1st Edition

Wilderness Wanderings
Probing Twentieth-century Theology And Philosophy

ISBN 9780813333489
Published September 4, 1998 by Routledge
260 Pages

USD $52.95

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Book Description

Wilderness Wanderings slashes through the tangled undergrowth that Christianity in America has become to clear a space for those for whom theology still matters. Writing to a generation of Christians that finds itself at once comfortably ?at home? yet oddly fettered and irrelevant in America, Stanley Hauerwas challenges contemporary Christians to reimagine what it might mean to ?break back into Christianity? in a world that is at best semi-Christian. While the myth that America is a Christian nation has long been debunked, a more urgent constructive task remains; namely, discerning what it may mean for Christians approaching the threshold of the twenty-first century to be courageous in their convictions. Ironically, reclaiming the church's identity and mission may require relinquishing its purported ?gains??which often amount to little more than a sense of comfort, the seduction of feeling ?at ease in Zion?? to take up again the risk and adventure of life ?on the way.? Accordingly, this book gives no comfort to the religious right or left, which continues to think Christianity can be made compatible with the sentimentalities of democratic liberalism.Such a re-visioned church will not establish itself through conquest or in a reconstituted Christendom, but rather must develop within its own life the patient, attentive skills of a wayfaring people. At least a church seasoned by a peripatetic life stands a better chance of noticing the changing directions of God's leading. The wilderness, therefore, ought not to appear to contemporary Christians in America as a foreboding and frightening possibility but as an opportunity to rediscover the excitement and spirit, but also the rigorous discipline, of faithful itinerancy. At such a crucial time as this, Hauerwas challenges Christians to eschew the insidious dangers that attend too permanent a habitation in a place called America and to assume instead the holy risks and hazards characteristic of people called out, set apart, and led by God. Wilderness Wanderings is a clarion call for Christians to relinquish the impermanent citizenship of a home that can never be the church's final resting place and confidently take up a course of life the horizons of which are as wide and expansive as the God who promises to lead.The book engages, often quite critically, with major theological and philosophical figures, such as Reinhold Niebuhr, Martha Nussbaum, Jeff Stout, Tristram Engelhardt, Iris Murdoch, John Milbank, and Martin Luther King Jr. These interrogations illumine why theology must reclaim its own politics and ethics. Intent on avoiding abstraction, Hauerwas intervenes in current debates around medicine, the culture wars, and race.

Table of Contents

* Introduction: Theological Interventions and Interrogations Taking Leave: Disclaiming The False Security Of Home * Knowing How to Go on When You Do Not Know Where You Are: A Response to John Cobb * History as Fate: How Justification by Faith Became Anthropology (and History) in America * The Irony of Reinhold Niebuhr: The Ideological Character of Christian Realism with Michael Broadway. * God as Participant: Time and History in the Work of James Gustafson * Can Aristotle Be a Liberal? Martha Nussbaum on Luck * Flight from Foundationalism, or Things Arent as Bad as They Seem with Phil Kenneson. * Not All Peace Is Peace: Why Christians Cannot Make Peace with Tristram Engelhardts Peace * How Christian Ethics Became Medical Ethics: The Case of Paul Ramsey Re-Turning: Gaining an Orientation, Gathering Resources * How to Go on When You Know You Are Going to Be Misunderstood, or How Paul Holmer Ruined My Life, or Making Sense of Paul Holmer Journeying On: Life on the Road, or the Long Journey Homeward * Murdochian Muddles: Can We Get Through Them If God Does Not Exist? * Reading James McClendon Takes Practice: Lessons in the Craft of Theology * Creation, Contingency, and Truthful Nonviolence: A Milbankian Reflection * Remaining in Babylon: Oliver ODonovans Defense of Christendom with James Fodor. * Remembering Martin Luther King Jr. Remembering

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Stanley Hauerwas