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A loving, hard-working, godly couple has long been denied a family of their own. Finally, the wife makes a deal with God: if he blesses her with a child, she will dedicate that child to God’s service. The result of that prayer was the birth of an influential -- some say prophetic -- voice. Surprisingly, this is not the biblical story of Samuel but the account of Stanley Ha A loving, hard-working, godly couple has long been denied a family of their own. Finally, the wife makes a deal with God: if he blesses her with a child, she will dedicate that child to God’s service. The result of that prayer was the birth of an influential -- some say prophetic -- voice. Surprisingly, this is not the biblical story of Samuel but the account of Stanley Hauerwas, one of today’s leading theologians in the church and the academy. The story of Hauerwas’s journey into Christian discipleship is captivating and inspiring. With genuine humility, he describes his intellectual struggles with faith, how he has dealt with the complex reality of marriage to a mentally ill partner, and the gift of friendships that have influenced his character. Throughout the narrative shines Hauerwas’s conviction that the tale of his life is worth telling only because of the greater Christian story providing foundation and direction for his own.


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A loving, hard-working, godly couple has long been denied a family of their own. Finally, the wife makes a deal with God: if he blesses her with a child, she will dedicate that child to God’s service. The result of that prayer was the birth of an influential -- some say prophetic -- voice. Surprisingly, this is not the biblical story of Samuel but the account of Stanley Ha A loving, hard-working, godly couple has long been denied a family of their own. Finally, the wife makes a deal with God: if he blesses her with a child, she will dedicate that child to God’s service. The result of that prayer was the birth of an influential -- some say prophetic -- voice. Surprisingly, this is not the biblical story of Samuel but the account of Stanley Hauerwas, one of today’s leading theologians in the church and the academy. The story of Hauerwas’s journey into Christian discipleship is captivating and inspiring. With genuine humility, he describes his intellectual struggles with faith, how he has dealt with the complex reality of marriage to a mentally ill partner, and the gift of friendships that have influenced his character. Throughout the narrative shines Hauerwas’s conviction that the tale of his life is worth telling only because of the greater Christian story providing foundation and direction for his own.

30 review for Hannah's Child: A Theologian's Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

    Stanley Hauerwas - the blue-collar, cursing theologian - is a beast. I mean this not in the British sense (though he can be that sort of beast if you are on the opposite side of a theological debate with him), but in that he devours books, works with dizzying rapidity, and writes more than most people read. Yet the "vitae" within his "curriculum vitae" is equally interesting. His life has been a long struggle to understand the God of the Bible within the context of being an apprentice bricklayer Stanley Hauerwas - the blue-collar, cursing theologian - is a beast. I mean this not in the British sense (though he can be that sort of beast if you are on the opposite side of a theological debate with him), but in that he devours books, works with dizzying rapidity, and writes more than most people read. Yet the "vitae" within his "curriculum vitae" is equally interesting. His life has been a long struggle to understand the God of the Bible within the context of being an apprentice bricklayer, a student, a teacher, a father, and a husband to a mentally ill wife. His struggle to live with his wife forms the main conflict of his story - how do you love someone who cannot receive your love; how do you live with someone so delusional she might kill you in your sleep? For twenty five years, Hauerwas dealt with this conflict as he continued to publish and dedicate his works to a wife who gradually hated him more and more. During most of his life, Hauerwas seems to have been a lukewarm Christian by his own estimation. He never could pray - until he began to write prayers to read before class at the end of his career. He also seems to have had a meager diet of Scripture. How does such a preeminent theologian scrape by with such a limited engagement with the discipline of prayer and reading Scripture? By his own admonition, he wasn't even sure he was a Christian when he began teaching. But Hauerwas' story isn't about his own crappy spirituality, but about how the Triune God shaped and molded him over the years until he finally become a Christian - one who could respond prophetically to 9/11, who could write a heartfelt eulogy for his beloved father, or who could endure so much abuse from his wife without returning it. Despite his unspiritual disposition, Hauerwas was formed by a Master Craftsman and built up like well-layed brick house. Another big theme in Hauerwas' story is the way in which friendship sustained him. Influenced by Aristotle and Aquinas, Stanley sees friendship as a virtue - something that we work at and is formed little by little over time. It is the iron that sharpens our own iron. Of course, Hauerwas' wit and sardonic humor come through often in this memoir. For instance, commenting on what it is like to teach at a small liberal arts college, he blurted out in a staff meeting that "our task is to give parents the impression that by sending their daughters to Augustana [the college he was at] they would not lose the virginity they had already lost in high school." Ouch! Yet I can guarantee he was naming more truth than the school's admission brochure. Ultimately, for those trying to use Christianity to insulate themselves from the world, he would always quickly point out that the world is present in the church too. Hauerwas' life is marked by erudition, but at the end of the day it's his prophetic character and ability to name (as he puts it) "bullshit in the church" that marks him as an important character in theology. At the end of his life, Hauerwas did live into his mother's prayer that he would be dedicated to the church; he is Hannah's child - a Samuel for yet another wayward generation.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Drew

