global events, but given his insistence on the need for what one might call "micro-peaceableness"- that is, a commitment to peaceful relationships on the most minor scales by Christian communities- one has to ask where the line must be drawn. It would obviously be violent for me to punch Professor Hauerwas in the face, but what if I were to sharply interrupt him and dress him down for his display of gender privilege? May we be more "violent" with our language than we are otherwise? What about situations where one can legitimately argue that there is no alternative that is not violent- abortion is perhaps a pertinent example here, since any other situation in which a person might be forced through months of increasing pain and discomfort culminating in a life-threatening physical ordeal would absolutely be considered violent. Essentially this is an immensely valuable book, and still terrifically pertinent as those who would appropriate and blaspheme the gospel for nationalist and militaristic ends seem only to multiply, but it is not without its problems. I appreciate that many of the issues I've raised go beyond Hauerwas's stated remit of "a primer in Christian ethics", but it does not to any harm to the clarity and precision of one's argument to acknowledge that the matters discussed go further and wider than can be encompassed in a single book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Van Jones

    Hard for me to read. Full of great at references.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Harry Allagree

    Two statements in this book, published in 1983, state the basic question which Stanley Hauerwas addresses. "Who will help me decide what to do?" (From the Foreward by David B. Burrell, CSC) and "As H. Richard Niebuhr noted [re: catastrophic events in the country & the world], we can pass regulations, write our congressmen, but the frustrating thing is that there seems nothing constructive we can do. And the question becomes what are we to make of our lack of constructive activity and what kind o Two statements in this book, published in 1983, state the basic question which Stanley Hauerwas addresses. "Who will help me decide what to do?" (From the Foreward by David B. Burrell, CSC) and "As H. Richard Niebuhr noted [re: catastrophic events in the country & the world], we can pass regulations, write our congressmen, but the frustrating thing is that there seems nothing constructive we can do. And the question becomes what are we to make of our lack of constructive activity and what kind of people must we be not to let our inactivity corrupt us into accepting the world and its violence as normal..." (p. 141) Written from an entirely Christian ethical viewpoint, Hauerwas suggests as part of the answer to the basic question learning "to locate our lives within God's life, within the journey that comprises his [peaceable] kingdom." This, he says, "involves nothing less that learning to be like God." And that learning comes from living as Jesus did. He says that early Christians became followers of Jesus because they "rightly saw that what Jesus came to proclaim, the kingdom of God as a present and future reality, could be grasped only by recognizing how Jesus exemplified in his life the standards of that kingdom." Hauerwas outlines how this is best developed in relations with other persons [for him, primarily the Church] & bears the fruit of peace as the result of patience and hope, & learning to forgive others in a context of radical truthfulness which helps one shed one's personal illusions. This is, unfortunately, very bare-bones summary of Hauerwas' richly amplified explanation of his thesis. Interestingly, the book grew out of a question he was asked by an undergraduate at a lecture/seminar in Arkansas, about what difference his position made for how he taught his courses in Christian ethics.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tony Seel

    This is a good place to start with Hauerwas. His ethics are clearly laid out in this work.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

    Hauerwas sees ethics not as a universal grouping of rules to be followed by all people in all places at all times. Nor does he see ethics as guidance for decisions to be made in a pinch ("quandry ethics"). He sees ethics as particular ways of learning, belonging, and becoming in the midst of (and in accordance with) the narrative-shaped communities in which we live, move, and have our being. I like what he says about the particularity of Christian ethics (a subject that is explained at a more pop Hauerwas sees ethics not as a universal grouping of rules to be followed by all people in all places at all times. Nor does he see ethics as guidance for decisions to be made in a pinch ("quandry ethics"). He sees ethics as particular ways of learning, belonging, and becoming in the midst of (and in accordance with) the narrative-shaped communities in which we live, move, and have our being. I like what he says about the particularity of Christian ethics (a subject that is explained at a more popular level in his book Resident Aliens, whick he co-authored with William Willimon). He draws on the thinking of John Howard Yoder and critiques the conclusions of Reinhold Niebuhr, while presenting his own position of active non-violence in the way modeled by Jesus. What else would be proper for the followers of the one who was crucified? Of course, the energy and ability to take on such a call (and to live such a life) is the Christian eschatological hope of resurrection. Therefore, it's assumed those who don't have this particular hope will not inclined to practice this particular brand of ethics which are rooted in this particular hope. That makes sense to me, but, in the end, I'm not sure how well it accounts for the multi-cultural world we have. Lots to think about here. Note: Samuel Wells' book called Improv: The Drama of Christian Ethics draws on some of the same themes as Hauerwas introduces in this book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    We read everything but part of the introduction. I don't know how to rate this textbook ... our professor made the content much more understandable than Hauerwas. It has some very interesting ideas about Judaism and Christianity as ethics based on Narrative (i.e., the 10 Commandments and other mandates are only make sense within the story of the exodus, that ethics/virtue is grounded in the kind of person and community one is as opposed to "absolutes" or natural law, which he doesn't believe re We read everything but part of the introduction. I don't know how to rate this textbook ... our professor made the content much more understandable than Hauerwas. It has some very interesting ideas about Judaism and Christianity as ethics based on Narrative (i.e., the 10 Commandments and other mandates are only make sense within the story of the exodus, that ethics/virtue is grounded in the kind of person and community one is as opposed to "absolutes" or natural law, which he doesn't believe really exist: all ethics must be qualified ... for example, as "Christian ethics" or "American ethics" because just "ethics" does not exist.) But you have to work to access the subtleties of his ideas and logic; whether because they're just complicated or the writing style is, he's not a tenth as accessible as C.S. Lewis. Stylistically: dense. Thematically: intriguing and radical.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nick Klagge

