Quotes & Sayings

We, and creation itself, actualize the possibilities of the God who sustains the world, towards becoming in the world in a fuller, more deeper way. - R.E. Slater

There is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have [consequential effects upon] the world around us. - Process Metaphysician Alfred North Whitehead

Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The most true thing about you is what God has said to you in Christ, "You are My Beloved." - Tripp Fuller

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. - Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

We become who we are by what we believe and can justify. - R.E. Slater

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

In Whitehead’s process ontology, we can think of the experiential ground of reality as an eternal pulse whereby what is objectively public in one moment becomes subjectively prehended in the next, and whereby the subject that emerges from its feelings then perishes into public expression as an object (or “superject”) aiming for novelty. There is a rhythm of Being between object and subject, not an ontological division. This rhythm powers the creative growth of the universe from one occasion of experience to the next. This is the Whiteheadian mantra: “The many become one and are increased by one.” - Matthew Segall

Without Love there is no Truth. And True Truth is always Loving. There is no dichotomy between these terms but only seamless integration. This is the premier centering focus of a Processual Theology of Love. - R.E. Slater


Note: Generally I do not respond to commentary. I may read the comments but wish to reserve my time to write (or write from the comments I read). Instead, I'd like to see our community help one another and in the helping encourage and exhort each of us towards Christian love in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. - re slater

Saturday, November 21, 2020

The Incarnate Lord, by Father Thomas Joseph White

Thomas Joseph White, The Incarnate Lord
The Incarnate Lord: A Thomistic Study in Christology
Thomistic Ressourcement Series, May 11, 2017

by Thomas Joseph White OP (Author)
"Provides excellent insight into how Christology would be manifest through the lenses of Thomas Aquinas. He does this by looking at central themes in Christology, giving particular attention to the hypostatic union, the two natures of Christ, the knowledge and obedience of Jesus, the passion and death of Christ, Christ's descent into hell, and the resurrection. In each of these sections, White provides excellent analysis and synthesis enabling the reader to understand how Thomas Aquinas might view them." – Catholic Library World
"A masterful and coherent vindication of Aquinas's Christology in the context of the diverse claims of modern christologies The immense importance of this work lies principally in the fact that it can benefit not only Thomists, but anyone committed to serious theological reflection on the Scriptural witness to Jesus Christ." – New Blackfriars
"A significant piece of systematic theology. White demonstrates his outstanding credentials as an interpreter of Thomas in particular and of the Catholic tradition as a whole, and makes for a useful dialogue partner for Protestant theologians who may find certain modern critiques less problematic than White, and who prefer to engage the deconstructive efforts of Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment thought by means other than the retrieval of another era." – Modern Theology
"This ambitious and spirited book presents Thomist Christology as a universal panacea for a cluster of what its author takes to be debilitating weaknesses in recent Christology." - Theology
"This closely reasoned and clearly written collection of essays presents an invaluable perspective upon many of the crucial issues debated in contemporary Christology. As one would expect, White shows an intimate familiarity with the thought of Aquinas. But he has also read carefully and deeply in modern and contemporary Christologies." – Theological Studies
"Clear, receptive, unhurried, irenic, and encyclopedicuniquely valuable and pleasurable to read. White gives us a complete and definitive treatment of the issues concerned; his book will become the standard reference for decades to come." – The Heythrop Journal

* * * * * * * *

Books by Father Thomas Joseph White

* * * * * * * *

YouTube Series by Thomas Joseph White

* * * * * * * *

Journal of Analytic Theology, Vol. 6, August 2018
© 2018 Timothy Pawl  •  © 2018 Journal of Analytic Theology

Thomas Joseph White. The Incarnate Lord:
A Thomistic Study in Christology

Washington D.C., The Catholic University of America Press, 2015. xiv + 534 pp
Timothy Pawl, University of St. Thomas (MN)

Fr. Thomas Joseph White, O.P., has done a good work for theology, and also philosophy, in his new, large book on Thomistic Christology. The book focuses on modern Christological work in theology. Fr. White presents the central conclusion differently in different places. For instance, he writes:

“The basic argument of the book is that Christology has an irreducible ontological dimension that is essential to its integrity as a science” (5).

“the central thesis of the book [is] that scholastic Christology is of perennial importance for a right understanding of the central mysteries of the New Testament, those of the incarnation and redemption” (22).

“Both halves [of the book] argue for the centrality of metaphysical realism for a right appreciation of the heart of the mystery of Christ” (29).

“The goal of this concluding chapter is meant to be commensurate with the goal of this book at large: to show that there exist resources in the Thomistic and scholastic tradition that invite us to treat theological thinking “otherwise” than in the models that currently predominate” (469).

He is quite serious about the importance of ontology and metaphysics for theology. In three other places, he writes:

“If we believe in the incarnation, we need to be committed to the retrieval of some form of classical metaphysics” (66).

“[W]e must say that unless we study the mystery of Jesus ontologically, we fundamentally cannot understand the New Testament” (7).

“[T]he heart of New Testament teaching … can only be grounded in a distinctively metaphysical mode of Christological reflection” (21).

He argues for these claims most often by presenting a difficulty a contemporary theologian has, then showing how that difficulty is neutralized by a Thomistic view. The modern theologians who come into discussion most often in the book are Hans Urs von Balthazar, Karl Barth, Eberhard Jüngel, Wolfhart Pannenberg, Karl Rahner, Edward Schillebeeckx, and Friedrich Schleiermacher. The modern philosophers most commonly referred to are G.W.F. Hegel, Martin Heidegger, Immanuel Kant, and Friedrich Nietzsche.

As you might have thought, given the list of philosophers most engaged, the book is not written with an audience of analytic theologians explicitly in mind. Nevertheless, as I will go on to show, this book will be very useful for analytic theologians, and we are indebted to Fr. White for taking on this project and completing it in as successful a manner as he has.

One reason why this book will be useful for analytic theologians is that Fr. White does an admirable job of presenting the ideas he discusses in three different languages, so to speak: that of the modern theologian influenced by continental philosophy, that of the scholastic theologian seeped in perennial metaphysics, and that of, one might say, the generally educated reader. We see, for just one instance, a translation of Barthian concerns into scholastic terminology (195-201). Fr. White does similarly for his discussions of other modern thinkers throughout the book. I do not have the expertise to speak to the question of whether or not Fr. White interpreted Barth and the other contemporary theologians correctly, but I will say that the copious texts Fr. White adduces do seem to bear out his interpretations.

