Approaching the End Paperback
Eschatological Reflection on Church, Politics and Life
by Stanley Hauerwas;
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Approaching the End
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In Part One, 'Theological Matters', Hauerwas directly addresses his understanding of the eschatological character of the Christian faith.
In Part Two, 'Church and Politics', he deals with the political reality of the church in light of the end, addressing such issues as the divided character of the church, the imperative of Christian unity, and the necessary practice of sacrifice.
End, for Hauerwas, has a double meaning -- both chronological end and end in the sense of 'aim' or 'goal'. In Part Three, 'Life and Death', Hauerwas moves from theology and the church as a whole to focusing on how individual Christians should live in light of eschatology.
What does an eschatological approach to life tell us about how to understand suffering, how to form habits of virtue, and how to die?
Stanley Hauerwas is Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke University.
Approaching the End by Stanley Hauerwas was published by SCM Press in February 2014 and is our 52000th best seller. The ISBN for Approaching the End is 9780334052166.
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Approaching The EndDavid Ford, via The Good Book Stall
If you’ve never read any of Stanley Hauerwas’ work, then this volume – his ‘retirement book’ – might be an excellent place to start. As Hauerwas’ career draws to a close, he has turned his attention to eschatology – the study of the end times. How might reflection on the end times, he asks, help the contemporary church negotiate the contemporary world?
A key question is ‘what is ending?’ Depending on where you are in the world, the answer to that question might be Christendom or even the church. Yet the term ‘end’ means fulfilment as well as cessation. In which case the end of the church could signify that its work is done. In the UK the demise of the church is part of the demise of Christendom rather than an indication of the flourishing of the Kingdom of God. Hauerwas’ hope is that this dual demise will enable the gospel to flourish, freed of its cultural and political constraints. Time will tell.
Approaching the End is in three parts. The first deals with theological issues relating to eschatology, the second to the relationship between church and politics and the third to issues relating to life and death. Any individual chapter could be read alone as each is a separate essay although for a rounded view of Hauerwas’ approach it makes sense to at least read each section as standalone works.
There is no single theme to this volume of essays but that by no means reduces its value. Hauerwas is one of the most impressive (and readable) theologians of his generation who – like Walter Brueggemann – has spent much of his academic life calling the church back to be and to live the gospel it purports to proclaim. His work is frequently prophetic and uncomfortable. At its centre – with a consistency we could all emulate - is the radical and transforming character of Christ.
Hauerwas deserves to be heard. He might question your faith in the church, but he is more than likely to bring your faith in the gospel alive.
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'Reading Hauerwas is like walking in on a family argument. You don't always know when and how the fight started, but you can't take your eyes off it, you're galvanized by the energy in the room, you suddenly find the fight is about things you've always been troubled by - and sure as hell will stay rooted to the spot until you see how the argument comes out. Stanley Hauerwas writes unputdownable theology - because he believes in a God who will never put us down until it's clear how our story comes out.' - Samuel Wells , St Martin-in-the-Fields
'Again the master brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old - I shall return to these essays with gratitude for their grace and insight.' - Fergus Kerr, University of Edinburgh
Details for Approaching the End
|Author / Artist||Stanley Hauerwas|
|Publisher||SCM Press (February 2014)|
|Number of Pages||272|
|Page last updated||2nd October 2017|