In Christianity, Democracy, and the Radical Ordinary, theologian Stanley Hauerwas and political theorist Romand Coles reflect about possibilities and practices of radical democracy and radical ecclesia that take form in the textures of relational care for the radical ordinary. They seek to shift political and theological imaginations beyond the limits of contemporary political formations (such as global capitalism, the mega-state, and empire), which they argue are based upon both the denial and production of death.
Hauerwas and Coles advocate a revolutionary politics of ‘wild patience’ that seeks transformation through attentive practices of listening, relationship-building, and a careful tending to places, common goods, and diverse possibilities for flourishing. Both authors translate back and forth across – as well as illuminate the tensions between – the languages of radical democracy and of trial, cross, and resurrection.
Throughout this book they link their themes to specific lives and practices: from Ella Baker and the early Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, organising efforts for community and civil rights, to L’Arche communities founded by Jean Vanier, to contemporary faith-based radical democratic organizing efforts in dozens of cities by the Industrial Areas Foundation.
Engaging each other through a variety of genres – from essays, to letters, to cowriting and dialogue – Hauerwas and Coles seek to enact a politics that is evangelical in its radical receptivity across strange differences and that cultivates power in relation to vulnerability.