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READING HAUERWAS IN THE CORNBELT: The Demise of the American Dream and the Return of Liturgical Politics


Michael S. Northcott is Professor of Ethics in the School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh and was formerly Associate Professor at the Southeast Asia Graduate School of Theology and lecturer in practical theology at the Seminari Theologi Malaysia. Michael S. Northcott, New College, Mound Place, Edinburgh EH1 2LX,


In this paper I examine criticism of Hauerwas's critique of American democracy and liberalism, and of American violence and war, as sectarian and politically irrelevant. This twin account has the merit of engaging his critics from left and right. I show that his critique of American Christians, and their support of America's ways of promoting justice and freedom at home and in the world, has analogies with Foucault's genealogical project in France, and represents a more powerful critique of American imperialism and militarism, and of a compliant church, than efforts to sustain the purchase of rights talk or liberal justice in contemporary theological ethics.