What kind of pacifist?

Stanley Hauerwas and I first met at a conference at Bethel College in Kansas in the early 1980s. I had spent a semester at Bethel some years before when I gave the Menno Simons lectures there (The Church Struggle in South Africa), and I remain indebted to that vibrant Mennonite community for introducing me to the writings of John Howard Yoder, with whom I later became well acquainted. Like Hauerwas, I was deeply influenced by Yoder’s Politics of Jesus, one of the seminal theological texts of the 20th century. But unlike Hauerwas, who reads Dietrich Bonhoeffer through the eyes of Yoder and in the context of a North American Christendom imperium, I read Yoder under the influence of Bonhoeffer and in the context of the South African church struggle.

 

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