Another sort of example of this translation work comes in Fr. White’s explication of scholastic terminology into plain English. To give just a few examples of many, see his discussions of objective formality (53-55), primary and secondary actuality (62-63), and his definitions of “nature,” “grace,” “analogia fidei,” “analogia entis,” and “ens commune” (204-5; 230). These translations can provide a Rosetta Stone of sorts for the thinker proficient in any of those languages to come to better knowledge of the others. Likewise, they are useful for the analytic, who can likely translate at least one of them into analytic terminology. Not all terms, though, are helpfully defined in their first deployment. Some, like the analogy of being, are used prior to an extended discussion of what is meant by them. The analogy of being is used a fair bit in the first chapter, but only defined and discussed in Chapter Four, to which Fr. White refers the reader in Chapter One. Other terms, like “concrete” and “concrete nature” (130) are used but not defined. Moreover, the analytic reader is cautioned at this point, for the terms are not used in the typical analytic sense, nor are they used, so far as I can tell, in the typical scholastic sense.1 

A second reason this book will be beneficial to analytic theologians is the care Fr. White takes to bring along the reader. Oftentimes, when reading outside of one’s expertise, it is easy to get lost. Fr. White is a member of the Order of Preachers, the Dominicans, and his preaching prowess is on display in the book, not insofar as each chapter ends with an altar call (he is a Catholic preacher, after all), but insofar as he is careful to bring his audience along with him, by means of repetition, summary, and sign posts.

A third reason that this book will be of use to analytic theologians is the emphasis that Fr. White puts on considering the metaphysics of the incarnation. Here we have a non-analytic theologian arguing, as I quoted above, that ontology is needful for Christology, a thesis that many analytic theologians will themselves accept. For instance, Chapter Three answers the Barthian objections to ontological accounts of the incarnation – primarily Barth and his followers’ critiques of the analogy of being. Not only does Fr. White argue that Barth’s objections fail, he argues that Barth’s theology requires an analogy of being (192). In Chapter Four he goes further, arguing that “analogical, metaphysical thinking about God is in fact intrinsic to Christological dogmatic theology, and unavoidably so” (234). The conclusion of the book, “The Promise of Thomism,” argues at length that, while historical knowledge is essential to Christology, Christology itself is not a merely historical enterprise. It is a scientia, the telos of which is knowledge of God, the Son’s incarnation, and the operations of that same Son for our redemption. Unabashed Thomist that he is, careful scholar that he is, his goal isn’t merely getting Thomas right; it is getting the doctrine of God right. And that doctrine of God, he argues forcefully throughout the book, requires metaphysics. 

Before the philosophers from this interdisciplinary enterprise start high-fiving, though, I should emphasize that Fr. White is not encouraging a vice we’ve still yet to shake as a discipline, that is, the vice of approaching the philosophical and logical questions in blissful naivety concerning the historical teaching of the Christian community on the issues we discuss. He takes such an approach to task as well, though not as extensively.

Fr. White writes from a Catholic perspective, in the following senses. He cites the documents of Vatican II as circumscribing what can be said of Christ (see the discussion of Gaudium et Spes beginning on page 128). He cites the condemnation from the medieval Pope, Alexander III, which condemns saying that Christ’s human nature was a someone (rather it is a something), then uses that condemnation in discussions of other figures, many, but not all, of whom are Catholic (85). Additionally, he uses statements of Vatican I (204; 347) as evidence in places. I see nothing wrong with this: this is a Catholic priest writing a book about the Christology of a Catholic priest and Doctor of the Catholic Church, published by the Catholic University of America Press. The book has a heavy emphasis on modern Catholic theology, which I, for one, find to be a welcome resource for analytic theology, and I hope it will be a beneficial influence on contemporary analytic discussions.

The book does the following things. The Prolegomenon, “Is a Modern Thomistic Christology Possible?,” presents difficulties for Christology and the responses to those difficulties that Schleiermacher and Barth provide. It then considers some problems with the responses these two thinkers give, the main problem being that neither

“instructs us as to how, if at all, we might reasonably seek explicitly to integrate methodologically the content of modern studies of Jesus of Nazareth in his historical context with a modern defense of the classical doctrine of Chalcedon” (40). 

Fr. White presents a Thomistic approach that both allows the integration and answers the original difficulties to which Schleiermacher and Barth were responding. The remainder of the book is divided into two parts. The first part focuses on the incarnation, the second on redemption.

The first part begins with a chapter taking up the hypostatic union, the union of the two natures in the one person of Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. There Fr. White criticizes Rahner’s Christology for having a “Nestorian tendency” (25) and Schleiermacher’s Christology for slanting toward a “‘subtle’ form of Nestorianism” (102), a tendency and slant which, he claims, Thomism can help rectify. John Hick, Jacques Dupuis, and Jon Sobrino all present more overt forms of Nestorianism on Fr. White’s reading, which a dose of Thomism can also alleviate (102-111). The second chapter focuses on the assumed human nature of Christ, again taking up Rahner’s views, but also those of Marie-Dominique Chenu, arguing against them, with Thomas, that there must be a “perennial nature” (126) common to all humans, both pre- and post-fall. Much of this second chapter focuses on the proper interpretation of the Vatican II document, Gaudium et Spes. The third chapter, as noted above, discusses Barth and his followers, primarily Eberhard Jüngel, on the analogy of being. The fourth chapter continues the theme of the analogy of being, arguing for a form of natural theology. It focuses on the thought of Gottlieb Söhngen and Balthasar. The final chapter in the first part, Chapter Five, focuses on the human mind and will of Christ. Here Fr. White argues that, to fulfill his mission and knowingly sacrifice himself for the sins of the world, Jesus needed the beatific vision during his earthly life.

