Stanley Hauerwas is contemporary theology’s most well-known and provocative voice for pacifism. For the past thirty years he has consistently lectured, preached and written to prod American Christians to faithfully practice biblical pacifism. For Hauerwas, following Jesus requires a radical Christian nonviolence, a viewpoint he learned from John Howard Yoder. Hauerwas believes that American Christians have, for far too long, defined themselves as Americans first, and only secondarily as Christians, leading to idolatrous nationalism and Christians going off to war. Instead, he argues, Jesus calls Christians to be a pilgrim people, resident aliens who are never completely subsumed into the political climate within which they find themselves. “Christian nonviolence,” he has said, “basically means you have an anarchist view of the world” (See the audio below).
With fiery manners, Hauerwas often lectures on the scandal of the cross: Jesus, born amongst donkeys and sheep in a subjected land of the Roman Empire, tortured and killed, ultimately offers the world a way of peaceableness. The almighty God of the universe, humbled to the point of torture and death, offering life abundant if people will just follow Jesus’ example, scandalizes a world bent on control.
Hauerwas is a prolific writer. Some of his books include, The Peaceable Kingdom (1983), Against the Nations 1985), Resident Aliens (1989), After Christendom (1991), Dispatches from the Front (1994), and most recently Christianity, Democracy and the Radical Ordinary (2008). Below are a few samples of his work, written more for an academic audience (whereas Resident Aliens is a more popularized book), as well as some audio.