    Splendid book. Hauerwwas is a theologian on the faculty of Duke Divinity School. Texas boy--graduated from Southwestern in Georgetown, TX. His father was a brick layer and so was he. Very powerful voice. Only book I have ever written quotes from as I read it. Here are some of the passages that caught my attention-- "I have, moreover, tried to live a life I hope is unintelligible if the God we Christians worship does not exist." "The first task of the church is not to make the world more just but to Splendid book. Hauerwwas is a theologian on the faculty of Duke Divinity School. Texas boy--graduated from Southwestern in Georgetown, TX. His father was a brick layer and so was he. Very powerful voice. Only book I have ever written quotes from as I read it. Here are some of the passages that caught my attention-- "I have, moreover, tried to live a life I hope is unintelligible if the God we Christians worship does not exist." "The first task of the church is not to make the world more just but to make the world the world." "to be a Christian meant that you could never protect yourself from the truth." "Jesus does not tell us that we should try to be poor in spirit, or meek, or peacemakers. He simply says that many who are called into his kingdom will find themselves so constituted." "We are complex creatures constituted by contradictions we refuse to acknowledge." "But if God is the God of Jesus Christ, then God does not need our protection. What God demands is not protection, but truth." "the problem with most pastors and theologians was that the way they went about their business did not require the existence of God." "Change, if it is significant, takes time. At least change takes time if you remember that finally any change that is accomplished nonviolently comes about through persuasion."

  3. 5 out of 5

    Barbara P

    After hearing Stanley Hauerwas speak at a conference sponsored by Fuller Seminary in Pasadena a couple of weeks ago I bought his book, Hannah's Child. Hauerwas was married to Ann, for 24 years, who lived with Bi-Polar illness. Hauerwas is a theologian who teaches at Duke University and is a noted scholar. Hannah's Child is the memoirs of Hauerwas that include his life with Ann, the family burden of mental illness and his efforts to try and make some theological sense out of mental illness. The m After hearing Stanley Hauerwas speak at a conference sponsored by Fuller Seminary in Pasadena a couple of weeks ago I bought his book, Hannah's Child. Hauerwas was married to Ann, for 24 years, who lived with Bi-Polar illness. Hauerwas is a theologian who teaches at Duke University and is a noted scholar. Hannah's Child is the memoirs of Hauerwas that include his life with Ann, the family burden of mental illness and his efforts to try and make some theological sense out of mental illness. The memoirs address many other parts of his lifes journey and is beautifully written with zest, humor, sadness, struggle and Christian centered. Hauerwas was a faithful husband who tried to bring love and support to Ann even when most of her manic and depressed episodes were aimed at Stanley. As a Christian Hauerwas has no simple answers to the sorrow and heartache of mental illness except to return to Christian 101: be faithful to those given to you to love, find support for yourself, share your burdens, live to your fullest in the midst of the struggle and on and on. And most of all his belief that God was and is with Anne. She died in her late 50's of congestive heart failure. In the book he describes his mourning for Anne when she was alive and alone and when she was dead. He also addressed the impact Anne's illness had on Adam, their son. I could resonate with a particular statement: "I never felt sorry for myself. I thought that what Anne, Adam, and I were going through was hard. But I also thought that the only thing to do was to keep going. I had been given a job to do - I was a theologian. As a mother to Lynda I was touched by another statement: My best advice for those who find that they must learn to live with someone who is seriously mentally ill is that their first duty is to survive. If you do not survive, no one will survive. Trying to survive is not selfish. You must strive to survive if you are to sustain any hope that life can go on. It was the anger, not the illness, at least insofar as those can be distinguished, that finally exhausted me.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Notess

