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"America's God" (part 1) -Stanley Hauerwas [2009]

"America's God" (part 1) -Stanley Hauerwas [2009]

Lectureship on Holy Living, November 2nd, 2009" from video introduction

"From the Living Church-

Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke Divinity School, delivered this lecture at Church of the Incarnation, Dallas, Texas, on March 7 as part of a weekend of events cosponsored by the congregation and The Living Church.

I have been asked to address the character of American Protestantism as well as the religious awareness of the American people and the impact that awareness has on society and politics. No small topic. I think it first important to identify the perspective from which I speak. I am a Protestant. I am a communicant at the Church of the Holy Family, which is an Episcopal church in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I teach in the Divinity School at Duke University, a very secular university, but before Duke I taught 14 years at the University of Notre Dame. I relate this history only to suggest to you I come from the Catholic side of Protestantism.

I am not sure I can make clear what it means to say I come from the Catholic side of Protestantism, but at the very least it means that I do not think Christianity began with the Reformation. When I was interviewed for possible appointment to the faculty at Notre Dame I was asked what Protestant courses I would teach. I said I did not teach Protestant theology because I thought the very notion was a mistake. Rather I would teach Thomas Aquinas, because his work was crucial for my attempt to recover the virtues for understanding the Christian life. I saw no reason that Aquinas should be assumed to be only a thinker for Roman Catholics..."

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