Blog Template Theology of the Body: Stanley

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


"I cannot think of a more conformist and suicidal message in modernity than that we should encourage fellow Christians to make up their own minds. That is simply to ensure that they will be good conformist consumers in a capitalist economy by assuming now that ideas are but another product that one gets to choose on the basis of one's arbitrary likes and dislikes. To encourage Christians to think for themselves is therefore a sure way to avoid any meaningful discourse..." Stanley Hauerwas, After Christendom

I love the decidedly Protestant Stanley Hauerwas. When I was sorting out what it meant to be a Christian really, It was Stanley personally, and his prolific work, which called me to try to be serious about what it meant to follow Jesus- not the culture, nor the state, nor my friends and family, but Jesus. It was Stanley who insisted that to follow Jesus is impossible outside of the Church; it was Stanley who explained to me that the Church is called to be the Church, in and against and yet for the world, and within that simple statement lies the fullest description of the Church's vocation and of the vocations of those who live within her. It is largely because of Stanley that I was able to discern that the only way to do all of these things completely is within the Church Catholic, and not in one of her fragile derivatives. 

(These opinions are no doubt shared by my revered friend Joshua Whitfield, whose recent book Pilgrim Holiness: Martyrdom as Descriptive Witness and decision to enter the Catholic Church also reflect his studies under the great Hauerwas. You can hear Josh's impressive conversion story here).