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Approaching the End
Eschatological Reflections on Church, Politics, & Life
PAPERBACK; Published: 11/28/2013
ISBN: 978-0-8028-6959-3
269 Pages
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Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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The latest offering from a renowned, ever-provocative theologian-ethicist

In this book Stanley Hauerwas explores the significance of eschatological reflection for helping the church negotiate the contemporary world.

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?

Read an excerpt from the book on EerdWord.
Samuel Wells
-- King's College London
"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 you 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."
William Cavanaugh
-- DePaul University
"This book represents the mature thought of one of the most creative and insightful thinkers of our time. Here we see Hauerwas grappling with the difficulties caused by the positions his obedience to Jesus Christ has compelled him to take. Those who think they already know what Hauerwas has to say should read this book and rediscover the restless Hauerwas, whose thought is always straining forward to what lies ahead."
Michael Cartwright
-- University of Indianapolis
"Readers of Approaching the End will not find Hauerwas's `last word' on any of the topics that he has addressed in his many books. Rather, he offers readers wise and provocative first words about topics in Christian eschatology that invite further engagement. First-time Hauerwas readers are likely to be surprised to encounter the unstinting rigor of a Christian theologian who dares to think about last things while looking squarely at the prospect of his own death. Longtime readers will be struck that Hauerwas continues to challenge us to rethink what it means for Christians to affirm that 'God is making all things new.'"
Fergus Kerr
-- University of Edinburgh
"Once 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."
Christian Century
"The church needs Hauerwas's prophetic witness. His theology is courageous, challenging, and a source of hope when many ecclesial leaders seem to be despairing. The church needs theologians like Hauerwas, who make bold claims without arrogance and desire to stay in dialogue with their detractors. His attention to suffering, violence, and disability keeps unpleasant subjects at the forefront. This book is for ecclesial leaders who have an appetite for metaconversations on suffering, virtues, and the church as an alternative politic."
Presbyterian Outlook
"Hauerwas is a provocateur who compels Christians to think hard and clearly about the implications of faithful practice. One should be required to read Hauerwas to clear the cobwebs from the brain, risk rearranging the theological furniture and stir up the heart toward a deeper yearning for God."
"This engaging intellectual retrospective by a world-class theologian deserves wide readership, both among those committed to the Lordship of Christ and the continuing life of the church, and among those simply interested in what it means to be human."
Choice (American Library Association)
"Throughout the essays, which can be read as a group or not, there is enough analysis of his own previous work and engagement with other theologians to make this an excellent introduction to Hauerwas. At the same time, it is a substantial work from which all readers of theology can benefit. Essential."
"In Approaching the End the recently retired Stanley Hauerwas does not offer, or so he says, his `swan song' — an anthology of stuff he thinks — but rather a multifaced reflection on `ends', that is, eschatological, teleological and biological ends, and how these frame, and are framed by, the life of the Church. . . . Consistently engaging and thought provoking."