In A Cross-Shattered Church, eminent theologian Stanley Hauerwas shows how the sermon is the best context for doing good theology. He writes, “I am convinced that the recovery of the sermon as the context for theological reflection is crucial if Christians are to negotiate the world in which we find ourselves.” The book includes 17 sermons preached by Hauerwas, which he considers his best theological work. They are divided into four sections: Seeing, Saying, Living, and Events. Sermon titles cover a broad range of topics, including (among others): “Believing Is Seeing,” “The Glory of the Trinity,” “The End of Sacrifice,” “Was It Fitting for Jesus to Die on a Cross?,” “Only Fear Can Drive Out Fear,” “The Appeal of Judas,” “Slavery as Salvation,” “To Be Made Human,” and “Water Is Thicker than Blood.” Professors and students of theology, pastors, and those interested in what Hauerwas has to say about theology and preaching will value this work.
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A rich collection of challenging and powerful sermons, each anchored securely in selected passages from the Bible, and taking place in a particular detailed situation. . . . Stanley Hauerwas is probably the most creative, provocative, exciting, challenging and sometimes exasperating theologian in the English speaking world today. . . . This exciting book of profound and often challenging sermons by Hauerwas is to be warmly welcomed, as it will enrich the life of the Church and its proclamation of the Gospel—to say nothing of revitalizing relevant Christian theology.
Hauerwas’ collection of sermons is what we would expect from Hauerwas: preaching the lectionary texts to our time with characteristic wit, poignancy, and fight. His creativity and insight are exemplified in the faithful connections he makes between lectionary texts. The sermons make profound arguments. . . . Cross-Shattered Church exemplifies how pastors and preachers may use the lectionary in a narrative style of preaching.
—Wesleyan Theological Journal
Stanley Hauerwas adds to his theological corpus with this thoughtful and provocative collection of sermons and reflections on the relationship between theology, as practiced in the academy, and preaching, as practiced in the pulpit. . . . This collection of sermons, with its accompanying essay on Hauerwas’ theological work, lays the groundwork for a fruitful discussion of the essential interdependence of theology and preaching, and the ways in which theology and preaching can and should interact. This book provides a point of entry to many different theological topics and could assist in provoking discussions with groups of students at a variety of levels. Even more, Hauerwas’ sermons may encourage other preachers to be theological and other theologians to bring their theology into the daily lives of more Christians, outside the ivory tower.
—Catholic Books Review
In an age where so much preaching has degenerated into pablum, it is refreshing to read a message in which the preacher is not only willing to tell the story of a dying friend, but to follow that with material from Wittgenstein and Augustine, as well as a scholarly reading of the biblical text. Theological and compelling.
—Review & Expositor
Stanley Hauerwas is the Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke University. Prior to that, he was a professor at the University of Notre Dame. In 2001, he was named “America’s Best Theologian” by TIME Magazine. Hauerwas is the author of numerous books, including Unsettling Arguments, Hannah’s Child: A Theologian’s Memoir, Christian Existence Today, and Living Gently in a Violent World.