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Working with Words: On Learning to Speak Christian ePub download

by Stanley Hauerwas

  • Author: Stanley Hauerwas
  • ISBN: 1608999688
  • ISBN13: 978-1608999682
  • ePub: 1454 kb | FB2: 1686 kb
  • Language: English
  • Category: Religious Studies
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Pub (February 16, 2011)
  • Pages: 340
  • Rating: 4.9/5
  • Votes: 464
  • Format: lrf mbr mobi azw
Working with Words: On Learning to Speak Christian ePub download

Working with Words book. Hauerwas provides compelling and challenging reflections for those who desire to think deeply about the Christian faith.

Working with Words book. Jul 13, 2015 Paul Klitzke rated it it was amazing. Fantastic book, Hauerwas addresses an important topic, through past sermons, lectures and some new content too.

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, president, Trinity House Institute for Biblical, Liturgical, & Cultural Studies. Title: Working with Words: On Learning to Speak Christian. Author: Stanley Hauerwas. Print Publication Date: 2011.

Stanley Hauerwas is Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke Divinity School. Publisher's Weekly named his memoir, Hannah's Child: A Theologian's Memoir, one of the Best Religion Titles of 2010. Zasady dotyczące zamieszczania opinii.

The nice parallel here is that Stanley Hauerwas's recent book Working with Words came about because of people like . For a long time medicine is one of the places where I've disagreed with Hauerwas, having read his book on theology and medicine when I was a seminarian.

The nice parallel here is that Stanley Hauerwas's recent book Working with Words came about because of people like me, folks who enjoy reading Hauerwas's essays and sermons and who have learned to "speak Christian" to a large extent because of his influence.

In this book Stanley Hauerwas returns to the basics of "doing" theology. Working with Words: On Learning to Speak Christian. Revisiting some of his earliest philosophical and theological views to better understand and clarify what he has said before, Hauerwas explores how theological reflection can be understood as an exercise in practical reason. Hauerwas includes chapters on a wide array of topics, including "How I Think I Learned to Think Theologically," "How the Holy Spirit Works," "How to Write a Theological Sentence," and "How to Be Theologically Funny. Performing the Faith: Bonhoeffer and the Practice of Nonviolence.

Working with Words: On Learning to Speak Christian.

Working with Words: On Learning to Speak Christian Wipf and Stock (February 16, 2011). In this work, eminent theologian Stanley Hauerwas shows how the sermon is the best context for doing good theology. 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. He writes, "I am convinced that the recovery of the sermon as the context for theological reflection is crucial if Christians are to negotiate the world in which we find ourselves.

Note: This book is also published under the title Learning to Speak Christian

Note: This book is also published under the title Learning to Speak Christian. This is one of two books Hauerwas has published this year (War and the American Difference being the other). He must be cleaning out his desk as he is about to retire, though I would not be surprised if the books keep coming.

Working with Words: On Learning to Speak Christian (2011). Eminent Theologian Stanley Hauerwas to Speak at Oberlin College Sept. War and the American Difference: Theological Reflections on Violence and National Identity (2011). Without Apology: Sermons for Christ's Church (2013). Archivado desde el original el 24 September 2015. Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2011.

Christianity’s political voice in US society is often situated within a simplistic binary of social justice versus faithfulness. Gary Dorrien and Stanley Hauerwas, respectively, represent the two sides of the binary in their work. In Stone-Campbell Journal 14:2 (Fall 2011), 259–261.

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"
Cordalas
Working with Words is a collection of essays, sermons and speeches designed to be an "explicit reflection and exhibition of what it means for theology to be work and, in particular, work with words" (p. x). Hauerwas divides the collection into three parts: (1) "Learning Christian: To See and to Speak," (2) "The Language of Love: From Death to Life," and (3) "Habits of Speech Exemplified: Some Teachers." With the exception of one essay, all of the material in the first two parts was written solely by Hauerwas, whereas the majority of material in the final part is co-authored. The selection of so many pieces originally written or spoken in the last few years is a testament to the prolific nature of his work with words.

The book brings together spoken words (including sermons delivered in multiple churches and chapels, a commencement address at a seminary, and a lecture to teens at a summer youth academy) with written words (articles and essays written alone and with a co-author for diverse audiences). It also brings together material that is highly academic in nature with that which is easily accessible to readers who lack an in-depth theological education.

Working with Words: Learning to Speak Christian is an invitation to think theologically not for the sake of attaining knowledge or refining understanding, but to deepen the reader's Christian vocabulary and embolden her/his discipleship. Read slowly, ponder prayerfully, and embrace wholeheartedly.
Best West
I often review books that publishers and book-review Internet books send my way, but it's nice once in a while to take a look at a book that I read because I heard about it and bought it. The nice parallel here is that Stanley Hauerwas's recent book Working with Words came about because of people like me, folks who enjoy reading Hauerwas's essays and sermons and who have learned to "speak Christian" to a large extent because of his influence. (I still maintain that I'm not visible enough to constitute part of this particular "mafia," but I do consider it a compliment when folks assume that I might be.) The result of such a book is a collection that does not seem to have any overarching "point" at the outset beyond celebrating the intellectual influences and persistent questions that have animated Hauerwas's significant writing career. At the outset of my review I'll say that this is some of Hauerwas's best stuff, and that's saying something.

