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Comparing Stanley Grenz and Stanley Hauerwas

Update March 27, 2009

The audio for the lectures is now available free online at the Carey Theological College website here.

Original post March 4, 2009:

Stanley Hauerwas is giving the Stanley Grenz lectures in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada this Sunday and Monday. 

I had Pastoral Ethics and Systematic Theology C with Grenz at Regent College / Carey Theological College in 1999 and 2001.Grenz  

I have Stanley Hauerwas for Happiness, the Life of Virtue and Friendship and Theology of Bonhoeffer right now.Hauerwas  

I liked Grenz very much and spent time with him just weeks before he tragically died in 2005.  I am also enjoying Hauerwas very much. 

Here is a little comparison of the two: 

[Update April 16, 2009--I have heard that neither Hauerwas nor Edna Grenz thought I got this right!  I add some revisions below that complicate my generalizations.  They didn't give me any specific criticism].

Grenz lectured for the person in the pew; Hauerwas for grad students [though Hauerwas's whole project is to speak to the Church and much of his teaching is transparent and influential on regular folks.  See the Hauerwas Reader.  The average person won't get everything but will get his main emphases].  Both could be boring but both could become animated!  Grenz was pious while Hauerwas is salty-mouthed.  Both were wonderfully generous with their students.  Grenz really understood evangelicals--Hauerwas doesn't get them at all [that said Hauerwas has diagnosed America incredibly well and many of those critiques apply to evangelicals].  Grenz loved the Bible; Hauerwas loves philosophy.  [Again, this is not true.  Both loved philosophy and the Bible.  But when speaking and writing I think Grenz referred to Scripture more and Hauerwas to philosophers more.].  Both stressed the Triune God, the church and good theology.  Grenz was a bridge-builder; Hauerwas is polemical [Again of course this a carciature.  Hauerwas has bridged between United Methodist and Catholics.  Grenz had some folks who didn't like his work].  Both wanted to be liked but also understood they were tempted to enjoy being liked.  Grenz showed Peanuts cartoons and played camp songs on his guitar to begin class; Hauewas goes to morning prayer everyday and begins class with prayers of saints.  Both were prolific writers.  Grenz wrote a systematic theology; Hauerwas is known for his essays which resist systematization.  Grenz talked warmly about his Baptist pastor's kid upbringing; Hauerwas tries to awaken Methodist churches so they will not be like those of his childhood [I have heard Hauerwas read from his soon-to-be-released memoirs and this might not be the right way to characterize his upbringing.  He often talks about the pressure to come forward at playing of 'Just as I am.']  Both were Americans--but Grenz spent lots of time in Germany and Canada [Grenz might have become a Canadian citizen I'm not sure]; whereas Hauerwas still thinks of himself as Texan.  Both had their critics and their fans.  Both wanted their students to think for themselves. [This is not exactly true as both wanted to shape and train their students to think to some degree like they do!]   Both spent most of their careers at one place.  Both wore jeans and running shoes.

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