The Politics of All Saints’ Day (Series on “Minding the Web”)

“Unless Jesus is the only way to the Father, the martyr cannot exist. For the martyr’s death is her confession that Jesus is Lord, the Messiah of God. The martyrs are those who have died in a manner that make the cross of Christ unmistakable as God’s victory over death. Therefore just as the Father glorifies the Son, the Son glorifies those who suffer for his sake. That is why it is so important that we remember the martyrs, that we remember Stephen. Through such a memory, we know there is an alternative history to the history dominated by violence. The martyrs are killed, but those who kill them cannot determine the meaning of their death. For the meaning of their death can only be determined by the one for whom they have died. The Catholic theologian Johannes Metz, therefore, rightly reminds us that remembering the martyrs is a dangerous act. But it is an act we cannot live without if we, a people who once were no people, are to be an alternative to the violence of history. To remember the martyrs is to throw sand in the gears of the world that thinks war and violence are the engine of history.”1

This is the fourteenth 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, “The Way, the Truth, and the Life,” in Minding the Web: Making Theological Connections, edited by Robert J. Dean (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2018), 191.

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