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A Theologian's Memoir

9780334043683s I spent most of yesterday reading Hannah's Child: A Theologian's Memoir by Stanley Hauerwas (SCM, 2010). Hauerwas is 70 yrs old this year and offers here a theological reading of his life (I think his friend James McClendon would have approved). I'm sure I don't need to say much to encourage you to get a copy and read it. The book includes the difficult moments, of which by far the longest was his marriage to his first wife who became mentally ill.

It is simply a fantastic book. Highly readable. Difficult to put down. I wish more theologians would write this kind of book, it would help us see them as more human! Hauerwas shows that he became a theologian because he could not get saved. If Sam Well's Transforming Fate into Destiny gives us the story of how Hauerwas' theology develops, Hauerwas provides here the biographical story of what was going on. I was struck by his difficulty at various times to find a church that was home - the shape and content of the church's worship is important to him. He has no time for church growth strategies and leaves one church when a new minister arrives. I was struck that he was able to write what he wrote when his home life for many years was so difficult. I was struck by how much Hauerwas' is dependent on his friendships - a theology and practice of beings friends is central to his theology. For a theologian so famous and so influential, its good to see that they are just as ordinary as the rest of us, that is not to play down what an fascinating journey this son of bricklayer has been - you could not think Stanley Hauerwas up (which is something he says about Susan Allred at her funeral).

Don't just take my word but of the fifteen names who praise it - Rowan Williams, John Milbank, Giles Fraser, Graham Ward, Alan Torrance, Jane Williams, Luke Bretherton, Alister McGrath, Sarah Coakley, Enda Mc Donagh, Nicholas Lash, Fergus Kerr, Linda Hogan, Ann Loades and Conor Cunningham. Theologians don't write enough biography.



I shall be buying my copy come pay-day!

andy goodliff

Buy it through my link, so i get money ...! :-)

Steve Harris

Mm, I devoured it pretty quickly too. I loved the early stories about bricklaying and how theology is a sort of trade or apprenticeship. It fleshes out the gestures he makes in that direction in his other writings. And, of course, his stories of his two marriages and son. A personal Hauerwas.

Dan Morehead

Here's an interview I just did with Stanley:

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