Tag Archives: virtue

No Humility without Humiliation (Series on “Minding the Web”)

“Humility, of course, is a tricky virtue. Have you ever known of any­one who successfully tried to be humble? Humility is usually something that happens to us, rather than something we do. I was once having a conversation with a friend in Ireland about sexual misconduct by priests. I asked him if the acknowledgment of this crime as sin might teach the church humility. He thought for a short time and then said, “Possibly, because there is no humility without humiliation.” The tax collector was humiliated, which made him an appropriate witness to the one alone worthy of worship.” Continue reading No Humility without Humiliation (Series on “Minding the Web”)

Life Under the Law When We Are a Law Unto Ourselves (Series on “Minding the Web”)

“We do not think we live in a time when moral conventions (which is just another word for the Law) determine our lives, but we do. We may not quite be in a Jane Austen world, but we are close. Jane Austen lived in a world of clear social conventions in which everyone knew what was the right thing to do or say, particularly when you were at dinner. Her novels are relentless investigations of whether people who always seem to do the right thing, in fact, have a true heart. Continue reading Life Under the Law When We Are a Law Unto Ourselves (Series on “Minding the Web”)

The Importance of Novels (Series on “Minding the Web”)

“Yet the novel is all-important for me exactly because it forces one to imagine other lives. In short, novels are an exercise in the enrichment of the imagination through which we develop empathy that is crucial for the acquisition of the virtues.”1

This is the thirteenth in a series of posts highlighting captivating, provocative, or simply entertaining quotes from the forthcoming book Minding the Web: Making Theological Connections by Stanley Hauerwas edited by Robert J. Dean (Cascade).

  1. Stanley Hauerwas, “In Defense of ‘Our Respectable Culture’: Trying to Make Sense of John Howard Yoder,” Minding the Web: Making Theological Connections, edited by Robert J. Dean (Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2018), 153.

The Virtue of Baseball

The most recent book from Stanley Hauerwas, The Character of Virtue: Letters to a Godson, consists of letters that the theologian annually sent to his godson, Laurie Wells, over a fifteen year period marking the anniversary of Wells’s baptism.  Each of the letters addresses a virtue that is important for the Christian life.  As a result, the book can be read as an engaging entry point into and accessible distillation of Hauerwas’s forty plus years of prodigious scholarship and writing.  The book, which seems ideally situated to become a classic, also contains an eloquent introduction by one of Hauerwas’s most insightful interpreters, who also happens to be the father of the recipient of the letters, the pastor-theologian Sam Wells.  One of my favourite passages involves a discussion of the training in patience that is baseball. Continue reading The Virtue of Baseball