A Better Hope: Resources for a Church Confronting Capitalism, Democracy, and Postmodernity

Stanley M. Hauerwas, Author
Stanley M. Hauerwas, Author Brazos Press $26 (288p) ISBN 978-1-58743-000-8
Reviewed on: 12/04/2000
Release date: 12/01/2000
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American Christians are a people of hope. But according to Hauerwas, professor of theological ethics at Duke Divinity School, they are inclined to misplace it. They look for salvation in capitalism, in democracy, in postmodernity and in their practical progeny: modern medicine, seeker-sensitive worship and ""ethics"" (divorced from theology). In this volume, Hauerwas, a committed pacifist who nevertheless loves a good fight, argues that the church offers a better hope and provides resources to resist the idolatrous assumptions that underlie these Enlightenment-bred systems of thought and action. Written in his classic styleDsweeping, engaging and provocativeDthis book does not necessarily break any new ground, but Hauerwas is typically unapologetic about that. (""Given the entrenchment of the position against which I am arguing, I can only say again what I have said before in the hope of establishing new habits."") Since this is a collection of essays written at other times for other purposes, no easily discernable argument connects the book from start to finish. His writing is sometimes more fierce than tight and, of course, some essays are better than others (the essays on worship and on being ""sinsick"" are especially good). Those who know Hauerwas will enjoy this, and those who don't may consider it a fine way to become acquainted with his thought. (Dec.)
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