1 september 2015

#329. Hauerwas om kyrkan som politik…

One of the challenges Christians confront is how the politics we helped create has made it difficult to sustain the material practices constitutive of an ecclesial culture to produce Christians. The character of much of modern theology exemplifies this development. In the attempt to make Christianity intelligible within the epistemological conceits of modernity, theologians have been intent on showing that what we believe as Christians is not that different than what those who are not Christians believe. […]

Put even more strongly, in the interest of being good citizens, of being civil, Christians have lost the ability to say why what they believe is true. That loss is, I want to suggest, a correlative of the de-politization of the church as a community capable of challenging the imperial pretensions of the modern state. […]

The politics of modernity has so successfully made Christianity but another life-style option, it is a mystery why the new atheists think it is important to show what Christians believe to be false. Such a project hardly seems necessary given that Christians, in the name of being good democratic citizens, live lives of unacknowledged but desperate unbelief just to the extent they believe what they believe as a Christian cannot be a matter of truth.

As a result, Christians no longer believe that the church is an alternative politics to the politics of the world, which means they have lost any way to account for why Christians in the past thought they had a faith worth dying for. […]

I suspect humans always live in times of transition; what is time if not transition? But I believe we are living in a time when Christendom is actually coming to an end. That is an extraordinary transition whose significance for Christian and non-Christian has yet to be understood. But in the very least, it means the church is finally free to be a politic.”

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