on the importance of story over moral principles
"Contrary to the assumption of many philosophers, moral principles do not serve as the 'essence' of stories, as if they might be abstracted from the story and still convey the same meaning. Rather, our principles are but shorthand reminders necessary for moral education and explanation; their moral significance is contained in stories. Though principles (or policy statements) such as 'I have decided to live an agapeistic life' appear to be story-neutral, they are nothing of the sort. For our principles 'are intelligible at all only if their implicit 'stories' are explicated. The need for stories then lies precisely in the fact that policy statements are about intentions to act in certain ways, and action is inconceivable apart from stories.'"Stanley Hauerwas, The Hauerwas Reader, John Berkman and Michael Cartwright, eds, Durham: Duke University Press, 2001, 166.