The Plight We Are In (Series on “Minding the Web”)

This is the second 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).

Here is Hauerwas drawing on the work of Alasdair MacIntyre to provide as clear an account as any of the plight that we find ourselves in under the reign of liberalism:

“There is, moreover, a “morality” and corresponding social psychol­ogy associated with liberal social orders. Because liberals presume there is no overriding good that can make possible a narrative coherence for our lives, the compartmentalization of our lives cannot be avoided. Each individual is free to live by whatever conception of a good life appeals to them, but they are hounded by the knowledge that their understanding of what constitutes a good life is finally a matter of arbitrary preferences. Therefore, the only thing they cannot do is believe that they have the right to impose their conception of the good on anyone else.” 1

  1. Stanley Hauerwas, “The Past Matters Theologically: Thinking Tradition,” Minding the Web: Making Theological Connections (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2018), 43-44.

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