    I will admit that some of the more intricate theological parts of this book ("I used so-and-so's argument to prove such-and-such in response to so-and-so") were way over my head since I wasn't familiar with the discussions. But this book answers a big question I always bring to any theology work: How does this person connect their life and their ideas? Where do these ideas come from? That's why I often struggle to read theology and philosophy in the first place - it often seems so divorced from I will admit that some of the more intricate theological parts of this book ("I used so-and-so's argument to prove such-and-such in response to so-and-so") were way over my head since I wasn't familiar with the discussions. But this book answers a big question I always bring to any theology work: How does this person connect their life and their ideas? Where do these ideas come from? That's why I often struggle to read theology and philosophy in the first place - it often seems so divorced from stories and human beings who actually live in the world and have bodies. I think I will be more interested in reading Hauerwas' theology now that I have a sense of him as a person.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nate Pequette

    Hauerwas says many times in different ways something to the effect that he hopes his life doesn't make sense "If the one true God is not fully present in Jesus Christ." Jesus Christ has made all the difference for Stanley Hauerwas and he believes for the world. This memoir explores that difference from his views of the church as a alternative reality, to his long suffering marriage to Anne who was bipolar, to his changing views of ethics and becoming a pacifist. He continually gives thanks to Go Hauerwas says many times in different ways something to the effect that he hopes his life doesn't make sense "If the one true God is not fully present in Jesus Christ." Jesus Christ has made all the difference for Stanley Hauerwas and he believes for the world. This memoir explores that difference from his views of the church as a alternative reality, to his long suffering marriage to Anne who was bipolar, to his changing views of ethics and becoming a pacifist. He continually gives thanks to God for the gifts of his friends that helped him become Stanley Hauerwas. Highly recommend this book! I was inspired and challenged as I usually am by Stanley Hauerwas to live as a Christian, to live as if Jesus Christ actually did rise from the dead. This has made all the difference.

  6. 4 out of 5

    David Szomor

    While reading this memoir. I cried, I laughed and I prayed. When Hauerwas talks about the importance of narrative in theology, this book embodies it. I’m thankful for this mans life and I’m thankful for his friends that got him through all his hardship. The image of theology as laying brick will forever be imprinted on my soul and I hope to grow in patience and virtue because of it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    Hauerwas's memoir, is really that of an extrovert, relating the books and especially the people that formed his thoughts and life. It was a little dry at times in its detailings and his recounting of his life with his mentally ill wife was horrific, but mostly it is a celebration of friendship and an invitation to the church to ignore fads, power, and the desire for control and live in the freedom and uncertainty of Jesus. His pacifism and refusal to bow to nationalistic or capitalistic distorti Hauerwas's memoir, is really that of an extrovert, relating the books and especially the people that formed his thoughts and life. It was a little dry at times in its detailings and his recounting of his life with his mentally ill wife was horrific, but mostly it is a celebration of friendship and an invitation to the church to ignore fads, power, and the desire for control and live in the freedom and uncertainty of Jesus. His pacifism and refusal to bow to nationalistic or capitalistic distortions of ethics and faith are so necessary for the American church. I am proud to say that Hauerwas has sworn at me personally (when I noted I was a historian), but have not allowed his personal charm to overwhelm my thought processes. I appreciate the centrality of the church to his thought and the general humor and humility of his writing. I also appreciate his inability to withhold comment on administrative yahoos in the university or church leaders with horrible metrics of success. It all makes me want to go back to the Hauerwas I have read and not yet read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    David

