Friday, 8 October 2010

Ask Hauerwas and Milbank a question

At King's College on 18 October, Luke Bretherton will be hosting a public conversation with Stanley Hauerwas and John Milbank. The event will launch Hauerwas' new memoir, Hannah's Child: A Theologian's Memoir (Eerdmans/SCM 2010).

So anyway, Luke Bretherton has asked for some input from the F&T community: If you had Hauerwas and Milbank together in a pub, what question would you ask them to discuss together? And what questions do you think they should ask each other about their work?

Post your suggestions in the comments below – the best ones will be included on the night. The event will also be recorded and made available as a podcast.

33 Comments:

Anonymous said...

SH: So John, remind me again: why aren't you a pacifist?
JM: Gee, I don't know, Stanley. Why aren't you a socialist?

Alex Tracy said...

Though your projects have important differences, they share many general themes. Setting aside the theoretical differences, if there were two congregations, each shaped by one of your proposals, what do you see as the biggest practical difference between them in their actual congregational lives?

Paul Tyson said...

How is it that a narratival, issue focused, quasi Anabaptist Christian ethicist, and a metaphysical, big picture, quasi establishment theologian hit it off so well together? That is, I'd like to listen to them chew over what common grounds of understanding and commitment they share, and how their differences are then found to either compliment or constructively critique each other.

John C. Poirier said...

I'd like to ask: What have you guys been smoking?

Isaiah said...

What is the future of the ecumenical movement, from both of their perspectives. Particularly what are the dangers and what are the opportunities.

In a recent article Milbank lamented the early decline of the European colonial empires. What does Haeurwas think of that?

A discussion of the emerging/missional movement would be nice to hear from their perspectives.

Mac said...

I'd like to hear them discuss what seminaries and graduate programs ought to be doing to prepare people for serious thoughtful ministry in the Church and the academy. It'd be nice to hear them say which schools (worldwide) they thought were doing the best and worst jobs.

Anonymous said...

Is Bultmann the only one who has understood the problem? (ie The Gospels are full of miracles but theology avoids them. A God-fugitive reading the Gospels for the first time reads pages of miracles (the Passion is the small bit at the end) and starts to wonder about them. Pick up theology books and they say, check out Barthie's positivism, oh and quickly move on to the good stuff about the cross. But the nouveaux spiritual just can't buy the miracles of Christ (let alone the disciples busting the moves, if they can get to Acts.) So is it: believe the miracles in your heart or you ain't down with Jesus (maybe check out the Buddha) or is there some other way--how can we believe in miracles when we are reading about Paul raising Eutychus on our Ipads?)

Regards, Dylan

Kampen said...

Say you were to write a letter like St.Paul wrote to early churches. What would you include in a letter to each others churches?

kim fabricius said...

"They play baseball in heaven and cricket in purgatory." Discuss

Anonymous said...

Would you recognize Jesus if he walked in the door or was sitting next to you, or asked you a question at your conversational event?
And if you did how would you respond to him?

jridenour said...

In an interview posted on youtube, Hauerwas offers a critique of Moltmann's political theology. According to Hauerwas what distinguishes his theological politics from Moltmann's "is that Moltmann, seems to me, to still represent the moment in which Christians think they need to be in control...And I don't."

This is a provocative statement. My question for Hauerwas would be "do you not detect a similar "moment" in Milbank's political theology?"

Here's the video: http://tinyurl.com/2eg8x8y

Tony Hunt said...

To Both: Both of you have highly praised the work of Graham Ward, in what ways do you see your own work engaging with his christological cultural hermeneutics?

To Both: In your recent Modern Theology essay, John, you indicate that Protestant theology has nothing to offer the theological conversation anymore; and in your recent memoir, Stan, you concede that perhaps you are still, even if reluctantly, a Protestant. How would you both define 'Catholic?'

To Milbank: In WMS, you highlight a way of understanding poetics christologically: What might the churches outside of the West have to offer such a christo-poetics? What might we learn from these other brothers and sisters?

To Hauerwas: Given the amount of work you've dedicated to theological education, and considering your near retirement, what do you see God wanting to do with theological education in the future?

pilgrimpathways said...

Ooh, I second jridenour's question! (Except that I don't see this in Moltmann, but see it in spades in Milbank!)

jridenour said...

