Stanley Hauerwas - Quotes

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In the Crusades, getting the Holy Land back was the goal, and any means could be used to achieve it. World War II was a crusade. The firebombing of Tokyo by Doolittle and the carpet bombing in Germany, especially by the British, showed that. ---->>>

To be poor does not mean you lack the means to extend charity to another. You may lack money or food, but you have the gift of friendship to overwhelm the loneliness that grips the lives of so many. ---->>>

To come to terms with our beginning requires a truthful story to acquire the skills to live in gratitude rather than resentment for the gift of life. ---->>>

I was raised in an evangelical Methodist church. Evangelical meant that though you had been baptized and made a member of the church on Sunday morning, you still had to be 'saved' on Sunday night. I wanted to be saved, but I did not think you should fake it. ---->>>

We complain of the increased tempo of our lives, but our frenetic lives are just reflection of the economic system that we have created. ---->>>

Our sin is exactly the presumption that we can know God or ourselves through our own capacities. ---->>>

I confess I take perverse delight as a theologian in the controversies surrounding postmodernism. ---->>>

I think no one knows what humanitarian intervention means. If I were a person who was non-American, I would think humanitarian intervention is just another name for United States imperialism. ---->>>

Reformation names the disunity in which we currently stand. We who remain in the Protestant tradition want to say that Reformation was a success. ---->>>

A martyr can never cooperate with death, go to death in a way that they're not trying to escape. ---->>>

Civil religion is the attempt to empower religion, not for the good of religion, but for the creation of the citizen. ---->>>

'It is finished' is the triumphant cry that what I came to do has been done. All is accomplished, completed, fulfilled work. ---->>>

The very fact that doctrine is hewn from bitter controversy and tested through time is sufficient reason to make them a focus of theology. ---->>>

Our hope in life beyond death is a hope made possible, not by some general sentimental belief in life after death, but by our participation in the life of Christ. ---->>>

To be a Christian means you become a part of the most significant story the world has ever heard. You don't become part of that without an ongoing questioning of what it means to become part of that. ---->>>

We Protestants automatically assume that the Pharisees are the Catholics. They are the self-righteous people who have made Christianity a form of legalistic religion, thereby destroying the free grace of the Gospel. We Protestants are the tax collectors, knowing that we are sinners and that our lives depend upon God's free grace. ---->>>

I want to challenge the presumption that the world cannot know it is the world unless there is an alternative to the world. ---->>>

At least one reason for trying to live lives that make a difference is that by so living, we hope we will not be forgotten by those who benefit from our trying to make a difference. Yet to try to insure we will not be forgotten too often results in desperate manipulative strategies that are doomed to fail. ---->>>

Conservatives and liberals understand the Christian faith as a set of ideas because, so understood, Christianity seems to be a set of beliefs assessable to anyone upon reflection. ---->>>

I am just postmodern enough not to trust 'postmodern' as a description of our times, for it privileges the practices and intellectual formations of modernity. Calling this a postmodern age reproduces the modernist assumption that history must be policed by periods. ---->>>

I cannot imagine a more realistic faith than the Christian faith. At every turn, we are told we are death-determined creatures and that our lives, our all too brief lives, at the very least will be complex if not difficult. ---->>>

The god most Americans say they believe in is just not interesting enough to deny. Thus the only kind of atheism that counts in America is to call into question the proposition that everyone has a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. ---->>>

The very idea that you could have separation between mosque and state from Islam's perspective is the imposition on them of Christian practice. Islam doesn't really have a place for state. They are a universalistic faith like Christianity, but they think there is no country that bounds Islam. ---->>>

America is the first great experiment in Protestant social formation. Protestantism in Europe always assumed and depended on the cultural habits that had been created by Catholic Christianity. ---->>>

Christian salvation consists in works. To be saved is to be made holy. To be saved requires our being made part of a people separated from the world so that we can be united in spite of - or perhaps better, because of - the world's fragmentation and divisions. ---->>>

Death threatens our speech with futility because death is not just a biological event - it is a reality we fear may rob our living of any significance. ---->>>

I have assumed my clear commitment to a Trinitarian orthodoxy was sufficient evidence that I have not intentionally ignored the role of the Holy Spirit. It may be true, however, that my work has been so Christ-centred, I may have given the impression that the Holy Spirit is an afterthought. ---->>>

Let me be clear: I am a Methodist. By that, I mean I think John Wesley was a recovery of Catholic Christianity through disciplined congregational life. ---->>>

