So there we were.. the place to see and be seen in theology today. The senior prom for Protestant intellectuals... a Hauerwas appearance!!!
We all gathered in early. Eager first year students anxiously awaiting, cracking the "Will you sign my Bible Stanley?" jokes. Second years know better (we made those jokes last year). Then the the cool kids. Professors from Princeton Seminary and University enter... no proceed to seats at the front. Cornel, Jeff, Stacy, George... It's a first-name-basis affair. Hugs are exchanged, hands are shaked. Ah... to be a theologian.
Then he arrives. A tie and blazer... with jeans and sneakers? - The irreverence! But oh we love him for it. We're here to see what he thinks about Niebuhr of century past, just like we showed up last year to see what he thinks about Bonhoeffer. Each time the Time Magazine article is mentioned and jovially dismissed. Each time the Texas cackle fills the room. Each time the token swear word is dropped. Each time it's a contest to see who asks the most pressing question... Each time the "Constantinian Christian" is indignted. Niehbuhr's problem: "Too many lunches at the Pentagon." Needless to say too many lunches with the Princeton faculty can have a similar warping effect... but I assume Hauerwas knows that.
Ah... theology in America.