Church and Christ in the Work of Stanley Hauerwas

in Ecclesiology
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Stanley Hauerwas has attracted much criticism for his ecclesiocentric approach to theology. As a result of his emphasis on the faithful practice of virtues in community for salvation, he has been accused of Pelagianism. He has also been charged with showing interest in Jesus primarily as an exemplar, rather than for himself. The adequacy of Hauerwas’ ecclesiology is tested here against its implications for Christology. Hauerwas conceives of Jesus primarily as the autobasileia, and emphasises the importance of his entire life and teachings in addition to his death and resurrection. Two questions concerning Hauerwas’ Christology are explored: (1) What did Christ achieve at the cross? (2) What constitutes salvation and how is it mediated to ensuing generations? This paper examines whether the church does indeed usurp the place of Christ in salvation in Hauerwas’ thought, as suggested by Healy.

Church and Christ in the Work of Stanley Hauerwas

in Ecclesiology

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References

3

Stanley Hauerwas‘The Church as God’s New Language,’ in The Hauerwas Readered. John Berkman and Michael Cartwright (Durham nc: Duke University Press 2001) p. 153.

7

Stanley Hauerwas‘Jesus: The Story of the Kingdom,’ in A Community of Character: Toward a Constructive Christian Social Ethic (Notre Dame in: University of Notre Dame Press 2005) p. 45.

10

Ibid. p. 5.

11

Stanley Hauerwas‘Jesus: The Presence of the Peaceable Kingdom,’ in The Peaceable Kingdom: A Primer in Christian Ethics (Notre Dame in: University of Notre Dame Press 1983) pp. 72–95 75.

12

HauerwasThe Peaceable Kingdom p. xxv. He also highlights a rare affinity with liberal theology in this concern to recover the centrality of Jesus’ life (Hauerwas ‘Jesus: The Story’ p. 40).

13

Ibid. p. 45.

14

Ibid. p. 40.

17

Ibid. p. 42.

18

Ibid. pp. 42–43.

19

Ibid. p. 44.

20

Stanley Hauerwas‘The Gesture of a Truthful Story: The Church and "Religious Education",’ Encounter 43 no. 4 (1982) p. 319.

22

Hauerwas‘Jesus: The Story’ p. 43.

23

Ibid. p. 42.

28

Stanley HauerwasSanctify Them in the Truth: Holiness Exemplified (Edinburgh: T & T. Clark1998) p. 68.

29

Michael Hardin‘Out of the Fog: New Horizons for Atonement Theory,’ in Stricken by God? Nonviolent Identification and the Victory of Christed. Brad Jersak and Michael Hardin (Grand Rapids mi: Eerdmans Publishing Co 2007) p. 76.

30

J. Denny Weaver‘The Nonviolent Atonement: Human Violence, Discipleship and God,’ in Stricken by God? Nonviolent Identification and the Victory of Christed. Brad Jersak and Michael Hardin (Grand Rapids mi: Eerdmans Publishing Co 2007) p. 340.

31

Hauerwas‘Jesus: The Story’ p. 48.

32

HauerwasCross-Shattered Christ p. 52.

33

Ibid. p. 63.

35

HauerwasCross-Shattered Christ p. 29.

36

Ibid. p. 30.

39

HauerwasCross-Shattered Christ pp. 84–85.

40

Ibid. p. 55.

41

Hauerwas‘Jesus: The Presence’ p. 76.

46

WinkThe Powers That Be p. 69.

47

René Girard‘Mimesis and Violence: Perspectives in Cultural Criticism,’ Berkshire Review 14 (1979) pp. 9–19.

49

HauerwasCross-Shattered Christ p. 55.

52

HauerwasCross-Shattered Christ p. 44.

54

HauerwasCross-Shattered Christ p. 65.

55

Ibid. p. 66.

56

Ibid. p. 61.

58

HauerwasCross-Shattered Christ p. 75.

59

HauerwasMatthew p. 30.

60

HauerwasSanctify Them in the Truth p. 74.

61

Ibid. p. 165.

62

HauerwasCross-Shattered Christ p. 53.

65

Ibid. pp. 53–54.

66

Ibid. p. 31.

68

HauerwasSanctify Them in the Truth p. 13.

70

HealyHauerwas p. 125.

71

Ibid. p. 125.

72

Ibid. p. 129.

73

HauerwasSanctify Them in the Truth p. 242.

74

Joseph L. Mangina‘Bearing the Marks of Jesus: The Church in the Economy of Salvation in Barth and Hauerwas,’ Scottish Journal of Theology 52 no. 3 (1999) p. 299.

