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The Character of Virtue

Letters to a Godson

Stanley Hauerwas, Samuel Wells (Introduction by)


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Paperback (5/11/2021)


Timeless wisdom from a renowned theologian on living well

From the fairy godmother's pumpkin coach to Herr Drosselmeyer's nutcracker, godparents have long been associated with good gifts. But in The Character of Virtue theologian and ethicist Stanley Hauerwas offers his real-life godson something far more precious than toys or trinkets--the gift of hard-won wisdom on life and the process of maturing.

In each of sixteen letters--sent on the occasion of Laurence Wells's baptism and every year thereafter--Hauerwas contemplates a specific virtue and its meaning for a child growing year by year into the Christian faith. Writing on kindness, courage, humility, joy, and more, Hauerwas distills centuries of religious thinking and decades of self-reflection into heartfelt personal epistles that are both timely and timeless.

An introduction by Samuel Wells--Laurence's father and Hauerwas's friend--tells the story behind these letters and offers sage insight into what a godparent is and can be.

William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 9780802875792, 205pp.

Publication Date: April 19, 2018

About the Author

Stanley Hauerwas is Gilbert T. Rowe Professor Emeritus of Divinity and Law at Duke University. One of America's best known and most highly regarded living theologians, he is the author of many notable works, including Resident Aliens, A Community of Character, Living Gently in a Violent World, and Hannah's Child.