The second part of the book, the part on redemption, begins with Chapter Six, where Fr. White argues, against the views of Balthasar, Barth, Moltmann, and Pannenberg, that it is “not literally true to say that the Son of God as God is obedient to the Father” (27, emphasis in the original). The seventh chapter discusses Christ’s cry of dereliction from the cross. Fr. White argues that the cry of dereliction is consistent with Christ’s possessing the beatific vision, even when crucified. The eighth chapter argues with Thomas, and against Balthasar, Jüngel, and Pannenberg, that “the Son of God as God undergoes no form of ontological diminishment or self-relinquishment in the course of his passion” (28). The ninth chapter focuses on Christ’s descent into hell. There Fr. White argues that the Thomistic view is “much more profound and coherent” than Balthasar’s view of the descent (28). The tenth chapter considers Christ’s resurrection from the dead. He follows Joseph Ratzinger’s (Pope Benedict XVI’s) reading of Aquinas in criticizing the views of Bultmann and Rahner on the resurrection. I have already described the goals of the concluding chapter above when discussing the third reason this book will be of interest to analytic theologians. 

I mentioned a word of criticism earlier in this review when I said that sometimes, though it is rare, important terms are used prior to their being explicated. Here is a second criticism. In many places, the argumentation of the book is exemplary. For instance, see the careful arguments concerning the implications of Nestorianism on pages 114-115. Likewise, see the argument on the top of page 225 for the conclusion that humans have the ability to do natural theology, and the argument for a similar conclusion on the top of page 231. The analytic thinker will find nothing lacking in argumentative prowess in these sections. That said, there are some places where a conclusion is drawn, yet I do not see how or why it follows from what is said. See, for instance, the discussion of the compatibility of divine and human freedom on pages 200-201. There the argument goes too quickly, so far as I can see; the compatibility is not shown in the text, though it is claimed to be shown. Again, see the passage where Fr. White claims that God’s being non-physical implies “that [God’s] unique nature is ‘wisdom’ … and God’s wisdom directs the decisions of his will” (292-3). I do not see how this follows, and the surrounding text doesn’t make the inference any clearer. It could be that there are unstated assumptions in play, assumptions that those more familiar with the relevant modern Christologies would immediately know of and employ, by which the argumentation becomes a valid derivation. It would be good for the reader to have those assumptions laid out. Though, to be fair, the book is already quite long, and an author can legitimately ask whether he must add more to a book to make the argumentation explicit to those who are not his intended audience or are not well versed in the discussion. 

In conclusion the book will be quite useful for analytic theologians. First, it does a remarkable job of presenting the views and concepts of different schools, primarily contemporary, continentally inspired theology and perennial, scholastic theology, in multiple terminologies. Second, it is written in a way that leads the reader clearly through many nuanced and careful discussions. Third, the book presents argumentation for the common analytic view that metaphysics is important to the proper understanding of theology, but does so from a non-analytic starting point. I encourage analytic theologians who want to learn more about modern, continentally-inspired Christology or scholastic Christology, or those interested in comparing the relative merits of these approaches, to read this book. They will not be disappointed.2


1 For these senses, see Timothy Pawl, In Defense of Conciliar Christology (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2016), 35-38.

2 I thank Matthews Grant, Faith Glavey Pawl, Michael Rota, and Mark Spencer for helpful comments on previous drafts of this review.

There are currently no refbacks.

The Journal of Analytic Theology is a publication of the Center for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Notre Dame.

ISSN 2330-2380 (online)

* * * * * * * *

* * * * * * * *

by R.E. Slater
November 21, 2020

Please note: I write these notes to myself. They are not intended to be exact transcriptions from the speakers themselves. What I have written are not their words but my own thoughts. - res

Please note: All panelists provided textual statements for comments to attendees. These are not allowed to be publically published as they are intended to form to the moment-in-time not replicable beyond the panel discussions themselves as very specific conversations to one another in the AAR setting

Panelist Bios

Dr Chris Tilling is Graduate Tutor and Senior Lecturer in New Testament Studies at St Mellitus College. Chris co-authored How God Became Jesus (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2014) with Michael Bird (ed.), Craig Evans, Simon Gathercole, and Charles Hill. He is also the editor of Beyond Old and New Perspectives on Paul (Eugene, Or: Cascade, 2014). Chris’s first book, the critically acclaimedPaul’s Divine Christology (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2012), is now republished with multiple endorsements and a new Foreword, by Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2015). He is presently co-editing theT&T Clark Companion to Christology (forthcoming, 2021), and writing the NICNT commentary on the Second Epistle to the Corinthians (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, forthcoming). Chris has published numerous articles on topics relating to the Apostle Paul, Christology, justification, the historical Jesus, Paul S. Fiddes, Karl Barth, the theology of Hans Küng, and more besides. He has appeared as a media figure for Biologos, GCI, Eerdmans, Wipf & Stock, and HTB’s School of Theology and he co-hosts the popular Podcast, OnScript. He has functioned as external reader for various publishing houses, including the Library of New Testament Studies at T&T Clark, IVP, Lexington/Fortress Academic, and Eerdmans, and is on the Advisory Board for the TF Torrance Theological Fellowship. He supervises PhD students via King’s College London, and is an experienced external examiner of PhDs. He has organised public theology lectures as well as theology conferences, and he enjoys playing golf and chess, now working as editor for a couple of chess publishing houses. He is married to Anja and has two children.

Angela Franks, Ph.D., is a theologian, speaker, writer, and mother of six. She serves as Professor of Theology at St. John's Seminary in Boston. Her areas of specialty include the theology of the body, the New Evangelization, the Trinity, Christology, and the thought of John Paul II and Hans Urs von Balthasar. She is currently focused on bringing key ideas in contemporary Continental philosophy into conversation with the Catholic intellectual tradition. An experienced speaker, she has spoken at numerous conferences, including the International Theology of the Body Congress, and on EWTN, FOX News, and many other outlets. She has been published in America Magazine, First Things, Public Discourse, Church Life Journal, Catholic World Report, The Plough, and academic journals, in addition to contributing chapters to edited books. She has written two books on sexual ethics and the history of eugenics.

Dr. Ian A. McFarland returned to Candler in 2019 after four years serving as Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge. Prior to that, he was on the faculty at Candler from 2005–2015, where he was the inaugural holder of the Bishop Mack B. and Rose Stokes Chair of Theology and served as Associate Dean of Faculty and Academic Affairs. McFarland's research has focused on Christology, eschatology, theological anthropology, and the doctrine of creation. His interests also include the use of the Bible in theology, the relationship between theology and science, and the thought of Maximus the Confessor. McFarland is the sole author of six books and has edited or contributed to numerous other books and journals.