    My rating has less to do with the book's quality of literature than it has to do with its character as a memoir. Great literature it's not although there are occasional passages that are worth reading. Hauerwas asked himself numerous times if he ought to write a memoir and this came either at the encouragement of devoted followers or at the self-encouragement of a man who had/has a need to belong in the pantheon of great theologians. There's no question that Hauerwas has been a productive teache My rating has less to do with the book's quality of literature than it has to do with its character as a memoir. Great literature it's not although there are occasional passages that are worth reading. Hauerwas asked himself numerous times if he ought to write a memoir and this came either at the encouragement of devoted followers or at the self-encouragement of a man who had/has a need to belong in the pantheon of great theologians. There's no question that Hauerwas has been a productive teacher/writer. His journey from uncertainty about a Christian identity to a repetitive assurance that he is a Christian is interesting to follow. The impact that other theologians (especially Yoder) had on him is more than clear. However, the personal details about interactions with people, some still alive, is a bit too telling. And the constant assurance that "so and so" were his and his wife's dearest and best friends is not only impossible but suggestive of a desperate need for acceptance. "I love him/her and I think he/she loved me" is repeated with respect to so many people that it gives the reader pause. I did enjoy the commentary on various theologians, many of whom I've read and some of whom I've known. In that sense, the book is probably more meaningful to those with theological or academic backgrounds than for the average layperson. However, any reader can find aspects of the Hauerwas pilgrimage with which to identify, whether in terms of personal tragedy, a struggle for direction or a desire for acceptance. I can think of numerous friends and colleagues who would find the book enjoyable.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Neil Lettinga

    Stanley Hauerwas’s Hannah’s Child is Hauerwas’ memoir. Hauerwas tells a good story of a theologian who doesn’t really come to faith until well after he’s earned his PhD and has been teaching a writing for a while. He also faces up to some very difficult issues in his life, including marriage to a woman with bipolar disorder and the disintegration of that marriage. I found myself reading chunks of it aloud to my wife through the first two thirds of the book. Once he finds happiness in a second ma Stanley Hauerwas’s Hannah’s Child is Hauerwas’ memoir. Hauerwas tells a good story of a theologian who doesn’t really come to faith until well after he’s earned his PhD and has been teaching a writing for a while. He also faces up to some very difficult issues in his life, including marriage to a woman with bipolar disorder and the disintegration of that marriage. I found myself reading chunks of it aloud to my wife through the first two thirds of the book. Once he finds happiness in a second marriage and his career really stabilizes, Hauerwas kind of loses interest in the memoir, so the last third is fairly dull reading. Hauerwas describes himself as an essayist, who struggles writing books. That’s probably pretty accurate, and the essays that are the early chapters are well worth the price of the book. The last chapters just didn’t make very good essays.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dave Fagg

    For those who love the work of Stanley Hauerwas, you will love this book. He combines personal narrative with reflections on friendship, God, church, theological education, all of which are suffused with his characteristic humour, lack of bullshit, and straight out refusal to use contractions (e.g. don't, wasn't, wouldn't etc). The most powerful part of this book is the inclusion of details of his life married to a woman who experienced regular psychotic episodes, and the pain he and his son exp For those who love the work of Stanley Hauerwas, you will love this book. He combines personal narrative with reflections on friendship, God, church, theological education, all of which are suffused with his characteristic humour, lack of bullshit, and straight out refusal to use contractions (e.g. don't, wasn't, wouldn't etc). The most powerful part of this book is the inclusion of details of his life married to a woman who experienced regular psychotic episodes, and the pain he and his son experienced because of that. For those who haven't heard of him before, it's still worth reading for its engaging insights into the task of a theologian.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nathan

    I read this as I held my sick little 9 month old son. For a theologian's memior, I don't think you can ask for much better. I think I was disappointed with how little I disagreed with Hauerwas. His vulnerable honesty was endearing. Hopefully I can come back and share some of the many quotes I appreciated.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Glenn Wishnew III

    Hauerwas at his best — bracing, hilarious and truthful down to the very last page.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    I very rarely find a book that I can't put down. This is one of those books.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Simon Robinson