Yeah, I don't see that in Moltmann either.

I'd also like to hear Hauerwas share his opinions on liberation theology.

Finally, ask both men "name three feminist theologians who have most influenced your theological thinking".

Paul Allen said...

Provocative question to JM: Why are you not a Catholic?

Less provocative question for both: What do you think of Vanhoozer's theology, specifically his view of (the role of) doctrine?

pilgrimpathways said...

Hauerwas voiced his (negative and misinformed) views on liberation theology in the otherwise excellent The Peaceable Kingdom.

::aaron g:: said...

So, how cool is Jeff Stout?

crystal said...

I'd ask them to discuss a comment Hauerwas made in Performing the Faith .... "Milbank wants Christians to win .... I think at best we should want as Christians to endure."

pilgrimpathways said...

Aaron is a naughty boy. That question could cause both Hauerwas and Milbank to stroke out!

kim fabricius said...

Yeah, ask Milbank if Hauerwas's unambitious "endurance" ultimately suggests, with the rest of modern theology, "the pathos of ... false humility."

Chris E W Green said...

A few questions:

TO BOTH: Pentecostalism is a burgeoning movement, especially in the 'developing world'. What do you think of the movement? What are its strengths/weaknesses? What in your work do Pentecostals need to hear? Are there any Pentecostal theologians who've influenced your work?

TO BOTH: Recently, James K A Smith interviewed James Davison Hunter and asked him what would happen if a majority of American Christians became convinced Hauerwasians. What do you make of Hunter's answer? What do you think would happen?

http://www.theotherjournal.com/article.php?id=1029&header=examination

Chris E W Green said...

TO JM: Stanley's commentary on Matthew has met with both praise and harsh criticism. What do you think of his commentary? Of theological exegesis in general?

TO JM: Stanley has often praised the work of Robert Jenson. What do you make of Jenson's 'revisionary metaphysics'?

KK said...

What would you have to say about and to the 'global south' church?

Gorazd Andrejc said...

To both: Why should we continue to ignore the fact that several doctrines of the traditional Christian orthodoxy - including the High view of the Trinity which is maintained so strongly by both - is a result of contingent developments of history at best, or better said: it is a consequence of very much earthly and human power-struggles and politicking?

Luke said...

Thanks so much to everyone for your comments. I am adapting quite a few of them. Much will depend on the flow of the conversation on the day but I will endeavour to ask about miracles, their response to the church in the global south, why they are not Roman Catholics and what is the role of Protestant theology today, their views of training people for ministry, what a congregation that takes them seriously would look like and the differences therein, and the response to the statement "Milbank wants Christians to win .... I think at best we should want as Christians to endure." I have a whole bunch of other questions to discuss with them as well relating to their methodology, their role as public intellectuals, their philosophical engagements and theological commitments and the fact that they are now both Anglican, former Methodist, non-ordained theologians married to Anglican priests.

Ben Myers said...

Thanks, Luke — I'll post a link to the podcast once it's up on the web.

Martyn J Smith said...

"There is really very little point writing books on theology if they are so tightly-packed, esoteric and complicated that only 10 people in the world can easily access them." Discuss

Brad said...

Luke,

Just as a clarifier: Doesn't Hauerwas still claim to be Methodist, and so only a communicant at All Saints Episcopal? And isn't his wife ordained in the Methodist church, not the Anglican?

I may be wrong on this facts, but that last sentence caught my attention.

Student said...

You mean poorly written?

Being a theologian doesn't make someone a writer any more than being a writer makes someone a theologian.

Now this Ben guy, he has both talents. More than his share, actually.

Isaiah said...

Milbank was a former Methodist?

Andy Catsimanes said...

Following upon Chris E W Green's question, I'd like to hear them engage more fully with Hunter's criticisms of the "purity from" framework, which he ascribes to Hauerwas and Milbank. Is theirs a world-negating theology? What would performing a politics of faithful presence entail?

Andy Catsimanes said...

Following upon Chris E W Green's question, I'd like to hear them engage more fully with Hunter's criticisms of the "purity from" framework, which he ascribes to Hauerwas and Milbank. Is theirs a world-negating theology? What would performing a politics of faithful presence entail?

pilgrimpathways said...

Aaron is a naughty boy. That question could cause both Hauerwas and Milbank to stroke out!

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