Stanley Hauerwas on ‘Public’ vs ‘Private’

Stanley Hauerwas has become one of my favorite theologians and ethicists. He has a way of seeing possibility in seemingly disparate theological sources that most would think could never go together (who else could bring Karl Barth and Yoder together in a way that really does work). Hauerwas also displays a consistent knack for questioning the categories, concepts, and conditions of modernism which many others unquestionably accept as being ‘obviously’ true.

Below is a short video in which Hauerwas gives some food for thought on matters which seem especially important in today’s political and cultural landscape:

  • He touches on the issues of pluralism and secularism and our posture as Christians within a pluralistic milieu.
  • He calls Christians in particular to be a people who care about truth telling (especially pertinent during an election year in which many Christians are as willing as anyone else to tolerate lies as long as their guy wins).
  • He issues a call for the need of “eloquent and disciplined speech for the formation of a people who love the right things rightly” (with a little tweaking, a great statement on the task of theology and the church in my opinion).
  • And in the process he questions the very assumptions of modernity behind the notions of both ‘public’ and ‘private’ (and the attendant splitting or dichotomizing of public and private in modernity) which a great many seem to simply take for granted.

Should Faith Be Private? from CPX on Vimeo.

(HT: Allan Bevere & John Byron)

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