    I've never read a memoir, so i had no expectations. This was on the recommended read for a course i am doing. Not sure what relationship it bears to same, but it wound up being a bit of a page-turner. I imagine it could be a little boring to some, as it gets a bit bogged down at times in 'we were here, with these peeps...' But i found it fascinating to read about this world-renowned academic who began his working life at age 7 as a brickie's labourer to his 'white trash' bricklayer dad. Stanley I've never read a memoir, so i had no expectations. This was on the recommended read for a course i am doing. Not sure what relationship it bears to same, but it wound up being a bit of a page-turner. I imagine it could be a little boring to some, as it gets a bit bogged down at times in 'we were here, with these peeps...' But i found it fascinating to read about this world-renowned academic who began his working life at age 7 as a brickie's labourer to his 'white trash' bricklayer dad. Stanley wasn't sure about whether he was a Christian, yet went off to study theology because he found it 'just so damned interesting.' He tried to make a living while caring for a mentally ill wife and raising a son. He's rubbed shoulders, worked with, and turned out of his classroom some of the most compelling theologians of the last few decades. In the end, its all about friendship. Stanley shared with a bluntness and straighforwardness that i love, but find so lacking in church and theological discourse. Along the way there were tender moments, astonishing prayers and great nuggets of true wisdom. Very much worth the time. Thanks for sharing, Stanley.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Platter

    This book has a large number of positive reviews, and my own ramblings will hardly contribute much. I simply want to add that though the writing may be "dry" for a memoir (a quality which unfortunately leads one reviewer to give a largely negative review) it is a fairly lively book of theology. And though the genre is "memoir", the subject is theology. In an interview on youtube, Hauerwas even states that he wanted to subtitle the book "a theological memoir" but had to change it for the publisher This book has a large number of positive reviews, and my own ramblings will hardly contribute much. I simply want to add that though the writing may be "dry" for a memoir (a quality which unfortunately leads one reviewer to give a largely negative review) it is a fairly lively book of theology. And though the genre is "memoir", the subject is theology. In an interview on youtube, Hauerwas even states that he wanted to subtitle the book "a theological memoir" but had to change it for the publisher so that it had a broader appeal. This book should be read as a work of theology, and in this vein is has two virtues: 1) It can serve as an excellent introduction to Hauerwas' theology. This is a great service on its own, considering the massive quantity of books he has written, some of which are fairly technical. For those who are unfamiliar with how Hauerwas thinks and why it is important, this book can act as a primer. Because it is also a "memoir" it is less dry, as theology goes. 2) It is an exemplar of reflecting theologically on one's own life. Hauerwas admits his book is not properly written in the "confessional" mode, like St. Augustine's _Confessions_, but it comes close! Though not explicitly written as a prayer, the book frames his self understanding in the context of the story of Christ and his Church. Consequently, Hauerwas shows what it might look like to learn to tell one's own story in a truly Christian mode.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lyndon

    I never imagined Hauerwas would write a memoir. I have no reason for thinking this other than I thought he already appeared in all his writings. At least, I thought he appeared. "Stanley Hauerwas" requires describing besides the many tales told by his students or the persona developed by his readers and interlocutors. This book is such a description. Worthwhile in how Stanley places himself in the landscape of Texas, Yale, South Bend and Duke, he provides an account of his life as understood thr I never imagined Hauerwas would write a memoir. I have no reason for thinking this other than I thought he already appeared in all his writings. At least, I thought he appeared. "Stanley Hauerwas" requires describing besides the many tales told by his students or the persona developed by his readers and interlocutors. This book is such a description. Worthwhile in how Stanley places himself in the landscape of Texas, Yale, South Bend and Duke, he provides an account of his life as understood through friendship, suffering and doubt. This is not a book about "Stanley Hauerwas". It is a personal tale of how the Christian life takes a life lived. Who we meet is someone who happens to be called Stanley Hauerwas, and by no fault of his own, is in via like the rest of us who try to worship God faithfully and truthfully.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rod Buchanan

    In reading Hauerwas' books I wanted to know more about him. And get to know him I did. He holds nothing back and in his earthy style lets you in on his journey. Some may get bogged down with names and infighting of faculty at places they either don't know or care about, but for those somewhat aware of theological/academic figures it holds some interest. Some of these tales drag on a bit. Hauerwas is nothing if not honest, and his life is very interesting. As a side note, I thought it was interes In reading Hauerwas' books I wanted to know more about him. And get to know him I did. He holds nothing back and in his earthy style lets you in on his journey. Some may get bogged down with names and infighting of faculty at places they either don't know or care about, but for those somewhat aware of theological/academic figures it holds some interest. Some of these tales drag on a bit. Hauerwas is nothing if not honest, and his life is very interesting. As a side note, I thought it was interesting that he decries materialism while talking of his rather large collection of expensive art.

