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A Community of Character: Toward a Constructive Christian Social Ethic Paperback – January 31, 1991

ISBN-13: 978-0268007355 ISBN-10: 0268007357 Edition: 1st

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A Community of Character: Toward a Constructive Christian Social Ethic + The Peaceable Kingdom: A Primer In Christian Ethics + Christ and Culture (Torchbooks)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press; 1 edition (January 31, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0268007357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0268007355
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #267,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“In this, the best of his books to date, Stanley Hauerwas takes up again the task of presenting an ethical framework for Christian morality. . . . Significant and intellectually exciting . . . every teacher of Christian ethics should be familiar with this landmark.” —Horizons


“Hauerwas’s narrative ethical enterprise engages the reader with its scholarly creativity, practical wisdom, and profound conviction.” —Journal of the American Academy of Religion


“Hauerwas’s collection of essays represents a significant, if controversial, contribution to Christian ethics. . . . One cannot work through this volume without being provoked, challenged, and finally enlightened.” —America 

About the Author

Stanley Hauerwas is Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke University. He is the author of numerous books, including Christians among the Virtues, In Good Company, Suffering Presence, and Character and the Christian Life, all published by the University of Notre Dame Press.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Paul D. Baxter on November 1, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was the first book of Prof. Hauerwas's that I read, and it remains my favorite. It's been over a year since I read it, so many of the details of it are fuzzy in my mind. Nonetheless, I do remember being particularly struck by his statements about marriage, abortion, and the role of the church. Not to mention a lengthy first chapter almost entirely devoted to looking at how "scripture" functions in Richard Adams' _Watership Down_. If you've not read Hauerwas yet, repent, and buy this one. If you've read his other books, still buy this one.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Im on July 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is an analytical book review of Stanley Hauerwas' A Community of Character: Toward a Constructive Christian Social Ethic.

Stanley Hauerwas is the Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke Divinity School and he holds a joint appointment with Duke Law School. Hauerwas' Methodist roots and diverse education and work experience contributes to an ecumenical theological stance that is not liberal (12). In addition to his ecumenicism, he is cross-disciplinary, as "he is in conversation with systematic theology, philosophical theology and ethics, political theory, as well as the philosophy of social science and medical ethics."

The thesis of this book is that Christian morality and ethics can only make sense and be applied to one's life when one is living within the continuing narrative of the Christian story. As a result, Hauerwas frames everything he writes about in this book around the concept of narrative because without narratives, there is a loss of community (18).

This book is essentially divided up into three parts. The first part addresses how every community needs to be rooted in a narrative. For Christians, Jesus and the Kingdom of God is the narrative that forms the church (50). Furthermore, it is the Christian's belief in the authority of Scripture and God that enables the church to be the contrast model/community to a society that does not value authority.

The second part of the book continues to emphasize the importance of narrative in understanding the church since Christians are a "storied people" worshipping a "storied God" (91). Hauerwas claims that Christians need to cultivate hope and patience in their life in order to be a contrast narrative to this world (128).
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Perry on August 29, 2010
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This is a book written by an academic for academics. Don't read it in a hurry! Read it slowly what he writes with reflectionon and gain a clear understanding.
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5 of 19 people found the following review helpful By J. Wootton on January 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
In general,Hauerwas's intelectual approach sets a serious tone. Yet he takes much too much time deliberating and not enough time just saying what he wants the reader to understand. Although thoughtful, he is not for impaitient reader.
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2 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 15, 2005
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The price for this book was low enough that even a seminary student could afford it. But the surprising thing is the speed of delivery.
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