With the Grain of the Universe

The Church's Witness and Natural Theology

  • Buy 10+ and save 35%


"In its animated conversations with William James, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Karl Barth and in its constructive proposals, this book makes for fine reading and ought to stir up some new and serious debate about what the church's confession has to say about natural reality."
--John Webster, Oxford University

"In Hauerwas's fresh interpretation of American intellectual history, Niebuhr, the neo-orthodox theologian, appears not as the Christian alternative to James's pragmatism, but a thin religious version of the same, packaged in the vocabulary of Christian theology. Against this backdrop, Hauerwas draws on Karl Barth to set forth a 'theology without reservation' that takes modernity seriously but meets it not on modernity's terms but on the church's terms as witnessed by Christian thinkers such as John Howard Yoder and John Paul II. This is a book we have long awaited; Hauerwas's account of what went wrong and what went right with theology in the twentieth century. With the Grain of the Universe is Hauerwas in full sail."
--Robert Louis Wilken, University of Virginia

"A highly original approach to natural theology. Through imaginative and often provocative arguments, Hauerwas challenges and often inverts many conventional assumptions in Christian theology and ethics. . . . Anyone broadly conversant with Christian theology . . . will be richly stimulated by one of the leading theologians writing today."

"[This book] is a disassembled paradox; the magic box of Hauerwasian style is here broken open, its parts laid out before us in an exploded diagram. The effect is simultaneously impressive--one sees more clearly than ever how much learning is needed to produce Hauerwas' insights--and a bit disenchanting: I'm not sure I want to know how the magician does it. But no one reading this book can say Hauerwas hasn't done his homework. . . . [A] powerful and important book."
--Alan Jacobs, Books & Culture

With the Grain of the Universe was a Christianity Today 2002 Book Award Winner. This edition includes a new afterword that sets the book in contemporary context and responds to critics.


Stanley Hauerwas, Author

Stanley Hauerwas (PhD, Yale University) professor emeritus of divinity and law at Duke Divinity School. He is the author of over forty books, including Cross-Shattered Christ, A Cross-Shattered Church, War and the American Difference, and Matthew in the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible.

View more by Stanley Hauerwas