  18. 5 out of 5

    James

    One of the things that mark's me out as abnormal is that I have been eagerly awaiting the publication of one of my favorite theologians memoirs for the past year. This book will likely not seen as his most important book (that would be the Peacable Kingdom), his most popular book (that would be Resident Aliens), but I found it refreshing to hear Hauerwas in his own words share some of his journey as a theologian and revealing the soil that his ideas came to fruition.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Judith

    Excellent book, the honesty, but lack of self pity, was very moving. It also communicated a real excitement about theology and why it is so important. Made me want to re-read what I have read of Hauerwas and read more that he has written.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Chris Schutte

    A wonderful reflection on Christian growth and faithfulness from one of our most provocative theologians. He is also very humorous - I grinned and chuckled quite a bit, and even laughed out loud several times - not typical responses to theological writing . . .

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dwight Davis

    A beautiful and transparent memoir. Just what I needed right now.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I admire Stanley Hauerwas, but I do not particularly admire this memoir. The early part of the book about his family and upbringing comes across as superficial, and the sections about how he developed his theology require an advanced philosophical education. If you don’t already know the debate between Barth and Brunner—and there are dozens more examples like this—don’t bother with this part. Of course, there are plenty of people who have deeply considered these distinctions, but Hauerwas could I admire Stanley Hauerwas, but I do not particularly admire this memoir. The early part of the book about his family and upbringing comes across as superficial, and the sections about how he developed his theology require an advanced philosophical education. If you don’t already know the debate between Barth and Brunner—and there are dozens more examples like this—don’t bother with this part. Of course, there are plenty of people who have deeply considered these distinctions, but Hauerwas could have made this book more accessible by briefly explaining what he took from each philosopher, instead of simply name-dropping them. (An important exception is John Howard Yoder, whose work inspired Hauerwas’s pacifism.) For me, the memoir became more compelling when Hauerwas discussed his own theology, which he details in the text, rather than relying on his audience to make connections with outside readings. As a writer, I was particularly drawn to his explanation of time and narrative in the context of the Resurrection. He writes: “The world simply cannot be narrated – the world cannot have a story – unless a people exist who make the world the world. That is an eschatological claim that presupposes we know there was a beginning only because we have seen the end. That something had to start it all is not what Christians mean by creation. Creation is not ‘back there,’ though there is a ‘back there’ character to creation. Rather, creation names God’s continuing action, God’s unrelenting desire for us to want to be loved by that love manifest in Christ’s life, death, and resurrection.” For much of the book, Hauerwas treats his first wife, Anne, who had bipolar disorder, primarily as a burden who disrupted an otherwise idyllic life. I’m not sure that he means to be so dismissive of what it must have been like to have her illness, but it’s hard to say. He presumes to blame himself for having been too good, too energetic, so that Anne did not, in his words, have to take responsibility for herself. The fact that she failed to thrive after their marriage ended undercuts this hypothesis, as he admits. I softened toward him as the book went on – his home life sounds like it was extraordinarily difficult – but I felt he failed to fully explore the dynamics of his first marriage.

  23. 4 out of 5

    David Hendricks

    Someone shared a quote from this book in a sermon, and I wrote down the title and decided to read it. I knew Hauerwas taught at Duke, but what I didn't know is that he also taught at Notre Dame with the author of the Politics of Jesus, John Howard Yoder. Not only does Hauerwas count Yoder as a friend, but their friendship had a profound impact on his thinking. For instance, he credits Yoder with his decision to become a pacifist. Since I live in South Bend I found it very interesting to read abou Someone shared a quote from this book in a sermon, and I wrote down the title and decided to read it. I knew Hauerwas taught at Duke, but what I didn't know is that he also taught at Notre Dame with the author of the Politics of Jesus, John Howard Yoder. Not only does Hauerwas count Yoder as a friend, but their friendship had a profound impact on his thinking. For instance, he credits Yoder with his decision to become a pacifist. Since I live in South Bend I found it very interesting to read about his time at Notre Dame. Of particular interest was mention of Dr. Roland Chamblee. Over 20 years ago I met Roland, and his first wife had died and he wanted to know if I would conduct a private wedding ceremony at Tippecanoe Place. My wife was a registered nurse, and worked in the same office as Roland. So I was happy to be of service. Moving forward a few years I attended the funeral for Dr. Chamblee at Little Flower Catholic Church. Over the years I've lived in South Bend I had an opportunity to visit Broadway Community Church, and numerous times I have taken friends for a walking tour of Sacred Heart Basilica. So it was a very pleasant surprise to learn of the author's time in South Bend. His journey with his wife Anne, and her struggle with mental illness was hard to read at times. I was happy to read on, and learn of his marriage to Paula and follow his spiritual pilgrimage from a small town in Texas, to the halls of Yale, Notre Dame and Duke.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Adam Shields

