Stanley Hauerwas

Stanley Hauerwas (July 24, 1940- ) is a United Methodist theologian and ethicist who is currently the Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke Divinity School in Durham, NC. He has a B.D., M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Yale University and has a D.D. from the University of Edinburgh.


In his career, Hauerwas has attempted to emphasize the importance of virtue and character within the Church. He has been an outspoken Christian pacifist and has promoted nonviolence, having been mentored by Mennonite theologian John Howard Yoder. Hauerwas has also been an opponent of nationalism, particularly American patriotism, arguing that it has no place in the Church. He has also been associated with the narrative theology movement.

TIME Magazine in 2001 named him "America's Best Theologian". He responded by saying "Best is not a theological category." That same year, he was invited to give the prestigious Gifford Lectures at St. Andrews in Scotland, which were published as With the Grain of the Universe, a text in which Karl Barth's interpretation of Anselm's analogy of faith was featured.

Hauerwas is a prominent and influential theological ethicist in the United States. As John Howard Yoder had attempted to demonstrate what he felt were problems with Reinhold Niebuhr's ethics in his 1972 book The Politics of Jesus, Hauerwas attempted the same with the positions of both H. Richard Niebuhr (particularly his 1951 book Christ and Culture) and Paul Tillich, thus calling into question the modern philosophical foundations for just war thinking. Hauerwas has also been deeply influenced by Catholic philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre, who uses Thomist thought regarding virtue ethics to critique modern and postmodern culture.

As a teacher and lecturer, Hauerwas is known for his wit, sharp criticisms of positions he disagrees with, breadth of reading, and (more than) occasional use of profanity, which he explains as being the result of having a brick-layer father.

While Hauerwas has been self-identified with the United Methodist Church for the bulk of his career, as of his latest work, he has begun to identify himself as an Anglican and attends an Episcopal Church in Chapel Hill, NC. ^[ _citation\ needed_]^


  1. ? This was the Annual Marjorie Hall Thulin Lecture at the University of Illinois-Urbana.


Online writings