Resident Aliens

Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony (ISBN 0-687-36159-1) is a 1989 book authored by theologians Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon. The book discusses the nature of the church and its relationship to surrounding culture. It argues that churches should focus on developing Christian life and community rather than attempting to reform the secular culture. Hauerwas and Willimon reject the idea that America or any other country is a Christian nation, instead believing that Christians should see themselves as "residents aliens" in a foreign land, using the metaphor of a colony to describe the church. Instead of conforming the world to the gospel or the gospel to the world, they believe that Christians should focus on conforming to the gospel themselves.

Hauerwas and Willimon proceed to discuss ethics and the relationship between Christianity and politics, critiquing the notion that Christians, or the church as a whole, should attempt to transform secular governments or get overly involved in politics in an attempt to change society. Instead, the role of Christians is to live lives which model the love of Christ. Rather than trying to convince others to change their ethics or redefine their ethics, Christians should model a new set of ethics which are grounded in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. Churches, therefore, should be places which help cultivate and grow disciples.[1]

In 1996 a sequel was published entitled Where Resident Aliens Live: Exercises for Christian Practice (ISBN 0-687-01605-3).


  1. ^ "A Review of Resident Aliens". Archived from the original on 2001-05-18. Retrieved 2015-06-02. 

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.