    Short Review: I have been on a memoir kick lately. I have been actively seeking out memoirs of elder christians to glean wisdom. I have been wanting to read more Hauerwas for a while and so I picked this up. It makes me want to read more of Hauerwas' work, so that clearly did some of its job. He is a fascinating character. He does not like being boxed in to a position, and is outside of many traditional boxes. We do need more memoir like this, especially from people like Hauerwas that have not h Short Review: I have been on a memoir kick lately. I have been actively seeking out memoirs of elder christians to glean wisdom. I have been wanting to read more Hauerwas for a while and so I picked this up. It makes me want to read more of Hauerwas' work, so that clearly did some of its job. He is a fascinating character. He does not like being boxed in to a position, and is outside of many traditional boxes. We do need more memoir like this, especially from people like Hauerwas that have not had either traditional or easy lives. my full review is on my blog at http://bookwi.se/hannahs-child/

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    This was a good book--one that I might have enjoyed better if I were a theologian. Hauerwas's references to the Nieburhs (Richard and Reinhold), Barth, Yoder and other theologians were esoteric and sent me out of his book to cross-reference them. This made it difficult and time-consuming for me to thoroughly enjoy this memoir-ish tome. I would imagine that my husband, a United Methodist clergyman, would really enjoy reading this book. It is not a book that I would imagine most mainstream readers This was a good book--one that I might have enjoyed better if I were a theologian. Hauerwas's references to the Nieburhs (Richard and Reinhold), Barth, Yoder and other theologians were esoteric and sent me out of his book to cross-reference them. This made it difficult and time-consuming for me to thoroughly enjoy this memoir-ish tome. I would imagine that my husband, a United Methodist clergyman, would really enjoy reading this book. It is not a book that I would imagine most mainstream readers would or could finish. My recommendation to those who know Hauerwas is hearty. My recommendation to those who are unfamiliar with him would be to skip this book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jon Beadle

    What a beautiful book. It’s truly a page-turner. I really give it 3.5 stars. For someone who has not read any of his other work, this would not be an enjoyable read. Since I have read a few of his books, finding myself caught up in his sharp whit and southern charm, I quite enjoyed the memoir. In an odd way, reading his journey through books and calling helped me clarify some of my own journey, as well as create a strong desire to read Aquinas. We’ll see.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brandon G. Smith

    The spiritual memoir is probably my favorite genre of book. This is once again proven by Hannah’s Child. One of my favorite theologian’s, Stanley Hauerwas comes thru on telling his story with the wit, wisdom, and yes, profanity that you would expect of him. The painful tales of living with his first wife’s horrible mental illness, to the finding of true love in his second wife, all while going on one theological adventure after another is enough to keep any theologically minded reader engaged.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Zach

    This is an immensely beautiful book written with a very personal and honest voice. Stanley Hauerwas recounts the arc of his life, work and thought, uncovering some of the central threads that constitute him and his reality. It is an emotional rollercoaster of a story told through the characteristic, working-class filter that Hauerwas is either lived for or hated for. A must read for any fan of Hauerwas’s work.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Steve Nation

    This was a strange book to read. Stanley Hauerwas and I couldn't be more different - our backgrounds, our personalities, our education, church traditions and theological convictions. I struggled to connect with him as a person as I read this memoir, and I struggled with a number of areas of his life and teaching. But I couldn't put this book down. I found it a very helpful insight into a life that has been influential for so many, including people I know who lean deeply on Hauerwas' writings.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    I was not prepared to love this book as much as I did. Wow. What an engaging story. Full of great theological observations, reflections on the nature and meaning of life and death (and how it all relates to a commitment towards non-violence), and profound recollections on the nature of family, friendship, and the church.

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