The Character of Virtue: Letters to a Godson

Stanley Hauerwas. Eerdmans, $21.99 (207p) ISBN 978-0-8028-7579-2
Hauerwas (Living Gently in a Violent World), professor emeritus of divinity and law at Duke, encapsulates a life of writing about virtues and theology in these lovingly crafted letters to his godson, Laurie Bailey Wells. Rather than sending Christmas or birthday presents to Wells, Hauerwas wrote a letter to him about a specific virtue every year on the anniversary of Wells’s baptism. On the first anniversary, Hauerwas instructs Wells on the virtue of kindness, reminding the young boy that he won’t become kind by trying too hard and that the virtue of kindness is already within him. Hauerwas not-so-subtly pushes Wells toward baseball on the fourth anniversary by using it as an example of the practice of patience; baseball fans learn patience as they acquire the habits that permit them to see how “compelling and beautiful this game of peace is,” he writes. In the final letter included, Hauerwas reminds Wells that character comes down to who a person is when no one’s looking. Though aimed at a younger audience, Hauerwas’s elegant book will provide any reader with insight and wisdom into living a virtuous life. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/12/2018
Release date: 04/01/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 205 pages - 978-0-8028-7879-3
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