The Priestly Kingdom

Social Ethics as Gospel

John Howard Yoder

Foreword by Stanley Hauerwas

“It is my conviction that we are only beginning to understand and receive the extraordinary contribution John Howard Yoder has made for helping us rediscover our common task as Christians. “ —Stanley Hauerwas, from the Foreword

John Howard Yoder was Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame until his death in 1999. He was the author of numerous works, including The Politics of Jesus, What Do You Do?, and When War Is Unjust.


“In this collection of essays . . . John Howard Yoder presents a powerful and provocative brief for the radical reformation as the demonstratively classical form of Christian faith. Those who know Yoder’s work will not be surprised by the stance, but will be stimulated by the depth and rigor with which its foundations and implications are explored. The radical reformation of free church is, to Yoder, not a historical curiosity, a minor movement to be respected or tolerated by the mainstream, but a paradigm for all times and peoples. . . . Yoder’s is a significant voice in contemporary Christian thought.” — Journal of the American Academy of Religion

“The essays in this volume merit careful reading . . . because they stimulate thought about how we should live as Christians in a world that is no longer Christendom, and they will, by provoking reaction, help us to consider how characteristic Lutheran emphases (upon Jesus as Savior, not just Example or Lord; upon infant baptism as a freely given grace in which one can grow; upon God’s two ways of governing the world and preserving it against Satan) may lead to a somewhat different social ethic.” — Concordia Theological Quarterly

“In this collection of essays Yoder develops a constructive alternative to Reinhold Niebuhr. Yoder’s case for Christian nonviolence draws on Christological and eschatological connections that reveal that any attempt to separate theology and ethics is erroneous. Yoder may provide the kind of ecclesiology that Lindbeck suggests we need.” — The Christian Century