Joshua Ralston is Reader in Christian-Muslim Relations at the School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh and director and co-founder of the Christian-Muslim Studies Network funded by the Henry Luce Foundation.  He has  published widely on Reformed Theology, Christian theological engagements with Islam, Arab Christianity, and on political theology.  His monograph, Law and the Rule of God: A Christian Engagement with Shari'a was pubslished by Cambridge University Press (2020)  and he has co-edited two books, Church in an Age of Global Migration: A Moving Body (Palgrave, 2015) and Religious Diversity in Europe: Comparative Political Theology (Ferdinand Schöning, 2020). He is  currently working on a monograph tentatively entitled, Witness and the Word: An Approach to Christian-Muslim Dialogue. Prior to moving to Scotland, he was Assistant Professor of Theology at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. He earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy at Wake Forest University, before going on to study World Christianity at Edinburgh (MTh with distinction), divinity at Candler School of Theology (MDiv), and Christian Theology and Islamic Thought at Emory University.

Author: Father Thomas Joseph White is the Director of the Thomistic Institute at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas (Angelicum) in Rome. He is the author of various books and articles including Wisdom in the Face of Modernity: A Study in Thomistic Natural Theology (2011), The Incarnate Lord, A Thomistic Study in Christology (2015) Exodus (a biblical commentary from Brazos in 2016) and The Light of Christ: An Introduction to Catholicism (2017). He also has a work of systematic theology forthcoming entitled The Trinity: On the Nature and Mystery of the One God. He is co-editor of the journal Nova et Vetera, a Distinguished Scholar of the McDonald Agape Foundation, and a member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Observation by Christ Tilling
see online statement

Observation by 
see online statement

Observation by 
see online statement

Observation by 
see online statement

Response by Father Thomas Joseph White 
see online statement

Christ the Heart of Creation, by Rowan Williams


Christ the Heart of Creation Kindle Edition
by Rowan Williams, September 6, 2018

In this wide-ranging book, Rowan Williams argues that what we say about Jesus Christ is key to understanding what Christian belief says about creator and creation overall. Through detailed discussion of texts from the earliest centuries to the present day, we are shown some of the various and subtle ways in which Christians have discovered in their reflections on Christ the possibility of a deeply affirmative approach to creation, and a set of radical insights in ethics and politics as well.

Throughout his life, Rowan Williams has been deeply influenced by thinkers of the Eastern Christian tradition as well as Catholic and Anglican writers. This book draws on insights from Eastern Christianity, from the Western Middle Ages and from Reformed thinkers, from Calvin to Bonhoeffer – as well as considering theological insights sparked by philosophers like Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein. Christ the Heart of Creation concerns fundamental issues for Christian belief and Williams tackles them head-on: he writes with pellucid clarity and shows his gift for putting across what are inevitably complex ideas to a wide audience.

* * * * * * * *

A Review of Rowan Williams’ Christ the Heart of Creation

By Patrick McGlinchey, PhD Candidate in Systematic Theology at St. Mary’s
April 11, 2019

Christ the Heart of Creation by Rowan Williams (London: Bloomsbury Continuum, 2018) xvi + 304 pp.

What does it mean to be a creature in flesh and time? What does it mean for God in Christ to become a creature? The puzzle at the centre of Christ the Heart of Creation is the relationship between the finite and the infinite. If God is merely a being among others, then the finite and infinite collapse into identity. Yet, if God is purely ‘other’ to creation, how can God become incarnate? For Williams, the enigma is finally elucidated in the non-competitive (hypostatic) union of eternal Logos and human individual in Jesus Christ, in whom the finite entirely and asymmetrically depends on the infinite, while nevertheless retaining its own gifted integrity. The text itself – an expansion of Rowan Williams’s 2016 Hulsean lectures – reaches us after his extended reflections on the analogical nature of Divine communication in his 2013 Gifford lectures (later published as The Edge of Words) which climaxed in an account of the paradoxical revelation of Christ in silence.

At one level, we are given a magisterial (if deliberately abridged) history of the development of the doctrine of Christ replete with a full repertoire of technical distinctions (from tropos and logos to suppositum and aliquid), but at another more revealing level, the whole enterprise is performed with our own finitude and relation to God in mind. An evidential approach to the NT is sidestepped with Kierkegaardian reserve, not discounting the centrality of historicity, but the myth of access to the neutral un-narrated facts of Jesus’s Incarnate life. Likewise, the ‘onto-theological’ temptation of enclosing God within conceptual or essentialist categories is averted by close attention to the analogical fluidity and irony of theological language. As ever, Williams follows Wittgenstein’s maxim that ‘difficulty is a condition of truthfulness’ and Evagrius’s rule that theology is prayer, and prayer theology. Yet the urgency of metaphysical explication is embraced against the linguistic insularity of the Yale School. What emerges is a conciliatory act of remembering the diverse discourses and experiences of the Christian past that communicate the ‘mutual illumination’ of Christ and creation (xiii). The narrative begins in the Middle (Ages) with Aquinas and zig-zags back to NT origins, Conciliar grammars and Byzantine elaborations in part one; and forwards to the loss and (partial) recovery of the Medieval synthesis in Calvin and Bonhoeffer in part two. Along the road irenic affinities multiply between the thinking and imagining of the Catholic, Eastern and Reformed branches of the Church. Indeed, the inseparability of Christ and the Church is focal for Williams’s account, from the Pauline rendition of Christ’s headship to the ‘totus Christus’ of Augustine to the principle of Stellvertetung in Bonhoeffer of acting in place of Christ.

The tantalising conclusion of this act of remembering is a depth recognition, that the tensions between the history of Israel and the Church, the old and new covenants, theological discourse and pagan philosophy, faith and reason are precisely the lineaments of an analogical vision of God in and beyond creation which is at the same time an environment to inhabit, air for the Christian (communion) to breathe. As Williams indicates, this is a (re)turn to the analogia entis of Jesuit theologian Erich Przywara. But with a twist. If the analogy of being between God and creatures was perceived to be the fundamental denkform (thought form) of Catholicism in the early 20th century, and the dialectical denkform of Calvin, Luther, and Barth its antagonist, Williams’s rendition of the analogia entis places the dialectical moment within the analogical interval itself. Thus, the element of negation that underlies the analogy between God and creatures (the maior dissimilitudo of the IV Lateran Council) is interpreted as a principle of dialectic or difference (a reading recently echoed by John Betz), with vital implications for what is remembered and non-identically repeated from the Christian past. In addition to the usual suspects of Maximus the Confessor, Augustine and Aquinas, Williams draws on more dialectical and paradoxical strains of Christian thought and experience conventionally regarded as remote to the analogical mainstream in his distinctive style of ressourcement. Consider for example the retrieval of a Catholic Calvin, a Lutheran Catholic Bonhoeffer and Kierkegaard in the text at hand, or, more tellingly, Williams’s prior engagements with Hegel, the Carmelites or Simone Weil.

