A series of critiques addressed to Stanley Hauerwas by John Inazu, Nicholas Healy, Derek Woodard-Lehman, R. R. Reno, Stephen Macedo, James Logan, Cathleen Kaveny, and Brad Kallenberg have raised essential questions regarding the internal cohesion and external manifestations of the church as a political community. Hauerwas has claimed that the church is not merely calling for the appropriation of a way of life that permits its members to cultivate a special relationship with the transcendent but, rather, for the affirmation, centered on the presence of Christ, of a kind of communal living in the here and now that would be constituted as an alternative to the violence-based model endorsed by the modern state. Christian narrative, as the collective reason of all concerted interaction within the church and of the church with other institutional bodies outside its jurisdiction, is not a static component of the church, as it depends on the intimate connection between "being" and "doing" in the church. Therefore, this essay argues that the ontological dimension of the church as a dynamic collective body remains central to Hauerwas's thought. Moreover, the ontology of the church as a political body can lead to a fruitful dialogue between theologians and theorists of social and political ontology.


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pp. 482-519
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