    The final book (for now) in my recent Hauerwas "tear", this work finds Hauerwas specifically orienting his theological position toward an ethic of nonviolence (or "peaceability"). I am glad to have read this shortly before MLK day, and it certainly has helped me appreciate the deep training in virtue that is a necessary prerequisite for the successful practice of nonviolence. Hauerwas (even if somewhat reluctant personally) takes up nonviolence as the epitome of Christian virtue, and also outlin The final book (for now) in my recent Hauerwas "tear", this work finds Hauerwas specifically orienting his theological position toward an ethic of nonviolence (or "peaceability"). I am glad to have read this shortly before MLK day, and it certainly has helped me appreciate the deep training in virtue that is a necessary prerequisite for the successful practice of nonviolence. Hauerwas (even if somewhat reluctant personally) takes up nonviolence as the epitome of Christian virtue, and also outlines the deep challenges that are involved in the acceptance of that. This is a book that I have thought about quite a bit as I've started going to church regularly again.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bobbettylou

    The first four (of eight) chapters are a bit tedious, as only a text book can be tedious. If you are familiar with theological/ethical jargon you could even skip them. But the book becomes much moore readably on page 72 (of 160) with chapter five: "Jesus: The Presence of the Peaceable Kingdom." And I found myself underlining and pledging to remember and put into practice the practical theology of peace. I had read the first (1983) edition back in the 80s but it is worth a reread.

  22. 4 out of 5

    wes Goertzen

    I like listening to Hauerwas more than I like reading him. I don't like his style but his ideas and passion resonate with me. I don't really see why his ethic has often been dismissed as sectarian. "Let the church be the church" seems like a good idea to me. He's one writer that is not afraid to talk about the possibility of martyrdom as part of the Christian witness.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Steffi Greeff

    Very good read with a lot of substance. I love Hauerwas' outlook on Christian ethics and his honesty is refreshing. To my opinion he tended to take some leaps between chapters without sufficient bridging, which sometimes made it hard to read and follow systematically. But apart from that, I thought it was brilliant. A must read for any thinking Christian.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ron

    Hauerwas is a very conservative protestant theologian and ethicist who makes the issues facing our country and world today, and how we respond to them, a matter of understanding our past and who we are. He wants us to know why it's important and necessary to know our story as christians so that we can respond appropriately to those issues.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Brandon

    This book is not issue focused (chapter on war, politics, etc.) but is centered around the community of Christ ... and because of this I think non-Christians may not find this book compelling. Hauerwas promotes a radically different view of what it means to be a Christian that some may find refreshing. This was my introduction to Hauerwas and I found it to be a quick read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Sharply questions any affiliation with violence, state sanctioned or socially sanctioned, with a challenging case of Jesus's desire for a peaceful kingdom that does not occur out of teleological ethics but from the rigorous adherence to equally peaceful deontological ethics.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    A non-beligerent/irrational approach to Christian ethics. It is still rife with assumptions, but that is to be expected. As far as recommendations from reasonably intelligent Christian friends goes: this one at least recognizes the importance of philosophic proof.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ben Gosden

    Tremendous theological work. It will continue to serve as a major influence on my personal faith, the way I view and help shape the community of faith, and my view of the active and always challenging God found in Jesus Christ.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Craig Dove

    This is the book that made me realize that "Christian Ethics" - despite Hauerwas' dislike of the term - is a distinct field from "Ethics" as it is normally thought.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ethan Bradley

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