Without Apology: Sermons for Christ’s Church

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

A fifth book of sermons by Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor Emeritus of Divinity and Law, was published this fall by Seabury Books.

Without Apology: Sermons for Christ’s Church contains 18 sermons on topics ranging from "Saints" and "Letting Go" to "Recognizing Jesus/Seeing Salvation" and "Clothe Your Ministers in Righteousness."

The book’s concluding section includes an essay on "Leadership" as well as "An Open Letter to Christians Beginning College" by Hauerwas, who retired in July after serving on the Divinity School faculty since 1984.

The sermons were delivered during worship services at the Church of the Holy Family in Chapel Hill, N.C., where Hauerwas is a member, at Christ Church Cathedral in Nashville, Tenn., where Hauerwas serves as canon theologian, as well as at a variety of other occasions.

“I continue to give and publish sermons because … the demands intrinsic to the task of preaching force me to think thoughts and make associations I would not otherwise make,” Hauerwas states in the forward of the new book. “I find preaching to be theologically the most fertile work I do.”

In describing the sermons in his most recent book, Hauerwas writes that he was attempting to articulate the challenges Christians face negotiating the world, a world that ambiguously represents a Christian past and an unknown future, which can tempt people to miss the Christian difference.

“Here is one of the greatest English-language theologians of our time doing what great theologians do—directing and focusing a huge range of sophisticated scholarship and reflection into lifegiving communication for the gathering of believers,” according to Rowan Williams, 104th archbishop of Canterbury and the former leader of the Anglican Communion. Williams calls the book "unfailingly fresh, rich, and as nourishing" as the rest of Hauerwas’ work.