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The Table Video

Stanley Hauerwas

Unity: The Hopeful Future of American Christianity

Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Divinity and Law, Duke Divinity School
June 2, 2017

Through hardship and decline, Hauerwas hopes that God is bringing diverse Christians together.


I’m often described as someone that’s prophetic, and a full professor at a major research university, by definition cannot be prophetic. [laughing] I tend to resist that a good bit.

The prophets were marginalized, these were the people on the edges of society.

I’m too accepted. So I never pretended to try to be a prophet, or assume that I have that mantle at all.

Okay. So, that said, what is the future of Christianity in America? Do we need a wake-up call? What is your hope for American Christianity?

Well I believe God is making us leaner and meaner. As we continue to lose members, and the church gets smaller, what I hope is we will discover unity between Christians, that we haven’t experienced for many centuries. One of the things that I think may well be happening, is we’re coming to the end of the reformation, and how we recover the Catholicity of the church across denominations will be one of the challenges for us for the future.

Evan: So you’re looking towards unity?


Do you think that candid speech, courage,

Stanley: I hope so.

confrontation, do you think that’s going to lead to unity?

I think they’re absolute constituencies of any unity that we could possibly want.