One of the problems we currently have is there hasn't been in the population any serious engagement with the ethics of war because we have an all-volunteer army. I would think the return to the draft would be an intervention that would require discussion that might be more helpful in terms of our ability to limit war. ---->>>

There's an inclination to get on the inside of Jesus' psyche, and I think that's a deep mistake because it assumes that what you have here is someone analogous to us. ---->>>

To be a Christian is to be obligated to be charitable. This is true whether you are rich or poor, healthy or ill, old or young, male or female, oppressed or free, established or disestablished. ---->>>

From my perspective, 'postmodernism' merely names an interesting set of developments in the social order that is based on the presumption that God does not matter. ---->>>

I was named Stanley because the week before I was born, my mother and father saw a movie - 'Stanley and Livingstone.' ---->>>

Jesus made the final sacrifice for all, and we need not make it again. ---->>>

The fact that I spent my life in universities in a manner that I no longer have close identification with bricklayers is a pain to me. ---->>>

I am an enthusiastic participant in a church, but I have never been particularly concerned with denominational identity. ---->>>

The desire for money may be an indication of greed, but I want to argue that greed is a much more subtle vice than simply the desire to be rich. ---->>>

The Gospel of John makes explicit what all the Gospels assume - that is, the cross is not a defeat, but the victory of our God. ---->>>

Though claiming to represent a conservative form of Christianity, the Religious Right is politically a form of Protestant liberalism. ---->>>

Whatever it means for us to exist, we do so as creatures created, as the universe has been created, to glorify God. ---->>>

Most of us believe that we possess some aspect of eternity that will insure some kind of survival beyond death. The only problem with those strategies is they forget that only God is eternal. We are finite. ---->>>

Ask yourself: if that is what Jesus is all about - that is, getting us to love one another - then why did everyone reject him? ---->>>

God is whoever raised Jesus from the dead, having before raised Israel from Egypt. There is no God but this God. ---->>>

God knows we are subtle creatures who are more than able to use candour to avoid acknowledging our deceptions of others and ourselves. ---->>>

I am a Protestant. I am a communicant at the Church of the Holy Family, an Episcopal church in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. ---->>>

The fundamental character of our faith means an extensive diversity is required not only within local community, but between communities. ---->>>

When love becomes what Christianity is all about, we can make no sense of Jesus's death and resurrection. ---->>>

My mother desperately wanted children. She had a child that was stillborn - something I learned when I was looking through her 'effects' after she had died. It was then that I discovered my original birth certificate, which indicated the previous birth. ---->>>

American Protestants do not have to believe in God because they believe in belief. That is why we have never been able to produce an interesting atheist in America. ---->>>

Christians are nonviolent not, therefore, because we believe that nonviolence is a strategy to rid the world of war, but because nonviolence is constitutive of what it means to be a disciple to Jesus. ---->>>

It is often observed that the first casualty of war is truth, but how do you tell the truth without betraying the sacrifice of those who accepted the terms of battle? War is a sacrificial system that creates its own justification. ---->>>

Jesus is the politics of the new age; He is about the establishment of a kingdom; He is the one who has created a new time that gives us the time not only to care for the poor but to be poor. Jesus is the one who makes it possible to be nonviolent in a violent world. ---->>>

My way of putting it is that Christians are called to live nonviolently not because we believe nonviolence is a strategy to rid the world of war, but in a world of war as faithful followers of Christ, we cannot imagine being anything other than nonviolent. ---->>>

The problem with the U.S. foreign policy is that we're just so unbelievably powerful. And when you've got that kind of power, it's very hard not to use it. ---->>>

Christianity is not some ideal toward which we ought always to strive even though the ideal is out of reach. Christianity is not a series of slogans that sum up our beliefs. ---->>>

I must begin by telling you that I do not like to preach on Reformation Sunday. Actually, I have to put it more strongly than that. I do not like Reformation Sunday, period. ---->>>

One of the problems with the identification of Christianity with love is how such a view turns out to be both anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic. The Jews and Catholics become identified with the law or dogma, in contrast to Protestant Christians, who are about love. ---->>>

Part of what my work has always been about is to show that the apocalyptic character of the gospel makes the everyday possible. It gives us the time that lets us care for one another as we are ill, helps us care for one another as we experience broken relationships, and helps us take the time to worship God in a world of such violence. ---->>>

