With the Grain

With the Grain

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"America's Best Theologian" "Hauerwas is contemporary theology's foremost intellectual provocateur."--Time Stanley Hauerwas is a no-nonsense, confessional Christian theologian whose scholarship, sometimes disputed yet always demanding a response, has earned him a prominent reputation on the theological horizon. Brazos Press is proud to present "With the Grain of the Universe: The Church's Witness and Natural Theology, " Hauerwas's distinguished Gifford lectures at the University of St. Andrews (2001). These lectures explore how natural theology, divorced from a confessional doctrine of God, inevitably distorts our understanding of God's character and the world in which we live. Hauerwas criticizes those who use natural theology to defend theism as the philosophical prerequisite to confessional claims. Instead, after Karl Barth, he argues that natural theology should witness to "the non-Godforsakeness of the world, even under the conditions of sin." Stanley Hauerwas has good news for the church: theology can still tell us something significant about the way things are. In fact, the church is more than a social institution, and the cross of Christ, never peripheral, is central to knowing God. Whatever our native moral intelligence, the truth that is God is not available apart from moral transformation. Ultimately--and despite the scars left by modernity--theology must translate into a life transformed by confession and the witness of the church.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 161.5 x 238.8 x 26.2mm | 530.71g
  • Baker Publishing Group
  • Brazos Press, Div of Baker Publishing Group
  • Ada, MI, United States
  • English
  • 1587430169
  • 9781587430169
  • 1,838,023

Flap copy

More praise for "With the Grain of the Universe," the Gifford Lectures at the University of St. Andrews (2001): "An unexpectred threesome-William James, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Karl Barth-make for a surprising story and an original book. In Hauerwas's fresh interpretation of American intellectual history, Niebuhr the neo-orthodox theologian appears not as the Christian alternative to James's pragmatism, but as a thin religious version of the same, packaged in the vocabulary of Christian theology. Against this backdrop, Hauerwas draws on Karl Barth to set forth a 'theology without reservation' that takes modernity seriously but meets it not on modernity's terms but on the church's terms . . . This is a book we have long awaited: Hauerwas's account of what went wrong and what went right with theology in the twentieth century." -Robert Louis Wilken, author of "The Christians As the Romans Saw Them "and "The Land Called Holy" "In its animated conversations with William James, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Karl Barth, and its constructive proposals, this book makes for fine reading and ought to stir up some new and serious debate about what the church's confession has to say about natural reality." -John Webster, Oxford University "Hauerwas offers a highly informed account of his claim that Karl Barth understood what . . . William James and Reinhold Niebuhr did not: that natural theology is intelligible only as part of the whole doctrine of God revealed in Christ. Whether or not one agrees with Hauerwas-I do not-this book will rightly set the agenda for future discussion about the sources and authorities by which 'natural theology' may proceed." -Harlan Beckley, Washington and Lee University Stanley Hauerwas is Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke University. He is a prolific author, with previous books including "Resident Aliens, A Community of Character, The Peaceable Kingdom, "and "A Better Hope." Hauerwas has made signal contributions to three of the most influential developments in theology over the last thirty years: postliberalism, narrative theology, and virtue ethics. Vigorous and far-ranging in argument, he is perhaps the most quoted and debated theologian of our day.show more

About S.M. Hauerwas

Stanley Hauerwas is the Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke University. His previous books include Resident Aliens; A Community of Character; The Peaceable Kingdom; and the recent Brazos title, A Better Hope.show more

Back cover copy

"In this stunning book, the great Christian ethicist Stanley Hauerwas offers the comprehensive theological argument we have long requested. Of course, if we were worthier students, we would have known this could not come in the form of a conceptual system. Like Barth, whom he makes the hero of this book, Hauerwas teaches that Christian theological argument begins not with our own rational constructs, but by bearing witness to God's life among us. The argument proceeds not by speculating on what God's life might mean, but by narrating how it is in fact imitated by sanctified lives here in this created world. The argument ends not by framing doctrines, but by warning us of the error, violence, suffering, and death that remain in this world-and it calls us, in imitation of God's life, to help heal this world and to work for its final redemption. For those whose habit it is to call this world 'nature, ' Hauerwas's theological argument may be dubbed 'natural theology, ' and the consequence will be a radical change in what we take natural theology to be. Natural theology will be the story of God's life as it is lived, visibly, in this world; as its meaning is disclosed to the community of those who inquire after it, and as its truth is displayed through its visible effects in transforming this world into the one it would be and will be." -Peter Ochs, University of Virginiashow more

Rating details

94 ratings
4.07 out of 5 stars
5 31% (29)
4 51% (48)
3 14% (13)
2 3% (3)
1 1% (1)
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