A stark question that the corpus of Rowan Williams poses to analogical theologians operating in the wake of Erich Przywara (a recent and important text on Przywara singles out William Desmond, John Milbank, Cyril O’Regan and David Bentley Hart in this regard), is whether the idealising emphasis on iconicity, communion and plenitude neglects the apophatic, dialectical and cruciform dimension of Christian thought and prayer across the Biblical, patristic, medieval, modern and post-modern periods. The future of Christology for Williams must involve the creative encounter with the Christian past, but a past of both crucifixion and resurrection, kenosis and plerosis, seen through the hybrid denkform of dialectical analogy.

* * * * * * * *

Jesus Christ: The Unanswered Questions - Rowan Williams (2019)
Mar 28, 2019

St Paul's Cathedral
Rowan Williams says that how we understand Jesus Christ in central to how we understand everything, and he wrestles with the the defining question of our faith - who Jesus is.  Recorded at St Paul's Cathedral on Wednesday 27 March 2019.

* * * * * * * *

Rowan Williams: Paths to a hopeful future
Feb 24, 2017

Dr Rowan Williams, Chair of Christian Aid and former Archbishop of Canterbury, is interviewed by author Edward Davey for his forthcoming book, A Restored Earth: Ten paths to a hopeful future. Dr Williams reflects on the challenges of poverty, human displacement and climate change - and the disproportionate impact they have on the world's poorest and most marginalised communities - and he outlines his vision for a more sustainable and hopeful future for all of God's creation. Visit Christian Aid's website to find out more about our campaigns and our work around the globehttp://caid.org.uk

* * * * * * * *

Being Disciples with Rowan Williams
Sep 21, 2020

Christ Church Greenwich
Being disciples is at the heart of the Christian journey, our mission and ministry. To be a disciple is to follow the “discipline” or the pattern of the leader’s life. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we attempt to emulate Jesus’ life by what we do and say.

This video is a recording of our Virtual Sunday Forum on discipleship with Archbishop Rowan Williams, one of the world’s greatest theologians and the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury (2002-2012). Born in Swansea, Wales, Archbishop Williams is author of many books and has served as a member of Parliament since 2013.

* * * * * * * *

by R.E. Slater
November 21, 2020

Please note: I write these notes to myself. They are not intended to be exact transcriptions from the speakers themselves. What I have written are not their words but my own thoughts. - res

Please note: All panelists provided textual statements for comments to attendees. These are not allowed to be publically published as they are intended to form to the moment-in-time not replicable beyond the panel discussions themselves as very specific conversations to one another in the AAR setting

Panelist Bios

N.T. Wright: was bishop of Durham 2003-2010; professor in St Andrews 2010-2020; now Senior Research Fellow at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. Recent books include History and Eschatology (the Gifford Lectures) and Broken Signposts, and the little essay God and the Pandemic.

Christopher Beeley: Professor Beeley’s work lies at the intersection of systematic theology, Christian spirituality, and church leadership. An Anglican priest and a founding member of the Episcopal Gathering of Leaders, he has ministered in parishes in Texas, Indiana, Virginia, and Connecticut. Professor Beeley is the author of Gregory of Nazianzus on the Trinity and the Knowledge of God (Oxford, 2008), which received the John Templeton Award for Theological Promise; The Unity of Christ: Continuity and Conflict in Patristic Tradition (Yale, 2012); and Leading God’s People: Wisdom from the Early Church for Today (Eerdmans, 2012), which is used in several denominational training programs. He is the series editor of Christianity in Late Antiquity (California), the official monograph series of the North American Patristics Society, and he recently co-edited The Bible and Early Trinitarian Theology (Catholic University, 2018). Professor Beeley is currently working on a brief systematic spirituality and a study of the legacy of Chalcedonian Christology. He also practices Christian spiritual direction and is a trainee in adult psychoanalysis. Prior to joining the Duke faculty, he taught for sixteen years at Yale Divinity School. He speaks nationally and internationally on Christian theology, spirituality, and church leadership.

Father Thomas Joseph White is the Director of the Thomistic Institute at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas (Angelicum) in Rome. He is the author of various books and articles including Wisdom in the Face of Modernity: A Study in Thomistic Natural Theology (2011), The Incarnate Lord, A Thomistic Study in Christology (2015) Exodus (a biblical commentary from Brazos in 2016) and The Light of Christ: An Introduction to Catholicism (2017). He also has a work of systematic theology forthcoming entitled The Trinity: On the Nature and Mystery of the One God. He is co-editor of the journal Nova et Vetera, a Distinguished Scholar of the McDonald Agape Foundation, and a member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Deborah Casewell is Lecturer in the Philosophy of Religion at Liverpool Hope University. Her work focuses on accounts of the self and self-formation in philosophy, religion and culture, with particular focus on existentialism and phenomenology. 
Prior to taking up a Lectureship at Liverpool Hope, she taught Theology and Philosophy of Religion at King's College, London and the University of Edinburgh. She holds degrees from the University of Edinburgh and the University of Oxford, and has studied at the University of Tübingen, and worked at the Institut Catholique, Paris.

Paul Dafydd Jones is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia. He has published widely in the field of Christian thought, most recently co-editing The Oxford Handbook of Karl Barth (OUP 2019) with Paul Nimmo. He is currently completing the first installment of Patience: A Theological Exploration. Part 1: From Creation to Christ, which will be published by T&T Clark; he is also editing, with Kait Dugan (Princeton Theological Seminary), a volume entitled Karl Barth and Liberation Theology, which will be published by T&T Clark. With Charles Mathewes, he is the co-director of “Religion and its Publics,” a major research initiative at the University of Virginia.

