From the Worldwide Faith News archives

'Time' magazine names Hauerwas 'America's Best Theologian'

From NewsDesk <NewsDesk@UMCOM.ORG>
Date Wed, 12 Sep 2001 15:47:50 -0500

Sept. 12, 2001 News media contact: Thomas S.
McAnally7(615)742-54707Nashville, Tenn.     10-71BP{382}

NOTE: A photograph of the Rev. Stanley Hauerwas is available.

DURHAM, N.C. (UMNS) - The Rev. Stanley Hauerwas, a United Methodist
professor at Duke University in Durham, has been named "America's Best
Theologian" by Time magazine. 

In the Sept. 17 issue, the newsweekly said Hauerwas "is contemporary
theology's foremost intellectual provocateur."

"Hauerwas has been a thorn in the side of what he takes to be Christian
complacency for more than 30 years," Time said. "For him, the message of
Jesus was a radical one to which Christians, for the most part, have never
been fully faithful."  

The profile was written for Time by Jean Bethke Elshtain, a professor of
social and political ethics at the University of Chicago. She said Hauerwas
challenges people of a variety of faiths to be committed to what they

"He urges people to be faithful Roman Catholics or Orthodox Jews or
evangelicals or Muslims," Elshtain said of Hauerwas. "It is faithfulness to
a complex tradition that forestalls being overtaken by majoritarianism or

Hauerwas is honored along with 15 others in the third installment of Time's
five-part "America's Best" series. Honorees in society and culture range
from advice columnists and chefs to humorists and teachers. Featured on the
cover as "American's Best Preacher" is the Rev. T.D. Jakes, leader of a
25,000-member nondenominational congregation in Dallas. The cover suggests
that Jakes, frequently compared to the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.,
could be the next Billy Graham.    

Hauerwas' impact has been extensive, according to the Rev. L. Gregory Jones,
dean of Duke Divinity School.

"Stanley's passionate intellect, rigorous learning, and imaginative
engagement have influenced an entire generation of scholars in theology and
other fields," Jones said. "He has also written widely for church people,
provoking them to think deeper and encouraging them to live more faithful
lives. His enormous capacity to explore, uncover and analyze our
relationship with God is driven by an unwavering desire to know God." 

Hauerwas, 61, is the Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at the
United Methodist-related divinity school. He also holds a faculty
appointment at Duke Law School.

A stream of accolades has come Hauerwas' way in the past two years.

In April 2000, Christianity Today named his book, A Community of Character:
Toward A Constructive Christian Social Ethic (Notre Dame Press, 1981), one
of the 100 most important books on religion of the 20th century.

Last February, he became the first United Methodist theologian to deliver
the Gifford Lectures in St. Andrews, Scotland. The Giffords are widely
regarded as the world's most distinguished lecture series in the fields of
philosophy, natural theology and religion. His series of eight lectures,
collectively titled With the Grain of the Universe, will be published in
October by Brazos Press.

In June, Duke University Press published The Hauerwas Reader, a 752-page
collection of essays and book chapters written by the Duke theologian. John
Berkman and Michael Cartwright, both graduates of the Duke University
Graduate Program in Religion, are co-editors of the book.
#  #  #

David Reid, director of communications for Duke University Divinity School,
contributed to this story.  

United Methodist News Service
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