Hauerwas on Sentimentality


When asked what is the biggest challenge facing the church today, Hauerwas responded saying,

“Sentimentality, the church is filled with sentimentality. I wish that we could produce interesting atheists, but we’re not strong enough believers to produce interesting atheists. Instead what we hear so often in sermons is sentimental drivel about love and how Christians are supposed to love each other and everyone, in a way that is just bullshit. There’s no reality to that”

Here’s the entire interview:

8 Responses to “Hauerwas on Sentimentality”

  1. A.J. Smith Says:

    He also says that we should pray “as porcupines screw”!

  2. noen Says:

    “we’re not strong enough believers to produce interesting atheists”

    That’s because today, only atheists can truly believe. So the only interesting position is one that rejects both atheism and theism without falling into some kind of muddled middling way like Buddhism. I think that’s possible.

  3. Jeremy Says:

    What would that position look like? I’m assuming it wouldn’t simply be agnosticism.

  4. Jeremy Says:

    Also, I find it fairly offensive to offer Buddhism as some muddled middling. If you’re referring to the knock off versions some Americans practice then I understand, but actual Buddhism should not be written off so cheaply.

  5. noen Says:

    “What would that position look like?”

    I don’t know. I’m working on it in my own way. I have found myself, a former atheist, now deeply repulsed by the New Atheism but unable to buy into theism. So I guess I’m left with a kind of aggressive agnosticism. For the time being it’s a lot of work just to carve out a space for myself from the current atheist domination and “conversion by definition”.

    “If you’re referring to the knock off versions some Americans practice then I understand,”

    Yes, I am.

    I found you site btw, through a search for Lacan and Zizek. You seem interesting. I might comment from time to time.

  6. Jeremy Says:

    The new atheism is a massive failure. All of the great atheistic philosophers at least respected the opponent they were trying to destroy (e.g. Nietzsche, Freud, etc). I’ve written some post under my pages on a the Death of God that you might found of interest. Also, I reviewed a book by a famous radical theologian, Thomas Altizer, who wrote a book entitled Genesis and Apocalypse. He became famous in the 60s for his death of God theology. It’s something you might also be interested in if you’re looking for a space beteween theism and atheism. Or at least if you’re trying to locate a space within Christianity that is not simple theism, but is rather profoundly atheistic.

    Of course, I welcome all comments, even if you’re in disagreement.

  7. Dave Mesing Says:

    noen, you might be interested in Richard Kearney’s book Anatheism. It sounds similar to what’s being talk about here, but Kearney is, at least on my understanding, a theist.

    I’m skeptical but interested in the in-between of theism and atheism.

  8. Jeremy Says:

    I’m also skeptical, yet simultaneously, the fact that the Son of God dies in Christianity forsaken by God seems to make the boundaries distancing atheism and theism more porous.

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