The stranger

I don’t go all the way with Stanley Hauerwas, Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke University, but in Living out Loud he has some important insights into attitudes which enable a community to grow in quality and stature.   One of these is not just giving a welcome to the stranger but inviting him or her  to tell us their story.   It also means that we have to listen – and that is no easy matter when language and culture get in the way.   But Hauerwas argues that unless we not only welcome the foreigner but share our stories, community will become incestuous and foster a culture of fear and hatred.   The communal dilemma (Page 4) remains unsolved.  We don’t make any community ‘great’ by building walls and listening only to those like us.  We make it ‘small’ and immature.  And a global community of communities  becomes impossible.