Jeremy Begbie: is Thomas A. Langford Distinguished Professor of Theology at Duke Divinity School. He is also a Senior Member at Wolfson College, Cambridge, and an Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Music at the University of Cambridge. He is Founding Director of Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts and his books include A Peculiar Orthodoxy: Reflections on Theology and the Arts (Baker Academic), Redeeming Transcendence in the Arts: Bearing Witness to the Triune God (Eerdmans), Theology, Music and Time (CUP), Resounding Truth: Christian Wisdom in the World of Music (Baker), and Music, Modernity, and God (OUP). He is a professionally trained musician who has performed extensively as a pianist and conductor.  He tours widely as a speaker, specializing in multimedia performance-lectures.

Observation by N.T. Wright
see online statement

Observation by Christopher Beeley 
see online statement

Observation by Fther Thomas Joseph Wright 
see online statement

Observation by Deborah Casewell
see online statement

Observation by Paul Dafydd Jones
see online statement

Response by Jeremy Begbie for Rowan Williams (absent)
see online statement

* * * * * * * *

Rowan Williams

Jump to navigationJump to search

The Lord Williams of Oystermouth

former archbishop of Canterbury
Rowan Williams -001b.jpg
ChurchChurch of England
Elected2 December 2002
Installed27 February 2003
Term ended31 December 2012 (retired)[1]
PredecessorGeorge Carey
SuccessorJustin Welby
Other postsPrimate of All England
Ordination2 October 1977 (deacon)
2 July 1978 (priest)
by Eric Wall (deacon)
Peter Walker (priest)
Consecration1 May 1992
by Alwyn Rice Jones
Personal details
Birth nameRowan Douglas Williams
Born14 June 1950 (age 70)
  • Aneurin Williams
  • Delphine née Morris
(m. 1981)
OccupationChancellor of University of South Wales
Previous postArchbishop of Wales
Bishop of Monmouth
Alma mater
  • Cultus Dei Sapientia Hominis
  • (The worship of God is the wisdom of man)
SignatureThe Lord Williams of Oystermouth's signature
Coat of armsThe Lord Williams of Oystermouth's coat of arms
Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge
In office
January 2013 – October 2020
Preceded byDuncan Robinson
Succeeded bySir Christopher Greenwood
Member of the House of Lords
(life peer)
In office
January 2013 – 31 August 2020

Rowan Douglas Williams, Baron Williams of OystermouthPCFBAFRSLFLSW (born 14 June 1950) is a Welsh Anglican bishop, theologian and poet. He was the 104th archbishop of Canterbury, a position he held from December 2002 to December 2012.[2][3] Previously the bishop of Monmouth and archbishop of Wales, Williams was the first archbishop of Canterbury in modern times not to be appointed from within the Church of England.

Williams's primacy was marked by speculation that the Anglican Communion (in which the archbishop of Canterbury is the leading figure) was on the verge of fragmentation over disagreements on contemporary issues such as homosexuality and the ordination of women. Williams worked to keep all sides talking to one another.[1] Notable events during his time as Archbishop of Canterbury include the rejection by a majority of dioceses of his proposed Anglican Covenant and, in the final General Synod of his tenure, his unsuccessful attempt to secure a sufficient majority for a measure to allow the appointment of women as bishops in the Church of England.

Having spent much of his earlier career as an academic at the universities of Cambridge and Oxford successively, Williams speaks three languages and reads at least nine.[4] After standing down as archbishop, Williams took up the position of chancellor of the University of South Wales in 2014 and served as master of Magdalene College, Cambridge between 2013 and 2020.[5][6][7] He also delivered the Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh in 2013.

Justin Welby succeeded Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury on 9 November 2012, being enthroned in March 2013. On 26 December 2012, 10 Downing St announced Williams's elevation to the peerage as a life baron,[8] so that he could continue to speak in the Upper House of Parliament. Following the creation of his title on 8 January and its gazetting on 11 January 2013,[9] he was introduced to the temporal benches of the House of Lords as Baron Williams of Oystermouth on 15 January 2013,[10] sitting as a crossbencher. He retired from the House on 31 August 2020[11] and from Magdalene that Michaelmas, returning to Abergavenny, in his former diocese (Monmouthshire).[7]

Early life and ordination[edit]

Williams was born on 14 June 1950 in Swansea, Wales, into a Welsh-speaking family.[12] He was the only child of Aneurin Williams and his wife Nancy Delphine (known as "Del")[13] Williams (née Morris) – Presbyterians who became Anglicans in 1961. He was educated at the state-sector Dynevor School, Swansea, before reading theology at Christ's College, Cambridge, whence he graduated with starred first-class honours. He then went to Wadham College, Oxford, where he studied under A. M. Allchin and graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1975 with a thesis entitled The Theology of Vladimir Nikolaievich Lossky: An Exposition and Critique.[14]

Williams lectured and trained for ordination at the College of the Resurrection in MirfieldWest Yorkshire, for two years (1975–1977). In 1977, he returned to Cambridge to teach theology as a tutor (as well as chaplain and Director of Studies) at Westcott House; he was made a deacon in the chapel by Eric WallBishop of Huntingdon, at Michaelmas (2 October).[15] While there, he was ordained a priest the Petertide following (2 July 1978), by Peter WalkerBishop of Ely, at Ely Cathedral.[16]


Early academic career and pastoral ministry[edit]

Williams did not have a formal curacy until 1980, when he served at St George's, Chesterton, until 1983, after having been appointed a university lecturer in divinity at Cambridge. In 1984 he became dean and chaplain of Clare College and, in 1986 at the age of 36, he was appointed to the Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity at Oxford, a position which brought with it appointment to a residentiary canonry of Christ Church Cathedral. In 1989 he received the degree of Doctor of Divinity (DD) and, in 1990, was elected a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA).[17]

Episcopal ministry[edit]

On 5 December 1991, Williams was elected Bishop of Monmouth in the Church in Wales: he was consecrated a bishop on 1 May 1992 at St Asaph Cathedral and enthroned at Newport Cathedral on 14 May. He continued to serve as Bishop of Monmouth after he was elected to also be the archbishop of Wales in December 1999, in which capacity he was enthroned again at Newport Cathedral on 26 February 2000.[18]

In 2002, he was announced as the successor to George Carey as Archbishop of Canterbury — the senior bishop in the Church of England. The archbishop of Canterbury in England acts as a focus of unity recognised as primus inter pares ("first among equals") but does not exercise authority in Anglican provinces outside the Church of England. As a bishop of the disestablished Church in Wales, Williams was the first archbishop of Canterbury since the English Reformation to be appointed to this office from outside the Church of England. His election by the Chapter of Canterbury Cathedral was confirmed by nine bishops in the customary ceremony in London on 2 December 2002, when he officially became Archbishop of Canterbury.[19] He was enthroned at Canterbury Cathedral on 27 February 2003 as the 104th archbishop of Canterbury.

