Jonathan Wilson: How to Read Stanley Hauerwas
Date(s) - March 2, 2016
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Regent College (Room 100)
The next title in Regent College’s lunchtime lectures is “How to Read Stanley Hauerwas,” from Dr. Jonathan Wilson, This series is designed to engage the Regent community in theological conversation on a wide variety of topics. All are welcome to bring their lunch, enjoy the lecture, and engage in a brief Q & A period afterward.
Jonathan Wilson is the Pioneer McDonald Professor of Theology at Carey Theological College and a Teaching Fellow at Regent College. He has taught courses on doctrinal theology, missional church, and is currently leading a seminar titled INDS/THEO 772: Justice: Biblical, Theological, Philosophical, Political Investigations
Prior to 2006, Jonathan served as Professor of Theology and Ethics at Acadia Divinity College (2003-2006), and Professor of Religious Studies at Westmont College (1989-2003). He is ordained by Canadian Baptists of Western Canada, where he has served several congregations. His first career was in the music industry in Nashville, TN. His teen years were spent in the US south during the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War. These formative experiences set him on a journey to understand God’s justice revealed and accomplished through Jesus Christ while also seeking the formation of character that makes Christian disciples hunger for justice and faithful to the gospel which is God’s justice.
Stanley Hauerwas has been a forceful presence in English-speaking theology for several decades. During that time his work has drawn allies and opponents. Hauerwas’s respondents have proposed a number of interpretive keys to his work and on that basis either affirmed or rejected his work. But no one has pursued Hauerwas’s own confession in Hannah’s Child. Writing about his time at Yale, Hauerwas notes that “[Julian Hartt’s] lectures in systematic theology, which were allegedly expositions of the Apostles’ Creed, were exercises in dialectical brilliance, cultural insight, and wicked humor. He was as philosophically astute as he was theologically brilliant. We read Austin Farrer and Karl Barth. I was mesmerized by Hartt. Indeed, I suspect that if anyone cares enough to try to understand the way I do theology they will discover that I am a pale imitation of Hartt.” (51-52) This presentation accepts Hauerwas’s invitation to explore how to read him in light of the work of Julian Hartt. Thus, my aim is not to respond to Hauerwas’s friends, critics, and enemies, but to propose a way of reading Hauerwas that remains faithful to the lessons that he learned from Julian Hartt.