Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hannah's Child: A Theologian's Memoir, Part 1

I had to set aside the Karl Barth and Evangelical Theology book to put the finishing touches on my thesis and was hoping to get back to blogging through it, but I received in the mail today my long awaited copy of Stanley Hauerwas' new book, Hannah's Child: A Theologians's Memoir. So, I'm putting Barth aside and I will instead include in my blog some interesting quotations or reflections from Hannah's Child.

Here's the first few quotations I found quite enjoyable:

"I believe what I write, or rather, by writing I learn to believe. But then I do not put much stock in 'believing in God.' The grammar of 'belief' invites a far too rationalistic account of what it means to be a Christian. 'Belief' implies propositions about which you get to make up your mind before you know the work they are meant to do. Does this mean I do not believe in God? Of course not, but I am far more interested in what a declaration of belief entails for how I live my life" (x).

"'How' is the heart of the matter for me. When I first read Kierkegaard, I was quite taken with his suggestion of the 'what' of Christianity is not the problem. It is the 'how.' I have spent many years trying to say that we cannot understand the 'what' of Christianity without knowing 'how' to be a Christian. Yet then I worry about the how of my own life.
"I have written this memoir in an attempt to understand myself, something that would be impossible without my friends. I have had a wonderful life because I have had wonderful friends. So this attempt to understand myself is not just about 'me' but about the friends who have made me who I am. It is also about God -- the God who has forced me to be who I am. Indeed, trying to figure out how I ended up being Stanley Hauerwas requires that I say how God figures into the story, and this is a frightening prospect" (xi).

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