Williams visiting the National Assembly for Wales, March 2012

The translation of Williams to Canterbury was widely canvassed. As a bishop he had demonstrated a wide range of interests in social and political matters and was widely regarded, by academics and others, as a figure who could make Christianity credible to the intelligent unbeliever. As a patron of Affirming Catholicism, his appointment was a considerable departure from that of his predecessor and his views, such as those expressed in a widely published lecture on homosexuality were seized on by a number of evangelical and conservative Anglicans.[citation needed] The debate had begun to divide the Anglican Communion, however, and Williams, in his new role as its leader was to have an important role.

As Archbishop of Canterbury, Williams acted ex officio as visitor of King's College London, the University of Kent and Keble College, Oxford, governor of Charterhouse School,[20] and, since 2005, as (inaugural) chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University. In addition to these ex officio roles, Cambridge University awarded him an honorary doctorate in divinity in 2006;[21] in April 2007, Trinity College and Wycliffe College, both associated with the University of Toronto, awarded him a joint Doctor of Divinity degree during his first visit to Canada since being enthroned and he also received honorary degrees and fellowships from various universities including KentOxford, and Roehampton.[22]

Williams speaks or reads eleven languages: English, Welsh, Spanish, French, German, RussianBiblical HebrewSyriacLatin, and both Ancient (koine) and Modern Greek.[23][24] He learnt Russian in order to be able to read the works of Dostoyevsky in the original.[25] He has since described his spoken German as a "disaster area" and said that he is "a very clumsy reader and writer of Russian".[26]

Williams is also a poet and translator of poetry. His collection The Poems of Rowan Williams, published by Perpetua Press, was longlisted for the Wales Book of the Year award in 2004. Beside his own poems, which have a strong spiritual and landscape flavour, the collection contains several fluent translations from Welsh poets. He was criticised in the press for allegedly supporting a "pagan organisation", the Welsh Gorsedd of Bards, which promotes Welsh language and literature and uses druidic ceremonial but is actually not religious in nature.[27] His wife, Jane Williams, is a writer and lecturer in theology. They married on 4 July 1981[28] and have two children who were also state educated.[29]

In 2005, Prince Charles married Camilla Parker Bowles, a divorcee, in a civil ceremony. Afterwards, Williams, gave the couple a formal service of blessing.[30] In fact, the arrangements for the wedding and service were strongly supported[31] by the Archbishop "consistent with the Church of England guidelines concerning remarriage"[32] The "strongly-worded"[33] act of penitence by the couple, a confessional prayer written by Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury to King Henry VIII.[34] was interpreted as a confession by the bride and groom of past sins, albeit without specific reference[33] and going "some way towards acknowledging concerns" over their past misdemeanours.[34]

Williams officiated at the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton on 29 April 2011.[35]

On 16 November 2011, Williams attended a special service at Westminster Abbey celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible in the presence of Queen ElizabethPrince Philip and Prince Charles, Patron of the King James Bible Trust.[36][37]

To mark the ending of his tenure as Archbishop of Canterbury, Williams presented a BBC television documentary about Canterbury Cathedral, in which he reflected upon his time in office. Entitled Goodbye to Canterbury, the programme was screened on 1 January 2013.[38]

2010 General Synod address[edit]

On 9 February 2010, in an address to the General Synod of the Church of England, Williams warned that damaging infighting over the ordination of women as bishops and gay priests could lead to a permanent split in the Anglican Communion. He stressed that he did not "want nor relish" the prospect of division and called on the Church of England and Anglicans worldwide to step back from a "betrayal" of God's mission and to put the work of Christ before schism. But he conceded that, unless Anglicans could find a way to live with their differences over women as bishops and homosexual ordination, the church would change shape and become a multi-tier communion of different levels – a schism in all but name.[39]

Williams also said that "it may be that the covenant creates a situation in which there are different levels of relationship between those claiming the name of Anglican. I don’t at all want or relish this, but suspect that, without a major change of heart all round, it may be an unavoidable aspect of limiting the damage we are already doing to ourselves." In such a structure, some churches would be given full membership of the Anglican Communion, while others had a lower-level form of membership, with no more than observer status on some issues. Williams also used his keynote address to issue a profound apology for the way that he had spoken about "exemplary and sacrificial" gay Anglican priests in the past. "There are ways of speaking about the question that seem to ignore these human realities or to undervalue them," he said. "I have been criticised for doing just this, and I am profoundly sorry for the carelessness that could give such an impression."[39]

Current academic career[edit]

On 17 January 2013, Williams was admitted as the 35th Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge and served until September 2020.[40][7] He was also made an honorary Professor of Contemporary Christian Thought by the University of Cambridge in 2017.[41][42] On 18 June 2013, the University of South Wales announced his appointment as its new chancellor, the ceremonial head of the university.[43]

In 2015, it was reported that Williams had written a play called Shakeshafte, about a meeting between William Shakespeare and Edmund Campion, a Jesuit priest and martyr. Williams suspects that Shakespeare was Catholic, though not a regular churchgoer.[44] The play took to the stage in July 2016, and was received favourably.[45]


Williams is patron of the Canterbury Open Centre run by Catching Lives, a local charity supporting the destitute.[46] He has also been patron of the Peace Mala Youth Project For World Peace since 2002, one of his last engagements as Archbishop of Wales being to lead the charity's launch ceremony.[47] In addition, he is president of WaveLength Charity, a UK-wide organisation which gives TVs and radios to isolated and vulnerable people; every archbishop of Canterbury since the charity's inception in 1939 has actively participated in this role.

Williams is also patron of the T. S. Eliot Society[48] and delivered the annual T. S. Eliot Lecture in November 2013.

Williams was also patron of the Birmingham-based charity The Feast,[49] from 2010 until his retirement as Archbishop of Canterbury.