Protestantism came to America to make America Protestant. It was assumed that was to be done through faith in the reasonableness of the common man and the establishment of a democratic republic. ---->>>

The 'Cold War' impinged on the daily lives of Americans. The wars after 11 September 2001 have been fought without the general American population having to make any sacrifices. It goes on, and so do we. ---->>>

The Christian fact is very straightforward: To be a student is a calling. Your parents are setting up accounts to pay the bills, or you are scraping together your own resources and taking out loans, or a scholarship is making college possible. ---->>>

The idea is that Jesus overcame death through the Resurrection. What that does is fail to appreciate the fact that the resurrected Christ is the crucified Christ. It's not like, 'Oh, that was just a mistake, now it's over.' Jesus continues to suffer from our sins. ---->>>

Though the world may often appear to be more charitable than the church, it is crucial to remember that, for the church, the care of the poor cannot be separated from the worship of God. ---->>>

We, like the people of Israel, would like to think we get to name God. By naming God, we hope to get the kind of god we need; that is, a god after our own likeness. ---->>>

When I started to write 'Hannah's Child,' I realized that this had to be a book of passion, to have a certain kind of vulnerability. I think that people respond to that. ---->>>

I am not sure I can make clear what it means to say I come from the Catholic side of Protestantism, but at the very least, it means that I do not think Christianity began with the Reformation. ---->>>

I do not want to convince Christians to work for the abolition of war, but rather I want us to live recognizing that in the cross of Christ, war has been abolished. ---->>>

I have no doubt that for some to become a Christian may involve an experience of ecstasy. Yet I do not think such an experience is necessary for someone to be a Christian. ---->>>

I think the language of sacrifice is particularly important for societies like the United States in which war remains our most determinative common experience, because states like the United States depend on the story of our wars for our ability to narrate our history as a unified story. ---->>>

In a world of deep injustice and violence, a people exists that thinks some can be given time to study. We need you to take seriously the calling that is yours by virtue of going to college. ---->>>

Let us wait in patience for the Christ-child whose own life depended on the lives of Mary and Joseph. The Word of God was made flesh. He came so that we might experience the fullness of time. ---->>>

The fact that monasticism preceded the identification of greed as a primal sin is an important reminder that our very ability to name sin is a theological achievement. ---->>>

The world does not have time to be with the poor, to learn with the poor, to listen to the poor. To listen to the poor is an exercise of great discipline, but such listening surely is what is required if charity is not to become a hatred of the poor for being poor. ---->>>

The world has already been saved from war. The question is how Christians can and should live in a world of war as a people who believe that war has been abolished. ---->>>

Time is a gift and a threat because we are bodily creatures. We only come into existence through the bodies of others, but that very body destines us to death. We must be born and we must die. ---->>>

To be sure, those who are actually engaged in combat - those who actually see the maimed bodies and mourning mothers - struggle more than the rest of us to make sense of the reality of war. ---->>>

To kill, in war or in any circumstance, creates a silence. It is right that silence should surround the taking of life. After all, the life taken is not ours to take. ---->>>

I am often criticized, or at least questions are raised, about what appears to be the absence of the Holy Spirit in my work. ---->>>

Christian nonviolence must be embodied in a community that is an alternative to the world's violence. ---->>>

I am a Congregationalist with Catholic sensibilities. Which probably explains how I ended up in a Episcopal church. ---->>>

I am not sure how old I was when I began to worry about being saved, but it was sometime in my early teens. ---->>>

I really have lived in books. Books are friends. They are some of the friends that make you who you are. ---->>>

I'm a happy and productive person. I'm very fortunate; I was born with happy genes. I've got a lot of energy. ---->>>

The British, I have discovered, assume that Americans are more religious than they are. ---->>>

The heart of the gospel is that you don't know Jesus without the witness of the church. It's always mediated. ---->>>

The very fact that we find it hard to conceive of an alternative to limitless economic growth is an indication of our spiritual condition. ---->>>

To know God's name is to know God. ---->>>

Undergraduate life on college campuses tends in the direction of neopagan excess. ---->>>

War is America's central liturgical act necessary to renew our sense that we are a nation unlike other nations. ---->>>

William James was not a prophet. He was a philosopher whose philosophy reflected his profound humanity. ---->>>

I think it is a mistake to focus - as we most often do - only on the sacrifice of life that war requires. War also requires that we sacrifice our normal unwillingness to kill. ---->>>