75

Hauerwas‘Jesus: The Presence’ p. 79.

77

Hauerwas‘Jesus: The Story’ p. 48.

78

HauerwasWith the Grain of the Universe p. 220.

79

HauerwasThe Peaceable Kingdom p. 33.

81

Hauerwas‘Jesus: The Presence’ p. 90.

83

Walter KasperJesus the Christ (New York, NY: Paulist Press1977) p. 15.

84

Ibid. p. 158.

86

Ibid. p. 159.

88

Ibid. p. 151.

91

Stanley Hauerwas‘The Interpretation of Scripture: Why Discipleship Is Required,’ in The Hauerwas Readered. John Berkman and Michael Cartwright (Durham nc: Duke University Press 2001) p. 264.

92

HauerwasSanctify Them in the Truth p. 74; Hauerwas ‘The Gesture of a Truthful Story’ p. 319.

95

Mangina‘Bearing the Marks of Jesus’ p. 294.

96

Ibid. p. 304.

97

HauerwasCharacter and the Christian Life p. 140; Cf. Karl Barth Church Dogmatics ed. G. W. Bromiley and T. F. Torrance trans. G. W. Bromiley (Edinburgh: T & T Clark 1957–1988) iv/4 p. 30.

98

HauerwasWith the Grain of the Universe p. 145.

100

HauerwasChristian Existence Today p. 50.

101

Mangina‘Bearing the Marks of Jesus’ p. 282.

102

HauerwasWith the Grain of the Universe p. 221.

103

Stanley Hauerwas‘Beyond the Boundaries: The Church Is Mission,’ in Walk Humbly with the Lord: Church and Mission Engaging Pluralityed. Viggo Mortensen and Andreas Østerlund Nielsen (Grand Rapids mi: Eerdmans Publishing Co 2010) p. 53; Cf. John Howard Yoder The Royal Priesthood: Essays Ecclesiological and Ecumenical ed. Michael Cartwright (Grand Rapids mi: Eerdmans Publishing Co 1994) p. 91.

105

HealyHauerwas p. 126.

108

Stanley Hauerwas‘Why There Is No Salvation Outside the Church,’ in After Christendom: How the Church Is to Behave If Freedom Justice and a Christian Nation are Bad Ideas (Nashville tn: Abingdon Press 1991) pp. 23–44 35.

109

HauerwasWith the Grain of the Universe p. 207.

111

Nigel BiggarBehaving in Public: How to Do Christian Ethics (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co2011) p. 95. Stout brings a similar charge arguing that Hauerwas’ antiliberalism ‘leaves the world outside the modern church in a doubly darkened condition’ (Jeffrey Stout Democracy and Tradition (Princeton pa: Princeton University press 2004) p. 154). Stackhouse points out that Hauerwas’ understanding of the church-world divide prevents him from having anything positive to say about secular human rights movements although these endeavours are surely assisting to establish the kingdom (Max Stackhouse ‘Liberalism Dispatched vs. Liberalism Engaged’ in Shaping Public Theology: Selections from the Writings of Max L. Stackhouse ed. Hak Joon Lee Scott R. Paeth E. Harold Breitenberg Jnr (Grand Rapid mi: Eerdmans Publishing Co 2014) p. 88).

112

Peter Dula and Alex Sider‘Radical Democracy, Radical Ecclesiology’Cross Currents 55 no. 4 (2006) p. 482.

113

Robert W. Jenson‘The Hauerwas Project,’ Modern Theology 8 no. 3 (1992) p. 292.

114

HauerwasChristian Existence Today p. 15.

115

Jenson‘The Hauerwas Project’ p. 293.

119

HauerwasSanctify Them in the Truth p. 58.

120

Gingerich‘The Church as Kingdom’ p. 129.

121

Hauerwas‘Jesus: The Story’ p. 45.

122

Hauerwas and WillimonResident Aliens p. 87.

123

HauerwasChristian Existence Today p. 106.

124

Hauerwas‘Jesus: The Presence’ p. 90.

125

HauerwasCross-Shattered Christ p. 33.

126

Hauerwas‘Jesus: The Story’ p. 37.

128

HealyHauerwas p. 70.

129

Hauerwas‘Jesus: The Story’ p. 42. He goes on to say that Jesus may well provide such a universal model but ‘only as an expression of God’s way to man’ (Ibid.).

130

Ibid. p. 43.

132

Gingerich‘The Church as Kingdom’ p. 140.

133

Ibid. p. 141.

134

HealyHauerwas p. 16.

136

HauerwasA Community of Character p. 63.

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