Academic journal article Theological Studies

Approaching the End: Eschatological Reflections on Church, Politics, and Life

Academic journal article Theological Studies

Approaching the End: Eschatological Reflections on Church, Politics, and Life

Article excerpt

Approaching the End: Eschatological Reflections on Church, Politics, and Life. By Stanley Hauerwas. Grand Rapids, Ml: Eerdmans, 2013. Pp. xvii + 251. $24.

"In my end is my beginning." That resonant line of T. S. Eliot provides a helpful interpretive key to this collection of essays on eschatology by noted theological ethicist Stanley Hauerwas. The subject matter of the essays varies widely--the doctrine of creation, the decline of the Protestant churches, war, and more--but the volume's focus throughout is the decisive irruption in history of Jesus Christ and the church. That irruption is an end, an eschaton. It also is the beginning insofar as it creates the possibilities for a new way of life now embodied in the church.

H. has sounded such themes before, but this collection is highlighted by a consistent, elegiac focus on them. H. acknowledges that he is approaching the end of his long teaching career. He also sees the inevitable end of most Christian churches insofar as they have allowed themselves to be co-opted by the strictures of the nation state. …

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