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War and the American Difference: Theological Reflections on Violence and National Identity Paperback – October 1, 2011
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From the Back Cover
In War and the American Difference, Stanley Hauerwas reflects theologically on war, church, justice, and nonviolence. He explores such issues as how America depends on war for its identity, how war affects the soul of a nation, the sacrifices that war entails, and why war is considered "necessary," especially in America. He also examines the views of nonviolence held by Martin Luther King Jr. and C. S. Lewis, how Jesus constitutes the justice of God, and the relationship between congregational ministry and Christian formation in America.
"Disenthralling Americans from war will require an authentic realism that displaces the illusions commonly passing for realism. In this luminous volume, Stanley Hauerwas continues the vital work of planting the signposts that show us the way."
--Andrew J. Bacevich, Boston University; author of Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War
"Beginning from the startling claim that war defines American political identity, these essays should interest both religious and secular readers. Hauerwas defends a Christian pacifism that allows no compromises with war, including that most common form of compromise--just war theory. Christians will be powerfully challenged by his claim that nonviolence is a necessary condition of a church that is a living witness to Christ. Secular readers will be forced to rethink the ground of their own commitment to a politics built on violent sacrifice. Hauerwas demands of all of us that we think through the character of our faith and the sources of ultimate meaning in our lives."
--Paul W. Kahn, Robert W. Winner Professor of Law and the Humanities, Yale Law School
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Top Customer Reviews
Honestly, after reading this book, it is impossible for me, as a pastor to defend our wars from the aspect of Christianity any longer.
In part 3 Hauweras focuses the difference that body of Christ makes to the world and war.Read more ›
It is no secret that Hauerwas is an opponent of violence. As perhaps the most prolific and relentless pacifist alive today, he has assembled quite the following. However, as is expected, others have not been so enthralled by this small town, brick-laying Texan. Stephen Webb, in article at First Things, accused Hauerwas of being "antimodern" and in need of "a little Niebhurian realism" to temper his "utopian" ecclesiology.
Webb's quip that Hauerwas lacks "realism" betrays the true nature of their disagreement: it is a battle over the imagination. "Realism", so-called, is nothing more than the assumption that the way the world is, more or less, is the way the world must be. Yet, as Hauerwas states in his 1985 article, Christians are those who have been "challenged by a God who has invited us into an otherwise unimaginable kingdom." And because "Jesus is Lord" has universal import, the story of Jesus disrupts our vision of the whole world and its alleged "musts", making possible "our going beyond the seeming 'necessities' of our available options."
If there is any feature of our world in which our imaginations persistently fail us, surely it is war. We cannot imagine a world without it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Perfect book for anyone interested in a deep exposition of Hauerwas' pacifism. Most of the "meat" of the book is found at the beginning and middle--the last section is a... Read morePublished on January 8, 2014 by William Mcmahon
As a Christian Theology major, I chose to write a paper about Christian Pacifism from the perspective of Stanley Hauerwas. Read morePublished on September 13, 2013 by RECJ11
He's a thoughtful and provocative writer, and well-worth listening to. I don't agree with everything he says, but I enjoyed learning what he thinks.Published on April 1, 2013 by Jaycee