Working with Words: On Learning to Speak Christian (Paperback)
Synopsis: The crucial challenge for theology is that when it is read the reader thinks, "This is true." Recognizing claims that are "true" enables readers to identify an honest expression of life's complexities. The trick is to show that theological claims--the words that must be used to speak of God--are necessary if the theologian is to speak honestly of the complexities of life. The worst betrayal of the task of theology comes when the theologian fears that the words he or she must use are not necessary. This new collection of essays, lectures, and sermons by Stanley Hauerwas is focused on the central challenge, risk, and difficulty of this necessity--working with words about God. The task of theology is to help us do things with words. "God" is not a word peculiar to theology, but if "God" is a word to be properly used by Christians, the word must be disciplined by Christian practice. It should, therefore, not be surprising that, like any word, we must learn how to say "God." Endorsements: "The essays and sermons in Working with Words reveal that the vibrancy of Stanley Hauerwas arises from his single-minded, manic determination to learn from Jesus and the Scriptures to see and speak as a Christian, and to teach other Christians to do the same." --Peter J. Leithart New St. Andrews College author of Defending Constantine "Working with Words displays more clearly than ever before the basso ostinato that is Wittgenstein's imprint on the Hauerwasian dialect . . . This is vintage Hauerwas." --Jennifer A. Herdt Professor of Christian Ethics, Yale University "Whether preaching or teaching, writing or conversing, Stanley Hauerwas serves the Word with words--careful words, bold words, nuanced words, provocative words. . . . Reading Working with Words is its own reward, as are the insights one receives upon its completion." --Michael L. Budde author of The Borders of Baptism: Identities, Allegiances, and the Church (forthcoming in the Theopolitical Visions series of Cascade Books). "Thanks be to God that we are blessed with a God who loves us enough to say something substantial to us. And thanks for Stanley Hauerwas who is able to say so well what God says." --William H. Willimon Bishop, The United Methodist Church, Birmingham, Alabama Area "Stanley Hauerwas is a word provocateur-but always in service to the Word that is our life and our hope." --Debra Dean Murphy author of Teaching That Transforms: Worship as the Heart of Christian Education "They range wide and deep, offering both priestly affirmation and prophetic critique. Writing as always in his distinctively Christian voice, Hauerwas helps his audience to cease mumbling and fumbling about the Gospel and the Church. Indeed, he leaves us without excuse for speaking anything other than Christian." --Ralph C. Wood University Professor of Theology and Literature Baylor University Author Biography: Stanley Hauerwas is Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke Divinity School. Publishers Weekly named his memoir, Hannah's Child: A Theologian's Memoir, one of the Best Religion Titles of 2010.
Stanley Hauerwas is Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke Divinity School. Publishers Weekly named his memoir, Hannah's Child: A Theologian's Memoir, one of the Best Religion Titles of 2010.