The end section of the book (my own favorite section) features a series of essays (some co-authored) on Charles Taylor, H. Richard Niebuhr, Alasdair Macintyre, Thomas Aquinas, Papal Encyclicals, Methodist theology, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Each one features the sort of careful thought and rhetorical swagger that has made Hauerwas such a fun read over the years: to the extent that I'm familiar with each of these texts and writers, I can say that Hauerwas opens up new ways to engage them while remaining true to what their own projects are after, and to the extent that I'm unfamiliar, I came away from each wanting to read more. The essay on Encyclicals particularly struck me as really good material: Hauerwas makes a compelling argument that labeling some of the encyclicals as "social teaching" and others as "teaching on sexual morality" ignores the fact that the Catholic tradition resists a strong separation between the two precisely because its imagination has not been co-opted by Capitalism the way that most modern politics has. As one of the few intellectual traditions genuinely to resist Liberal Capitalism as well as Dialectical Socialism (because, as a tradition, its memories extend farther back than the inventions of Capitalism and Socialism), the Catholic intellectual tradition thus becomes one of the places where both a strong claim for private property and a strong claim for civil government as an absolute check on mercantile overreach can make sense (240). In all of this, because this is Hauerwas I'm reading, the reason for the Church's authority on these questions is not some sense of disembodied "expertise" (a la the Acton Institute's party line on why Catholic bishops should not call for economic regulations) but because God is God over the markets just as much as God is God over all of creation (239). The conclusion of the essay, in which Hauerwas proposes that abortion, fair wages, and family are only intelligible in traditions where "woman" is a theological category (254), is a provocative and eminently Hauerwasian place to end, bringing a question forward that I had never thought of as informing such a range of social-intellectual problems.

For a long time medicine is one of the places where I've disagreed with Hauerwas, having read his book on theology and medicine when I was a seminarian. Perhaps because I'm a decade older now but perhaps because the argument is clearer here, his essay on the secularization of medicine in this anthology has almost convinced me that Hauerwas might have been right all these years. Hauerwas lays out a thesis that the particularly American problem of medicine is that it's lost the conservative vision that animated Classical Greek and later Christian-era medicine, namely the refusal to abandon human beings (155) even though each one of us is incapable of "getting out of life alive" (155). He makes perhaps the most controversial suggestion I have yet to read regarding the ongoing debate about health-care expenses and funding, namely that Christians should seriously consider undergoing a sort of medical martyrdom, refusing massively expensive life-prolonging medical treatment as long as the system continues to render the poor and uninsured (often the same group) invisible to the best physicians (162). Such a martyrdom would not solve the "problem" of medical funding, but for Hauerwas solving the world's problems has never been nearly as important as bearing faithful witness to Christ and the gospel of the Kingdom of God. Hauerwas suggests early in the essay that the imagination of supply and demand has made thinking faithfully about medicine nearly impossible (158), and he suggests the new sort of martyrdom precisely as a way to jar the imaginations of our neighbors the way that the martyrs of old jarred the imaginations of pagan Rome.

Perhaps the most helpful essays for my own thinking (which were different from the ones I enjoyed most, specifically the late pieces on Thomas Aquinas and Alasdair Macintyre) were the pieces early in the anthology on Augustine's Confessions and the book of Acts. Because I think of Hauerwas's essays (as opposed to his sermons) mainly as engaging theology as it's fallen from a sort of Thomistic golden age, seeing a sustained engagement with much older sources was refreshing and helpful. Contesting a critical commonplace that Acts is a sort of pro-Roman-Imperial sop thrown to the powers that be in order to ingratiate Christians with power and stave off the wrath that falls on the genuinely revolutionary, Hauerwas does a reading of Acts that puts Caesar not in the role of legitimate authority but usurper of the authority that rightly belongs to Christ (57). On the way there, he notes that the risen Christ, and the mission of bearing witness to the risen Christ (Acts 1:8), constitute a story so revolutionary that even within the so-called benign text of Acts agents of Empire accuse the followers of the Way of turning the world upside down (Acts 17:6). For the text of Acts, as read by Hauerwas, ultimately the resurrection becomes the central political starting point, and the reactions of Empire to the Gospel as well as the faithful journeys of the saints require the resurrection of the Christ to make sense of them (48). By the time I had finished this essay, I was eager to re-read and once more to teach Acts in a Sunday school setting. Perhaps I shall some time soon.

The Augustine essay started out in a way that made me question my own judgment in buying this book (it's the first full-length essay in the collection), but by the end of the opening piece, I knew I had once more struck Hauerwasian gold. Hauerwas begins the piece with the strange claim that theodicy, the project of reconciling the reality of evil in the world with the confession that God is love, is inherently an imperial project (13) rather than the sort of thinking that anyone who's read and internalized the Psalms would undertake. Unable to decipher this riddle from Stanley the Sphinx, I continued to read on, only to be confronted with a further assertion that pointing to sin in the world can only happen when the larger narrative of fall and redemption is already in place (16). Now the critique of theodicy started to make sense: because most versions of theodicy have something other than the reconciliation of Creator and Creation at the heart of their conception of "good" (both what a good God acts like and what a good world looks like), they relate only tangentially to the dispatches-from-the-front lamentations and praises of the Psalms, and they usually involve human beings' presuming to know what cosmic justice and goodness looks like rather than taking on the humility of Job in the face of the divine interrogation on goats and Leviathans and what not. Therefore, Hauerwas asserts, sin can never be an explanation of the evil in the world (26) but only an agnostic outcry: what efficient causes led to evil we cannot say, but we're sure going to let God know that it sucks living in a world where evil is dominant.

If this review seems disjointed, it's because the book itself never does pretend to have a unifying "project." But for folks who still think of ourselves as learning to think and to write faithfully, this set of latter-day Colloquies takes on some of the big questions of our day, some of the figures who have influenced my own thought as well as Hauerwas's, and some of the more enjoyable genres of theological reflection (the sermon and the essay rather than the system or the treatise) and offers the reader some wonderful opportunities to learn. The volume is probably a bit overpriced (I got it at a significant discount from Wipf and Stock's monthly email newsletter), but the education that it offers is worth a few shekels.

This review was originally posted on the Christian Humanist Blog.
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