Improvisation: The Drama of Christian Ethics  -     By: Samuel Wells
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Improvisation: The Drama of Christian Ethics

Brazos Press / 2004 / Paperback

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Product Description

Samuel Wells defines improvisation in the theater as "a practice through which actors seek to develop trust in themselves and one another in order that they may conduct unscripted dramas without fear." Wells suggests that such a definition is highly appropriate to Christian ethics. He establishes theatrical improvisation as a model for Christian ethics, a matter of "faithfully improvising on the Christian tradition." The Bible is not so much a script to rehearse as it is a "training school" that shapes the habits and practices of a community in action. Drawing on scriptural narratives and church history, he details six practices that characterize both improvisation and Christian ethics--including categories such as "forming habits," "questioning givens," and "reincorporating the lost." He concludes with specific examples of ethical issues, such as facing evil and the perils and promises of genetically-modified food. Well's fresh and imaginative discussion reinforces the goal of Christian ethics--not to "help someone act Christianly in a crisis" but to teach Christians to "embody their faith in the practices of discipleship all the time."

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: Brazos Press
Publication Date: 2004
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 1587430711
ISBN-13: 9781587430718
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Publisher's Description

In Improvisation, Samuel Wells defines improvisation in the theater as "a practice through which actors seek to develop trust in themselves and one another in order that they may conduct unscripted dramas without fear." Sounds a lot like life, doesn't it? Building trust, overcoming fear, conducting relationships, and making choices--all without a script.

Wells establishes theatrical improvisation as a model for Christian ethics, a matter of "faithfully improvising on the Christian tradition." He views the Bible not as a "script" but as a "training school" that shapes the habits and practices of the Christian community. Drawing on scriptural narratives and church history, Wells explains six practices that characterize both improvisation and Christian ethics. His model of improvisation reinforces the goal of Christian ethics--to teach Christians to "embody their faith in the practices of discipleship all the time."

Author Bio

Samuel Wells (PhD, University of Durham) is vicar of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Anglican Church at Trafalgar Square in London. He previously served as dean of the chapel and research professor of Christian ethics at Duke University. He is the author of Transforming Fate into Destiny: The Theological Ethics of Stanley Hauerwas and coedited, with Stanley Hauerwas, The Blackwell Companion to Christian Ethics.

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