Item description for The Peaceable Kingdom: A Primer In Christian Ethics by Stanley Hauerwas...
Overview (PUBUniversity of Notre Dame)"Hauerwas has written a deeply challenging book that anyone seriously concerned with the authenticity of Christian ethics must read. Reading it should trigger the same sort of personal struggle evident in its writing,"---Christian Century. Discipleship for countercultural servants. 179 pages, softcover.
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Studio: University of Notre Dame Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.02" Width: 6.07" Height: 0.59" Weight: 0.75 lbs.
Release Date Aug 31, 1991
Publisher University of Notre Dame Press
ISBN 0268015546 ISBN13 9780268015541
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More About Stanley Hauerwas
Stanley Hauerwas (PhD, Yale University) is professor emeritus of divinity and law at Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina. He is the author of over forty books, including Cross-Shattered Christ, A Cross-Shattered Church, With the Grain of the Universe, A Better Hope, and Matthew in the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible.
Stanley Hauerwas has an academic affiliation as follows - Duke University Duke University, USA Duke University Duke University D.
Stanley Hauerwas has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The Peaceable Kingdom: A Primer In Christian Ethics?
Interesting and Important book Jun 8, 2006
Interesting book. His main thesis is that within society at large Christians should not claim to be anything else other then Christians. Furthermore, their concern should be in building the church up and not worrying as much about the greater society. Furthermore, he is not so much interested in issues and in the person. In other words, any confusion about what a person is to do is because the individual does not know who they are. Once they understand who they are then the decisions will come naturally. These points, as well as some other, are controversial. This book gives Hauerwas' controversial positions a systematic explanation. Not everybody is going to agree with him, but yet his ideas have become influential and are important to understand.
Christian Ethics for Christians Feb 19, 2006
Stanley Hauerwas is without a doubt one of the most influential theologians if not the most influential of the contemporary theological milieu. The Peaceable Kingdom, is an excellent starting point for those wanting to dive into Hauerwas. This is one of his earlier works and written at an accessible level. Much of what he says is restated in his immensely popular work co-authored with William Willimon in Resident Aliens, which is a must read as well. Hauerwas's engagement with such a variety of disciplines provides a profound work on what it means to be a Christian. His most noticeable influences being Karl Barth, John Howard Yoder, Alasdair MacIntyre, and Ludwig Wittgenstein among others (see xix). Whether or not you agree with Hauerwas you have to engage him. His writing is exceptionally readable and spiritually challenging. If you're not a Christian his work won't make sense, that's part of the point. If you are a Christian after reading this book you will pray.
An excellent Intro Aug 5, 2005
The Peaceable Kingdom is subtitled "A Primer in Christian Ethics". However, unlike most introductory ethics books Hauerwas' book is not issue based offering a chapter on say abortion, war or any other issues). Instead however invites the reader to gain a insight into a christian ethics based not issues but the Christian story and the Community of God. This book is an excellent introduction to Hauerwas' thought that unlike his other essay based books reads very well.
One of the advantages of this edition is the helpful postscript Hauerwas has written marking the twenty years since the book's initial publication. Twenty years on Hauerwas still claims this is the most helpful introduction to his thought, I tend to agree.
A lot of fluff May 21, 2004
Hauerwas is like many theologians out there who say a lot about something without really saying much at all. While there is much to commend this book on, most of it is surrounded by fluffy long sayings that don't actually mean very much.
Hauerwas does well to point out as Christians we should not attempt to do ethics without qualifying our ethic as distinctively Christian, and that our ethic is built upon the foundations of the narrative of Scripture as well the community that is to embody that narrative- the Church. Also, I like how Hauerwas stresses that deciding what actions are ethical can only be properly understood based on our understanding of "being" a Christian.
As commendable as all this is, Hauerwas does not deal too much with what the Scriptures actually say. He tends to make assumptions that sound like they are Biblical. For example, Hauerwas tends to put a virtue such as peace on top of his hierarchy of virtue. Yet, he doesn't really attempt to explore what the Scriptures say on peace. He eventually comes to understand peace as non-violence/war. However, is such Biblical? However, if that is so, then why did Jesus tell his disciples to carry around a sword? If Jesus was against violence, then why did He affirm the use of violence as a means of establishing justice, by dying on the cross? Scripturally speaking, there is a time when justice must choose violence in order for justice to be established. Scripturally speaking, there is a time for war (Eccl 3:8).
It is ironic that while Hauerwas has much to say for Christians being faithful to the narrative of Scripture, that Hauerwas turns so little attention to what the Scriptures say. He consistantly is vague in dealing with the Scriptures, and really does not interact with them throughout this book. He simply pays mere lip service to them. He seems much more interested in interacting with Barth, MacIntyre, McCormick, Niebuhr, and Yoder, than with Jesus or Paul.
I am not totally against the pacifist position, and it has much appeal to me. I believe that Christians should not participate in war that is ultimately selfish in nature. I believe if Christians partake in war, then it should only be for the purpose of defending the nation, or protecting another nation that is completely innocent. I believe such can be justified from the fact that Romans 13 teaches that the government has been given the sword by God.
It does not take much of a leap in logic to say that if Christians are part of that government that has been given the sword, then Christians have the right and duty to, when is warranted, to participate in war in the name of justice. Even Hauerwas himself admits that he has sympathy for this position, and admits that it cannot be discounted as a possibility for Christians (p. 114-115). However, he refuses to really even dialogue with this position and simply says that most the time that justice is not really the underlying issue of why a war is waged. Then he goes on to say that true justice is never established through violence; in spite of the fact that justice was established through the violence of the cross.
Ultimately the position Hauerwas takes up is that the Christian should rely on providence as the only option instead of taking up arms, and being patient enough to do so. This isn't exactly earth-shattering theology. All that Hauerwas does is a lot of tap dancing throughout this book, with the occassionally impressive maneuver that impresses the crowd.
A viable ethic for our post-ethics era. Apr 20, 1999
For four weeks I resisted the professor who had assigned Hauerwas; I battled Hauerwas on narrative's value and on his "obvious" lack of appreciation for the Brothers Niebuhr. I'd take Augustine's "just war" or Mouw's Divine Command ethics any day. Then it happened. I started doing ethics in the middle; I pitched three fourths of Kant and most of the consequentialists. I saw peace as the singular Christ trait, and I was ashamed and penitent. I read on through more and more Hauerwas to find how to "do church" as just such an authentic--albeit alien community. I don't know if I'm ready to walk over hot coals to march on Kosavo, but if Hauerwas left, I'd follow. To read Hauerwas changes Christians. Others probably won't "get" him because it takes a hefty amount of divine intervention to trust God that much. In the year since I first read this book I have had to re-think and/or re-tool everything about being a Christian. This is authentic Christianity--not the accommodationist Warrior-Christianity of Constantine, Belfast and Belgrade--and dare I say most American "chump-morality" preaching. Go ahead, fight with Hauerwas. I double dare ya! Watch the tools of peaceableness metamorphose you. I know.