The Failure of Political Imagination (Series on “Minding the Web”)

“Christian participation in politics starts with Christians first appraising the world in which they find themselves. This appraisal involves examining political situations as if God mattered for those situations. This is why for us ethics is a matter of seeing the world in such a way that one can accurately survey one’s available options. Those options, moreover, depend on the existence of a people who make options available because of the kind of people they are. In particular, they must be a people who have learned to examine any political situation disciplined by a view of God’s activity as described in Scripture and as interpreted by Christian tradition. The failure to attain to such a view, for us, explains what often ensues as a lack of creativity in American politics. And it explains much of the Christian vote for Trump, which in many cases followed a form of moral reasoning that portrayed candidate Trump as, for whatever reason, the only viable option.” 1

This is the tenth 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 with Robert J. Dean (Cascade).

  1. Stanley Hauerwas and Jonathan Tran, “A Sanctuary Politics: Being the Church in the Time of Trump,” Minding the Web: Making Theological Connections (Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2018), 114.

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