Against the Nations is Stanley Hauerwas’s most wide-ranging and sustained effort to develop a uniquely Christian ethic. The books moves from such general themes as “Keeping Theological Ethics Theological” and “Keeping Theological Ethics Imaginative” to the application of these themes with such diverse topics as the Holocaust, Jonestown, the reality of the Kingdom, the reality of the Church, the democratic state, nuclear war, and disarmament. The treatment throughout is incisive, critical, and controversial.
“Against the Nations is vintage Hauerwas: thoughtful, provocative and always challenging. . . . The strength of this book is precisely this call to Christian faithfulness. Hauerwas has reminded us of the dangers of accommodation to the fashions of the world: his book is a call for a bold Christian moral witness.” — Transformation
“These essays—on matters as diverse as theological method, nuclear disarmament, pacifism, the Holocaust, and the Jonestown suicides—are united by a gracious alienation which enables their author to flush out and rough up many of the dogmas of sectarian secularism.” — Commonweal
“Hauerwas defends his pacifist position against the best of the just-war tradition. As a postliberal theologian in a post-Christian age, Hauerwas intentionally avoids making universal pacifist claims, preferring to debate with Christian realists and just-war theorists . . . who offer the strongest challenge to pacifism. Hauerwas insists that Christian ethics and the Church must proceed from the Gospel’s message of peace, and not from natural law or liberal theology. Hauerwas’s unusual strength as a pacifist is his willingness to confront squarely the political reality of the world in its most destructive forms (Holocaust, nuclear annihilation, Jonestown).” — Choice