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TALKING THE WALK AND WALKING THE TALK: Stanley Hauerwas's Contribution to Theological Ethics


William Werpehowski is Professor of Christian Ethics at Villanova University. He is the author of American Protestant Ethics and the Legacy of H. Richard Niebuhr (Georgetown, 2002) and the co-editor, with Gilbert Meilaender, of The Oxford Handbook of Theological Ethics (Oxford, 2005). William Werpehowski, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, Villanova University, 800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, PA 19085,


Stanley Hauerwas's contribution to the study of Christian ethics is analyzed in the course of offering an overview of his work, including (1) his early reflections on “vision,”“narrative,” and moral agency; (2) his continuing focus on Christian virtues and practices in contrast to the ethos of moral and political liberalism; and (3) his specific attention to the meaning of peaceableness and the rejection of violence. The essay concludes by considering Hauerwas's legacy as a postliberal theologian, a critical participant in American Protestant ethics, and a conversation partner with Roman Catholics.