Loosening the grip of certainty: A case-study critique of tertullian, stanley hauerwas, and christian identity

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Highlighting the importance of historical methods for Christian ethics, this essay begins with a general overview of recent trends in historiography that culminate in the ideologically attuned and textually based work of Elizabeth Clark. Clark's work provides the basis in the second part of the essay that identifies Constantinianism as a dominant master narrative in the work of Stanley Hauerwas through which he rereads Tertullian's concept of patience and undergirds his call for pacifism. The final section explores the dangers of such master narratives for Christian ethical analysis and calls instead for a critical, collaborative, and self-reflexive approach to history more capable of reconciling power, privilege, and marginalization.

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