The History of the Future: Apocalyptic, Community Organizing, and the Theo-politics of Time in and Age of Global Capital

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Hauerwas, Stanley M

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This dissertation attempts to do two things. First, I provide a theological interpretation of congregation-based community organizing by connecting this activity to the politics of the church. The link between the two, I argue, is the rule of Christ, a non-hierarchical process of political judgment that operates in a mode of receptive generosity and vulnerability as well as accountability to deliberate and discern how best to resolve conflicts. Situating this activity within an apocalyptic orientation determined by lordship of Jesus Christ, I suggest that this process, when accompanied by the other structuring practices of the church, allows the social, historical community to embody the new age of God's reign. Congregation-based community organizing, I conclude, is the extension and extrapolation of this constitutive process, and therefore, can be understood as an act of mission in witness and service to the world. In addition, this missionary activity can also help to retool the church in the practice of binding and loosing, which has fallen into desuetude. Second, I describe how this missionary activity functions both faithfully and effectively to challenge and counteract the forces of late, global capital. By challenging the configuration and experience of time under capital, the work of organizing can serve to recover political judgment from a regnant market ideology so as to reconstitute the way decisions are made and conflicts resolved by opening them to a process more lilted to the justice of God's reign. Moreover, in doing so, the political work of organizing can serve to offer a new future through forgiveness and reconciliation to individuals and a society trapped within a capitalist history whose end is immanently experienced in the destructive pursuit of unlimited growth and expansion.


Doctor of Theology




Rhodes, Daniel P. (2013). The History of the Future: Apocalyptic, Community Organizing, and the Theo-politics of Time in and Age of Global Capital. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from


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