Being a Christian has not and does not come naturally or easy for me. I take that to be a good thing because I am sure that to be a Christian requires training that lasts a lifetime. ---->>>

By the time I had got to college, I had begun to read and had decided that most of what Christians believed could not be credible. So I became a philosophy major at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. ---->>>

Christians need jobs just like anybody else, but the years you spend as an undergraduate are like everything else in your life. They're not yours to do with as you please. They're Christ's. ---->>>

From the beginning, Christianity has struggled to sustain the creative tension between the personal appropriation of the gospel and the gospel's universal reach. ---->>>

I am not convinced that the U.S. is more religious than Britain. Even if more people go to church in America, I think the U.S. is a much more secular country than Britain. ---->>>

I should like to think how we write as theologians would reflect our confidence in the One who makes that writing possible. That is one of the reasons, moreover, that the scriptures remain paradigmatic for how we are to write. ---->>>

I teach in the Divinity School at Duke University, a very secular university. But before Duke, I taught fourteen years at the University of Notre Dame. ---->>>

'It is finished' will not be, as we know from the tradition of the ordering of these words from the cross, the last words of Jesus. 'It is finished' is a cry of victory. ---->>>

It turns out that the God whose word will stand forever does not exist to insure our fantasies that we will not have to die as individuals or as a species. Such a God, moreover, does not invite us to presume we can comprehend God's creation. ---->>>

Just as an athlete with natural gifts may fail to develop the fundamental skills necessary to play their sport after their talent fades, so people naturally disposed to faith may fail to develop the skills necessary to sustain them for a lifetime. ---->>>

Americans assume that we never go to war to sustain our wealth, because war must be understood as a moral enterprise commensurate with our being a democracy. ---->>>

In Britain, when someone says they do not believe in God, they stop going to church. In the U.S., many who may have doubts about Christian orthodoxy may continue to go to church. They do so because they assume that a vague god vaguely prayed to is the god that is needed to support family and nation. ---->>>

Israel knew that there was no greater gift than to be given God's name, but that gift was a frightening reality that threatened to consume her. Israel, who would be tempted by the idolatrous presumption she possessed God's name, rightly never forgot she could not say God's name. ---->>>

Liberal Christianity, of course, has enemies, but they are everyone's enemies - sexism, racism, homophobia. But liberal versions of Christianity, which can be both theologically and politically conservative, assume that what it means to be Christian qua Christian is to have no enemies peculiar to being Christian. ---->>>

Many who become theologians in our time think their task is to try to determine how much of what has passed for Christianity they still need to believe and yet still be able to think of themselves as Christians. ---->>>

My mother had heard the story of Hannah and Samuel, so she prayed that if God would give her a son, she would give that son to God. That was a perfectly appropriate thing for her to do, but as I observe, she did not have to tell me she had made such a promise. In particular, she did not have to tell me when I was six. ---->>>

One of the challenges Christians confront is how the politics we helped create has made it difficult to sustain the material practices constitutive of an ecclesial culture to produce Christians. ---->>>

Protestantism became identified with the republican presumption in liberty as an end in itself. This presumption was then reinforced by an unassailable belief in the common sense of the individual. ---->>>

Reading is an exercise for learning how to write and vice versa. I have read myself into being a Christian, but I have also written myself into being a Christian. ---->>>

'The Chronicles of Narnia' are war-determined stories. I do not think Lewis could have written well or truthfully if he had tried to avoid the reality of war. ---->>>

The mentally ill may have shattered lives, but how that is different than the way sin distorts our ability to comprehend who we are as God's creatures is not clear. ---->>>

Theological writing is usually done in essays or books, but I hope to show that if we concentrate on sentences, we may well learn something we might otherwise miss. ---->>>

There is nothing wrong with making money, but it was just not in my family's habits to know how to do that. All we knew how to do was work, and we usually liked the work we did. ---->>>

To try to turn Iraq into a liberal democracy is absolutely crazy. Islam has no understanding of the separation between church and state because they don't understand Islam to be a church. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: American
Born: 07-24, 1940
Birthplace: Dallas, Texas, United States
Die:
Occupation: Theologian
Website:

Stanley Hauerwas (born July 24, 1940) is an American theologian, ethicist, and public intellectual. Hauerwas was a longtime professor at Duke University, serving as the Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke Divinity School with a joint appointment at the Duke University School of Law (wikipedia)