Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Quote of the Week - Stanley Hauerwas

If I am right about the story that shapes the American self-understanding, I think we are in a position to better understand why after 11 September 2001 the self-proclaimed 'most powerful nation in the world' runs on fear. It does so because the fear of death is necessary to insure a level of cooperation between people who otherwise share nothing in common. That is, they share nothing in common other than the presumption that death is to be avoided at all costs.

That is why in America hospitals have become our cathedrals and physicians are our priests. Accordingly medical schools are much more serious about the moral formation of their students than divinity schools. They are so because Americans do not believe that an inadequately trained priest may damage their salvation, but they do believe an inadequately trained doctor can hurt them.-
-Dr. Stanley Hauerwas

From an intriguing essay titled "The End of American Protestantism"

1 comment:

George Patsourakos said...

Americans appear to be more concerned about their physical health than they are in living a spiritual life.

That is why Americans tend to respect doctors much more than priests.

The fact is that all people will die one day, but a primary priority of Americans is to prolong that day as much as possible.