The writings of Stanley Hauerwas have been influential not only to me but to many Christians across the world. I was lucky enough to get to work with him as a student at Duke, where he is now a professor emeritus. I interviewed him in 2011 for the After the Yellow Ribbon Conference, took several courses from him during my MTS degree, and he served as my academic advisor for most of my studies.
We both feel, in our individual ways, that there is not enough scholarly attention paid to the embodied experience of armed service. Stanley has expressed to me on occasion that he has felt there is more that needs to be said about soldiers and veterans, but has struggled, as a non-veteran, to articulate the nuance and complexity he has sensed from the martial fraternity. After I graduated, we talked about doing a course together on virtue ethics and military service, but the stars did not align and the opportunity passed.
But now, after further discussion and consideration, I am excited to announce that we have developed a new course which I will give next semester under Dr. Hauerwas’ supervision at Duke University. “The Virtues of War” will be offered as an advanced undergraduate course through the Department of Political Science. This course is significant not just because two staunch pacifists are suggesting that virtues might exist in war, but because in committing critical attention to the complex moral substance of military service, we hope other Christians will do the same. We both believe this course will contribute new, constructive approaches to theological ethics and moral philosophy, material which may one day be published.