Williams has been a patron of The Cogwheel Trust,[50] a local Cambridgeshire charity providing affordable counselling, since 2015 and is active in his support.

Canterbury in December 2012. On 1 May 2013 he became chair of the board of trustees of Christian Aid.[51]

Together with Grey Ruthven, 2nd Earl of Gowrie, and Sir Daniel Day-Lewis, Williams is a patron of the Wilfred Owen Association, formed in 1989 to commemorate the life and work of the renowned World War I poet Wilfred Owen.[52]

He is Visitor of the Holywell Community, Abergavenny.


Williams, a scholar of the Church Fathers and a historian of Christian spirituality, wrote in 1983 that orthodoxy should be seen "as a tool rather than an end in itself..." It is not something which stands still. Thus "old styles come under increasing strain, new speech needs to be generated".[53] He sees orthodoxy as a number of "dialogues": a constant dialogue with Christ, crucified and risen; but also that of the community of faith with the world – "a risky enterprise", as he writes. "We ought to be puzzled", he says, "when the world is not challenged by the gospel." It may mean that Christians have not understood the kinds of bondage to which the gospel is addressed.[54] He has also written that "orthodoxy is inseparable from sacramental practice... The eucharist is the paradigm of that dialogue which is 'orthodoxy'".[55] This stance may help to explain both his social radicalism and his view of the importance of the Church, and thus of the holding together of the Anglican communion over matters such as homosexuality: his belief in the idea of the Church is profound.

John Shelby Spong once accused Williams of being a "neo-medievalist", preaching orthodoxy to the people in the pew but knowing in private that it is not true.[56] In an interview with the magazine Third Way, Williams responded:

I am genuinely a lot more conservative than he would like me to be. Take the Resurrection. I think he has said that of course I know what all the reputable scholars think on the subject and therefore when I talk about the risen body I must mean something other than the empty tomb. But I don't. I don't know how to persuade him, but I really don't.[57]

Although generally considered an Anglo-Catholic, Williams has broad sympathies. One of his first publications, in the largely evangelical Grove Books series, has the title Eucharistic Sacrifice: The Roots of a Metaphor.[58]

Moral theology[edit]

Williams's contributions to Anglican views of homosexuality were perceived as quite liberal before he became the archbishop of Canterbury. These views are evident in a paper written by Williams called "The Body's Grace",[59] which he originally delivered as the 10th Michael Harding Memorial Address in 1989 to the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, and which is now part of a series of essays collected in the book Theology and Sexuality (ed. Eugene Rogers, Blackwells 2002). At the Lambeth Conference in July 1998, then Bishop Rowan Williams of Monmouth abstained and did not vote in favour of the conservative resolution on human sexuality.[60] These actions, combined with his initial support for openly gay Canon Jeffrey John, gained him support among liberals and caused frustration for conservatives.

Social views[edit]

Williams speaking at the 2010 World Economic Forum in Davos

His interest in and involvement with social issues is longstanding. While chaplain of Clare College, Cambridge, Williams took part in anti-nuclear demonstrations at United States bases. In 1985, he was arrested for singing psalms as part of a protest organised by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament at Lakenheath, an American air base in Suffolk; his fine was paid by his college. At this time he was a member of the left-wing Anglo-Catholic Jubilee Group headed by Kenneth Leech and he collaborated with Leech in a number of publications including the anthology of essays to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Oxford Movement entitled Essays Catholic and Radical in 1983.

He was in New York at the time of September 2001 attacks, only yards from Ground Zero delivering a lecture; he subsequently wrote a short book, Writing in the Dust, offering reflections on the event. In reference to Al Qaeda, he said that terrorists "can have serious moral goals"[61] and that "Bombast about evil individuals doesn't help in understanding anything."[62] He subsequently worked with Muslim leaders in England and on the third anniversary of 9/11 spoke, by invitation, at the Al-Azhar University Institute in Cairo on the subject of the Trinity. He stated that the followers of the will of God should not be led into ways of violence. He contributed to the debate prior to the 2005 general election criticising assertions that immigration was a cause of crime. Williams has argued that the partial adoption of Islamic sharia law in the United Kingdom is "unavoidable" as a method of arbitration in such affairs as marriage, and should not be resisted.[63][64][65]

Williams in conversation with Burhanuddin, an Indian Islamic leader, in London (2010).

On 15 November 2008 Williams visited the Balaji Temple in Tividale, West Midlands, on a goodwill mission to represent the friendship between Christianity and Hinduism.[66] On 6 May 2010 Williams met Indian Islamic leader, Mohammed Burhanuddin, at Huseini Mosque in Northolt, London, to discuss the need for interfaith co-operation; and planted a "tree of faith" in the mosque's grounds to signify the many commonalities between the two religions.[67]

Sharia law[edit]

Williams was the subject of a media and press furore in February 2008 following a lecture he gave to the Temple Foundation at the Royal Courts of Justice[68] on the subject of "Islam and English Law". He raised the question of conflicting loyalties which communities might have, cultural, religious and civic. He also argued that theology has a place in debates about the very nature of law "however hard our culture may try to keep it out" and noted that there is, in a "dominant human rights philosophy", a reluctance to acknowledge the liberty of conscientious objection. He spoke of "supplementary jurisdictions" to that of the civil law.[69] Noting the anxieties which the word sharia provoked in the West, he drew attention to the fact that there was a debate within Islam between what he called "primitivists" for whom, for instance, apostasy should still be punishable and those Muslims who argued that sharia was a developing system of Islamic jurisprudence and that such a view was no longer acceptable. He made comparisons with Orthodox Jewish practice (beth din) and with the recognition of the exercise of conscience of Christians.[68]

Williams's words were critically interpreted as proposing a parallel jurisdiction to the civil law for Muslims (Sharia) and were the subject of demands from elements of the press and media for his resignation.[70] He also attracted criticism from elements of the Anglican Communion.[71]

In response, Williams stated in a BBC interview that "certain provision[s] of sharia are already recognised in our society and under our law; ... we already have in this country a number of situations in which the internal law of religious communities is recognised by the law of the land as justified conscientious objections in certain circumstances in providing certain kinds of social relations" and that "we have Orthodox Jewish courts operating in this country legally and in a regulated way because there are modes of dispute resolution and customary provisions which apply there in the light of Talmud."[72] Williams also denied accusations of proposing a parallel Islamic legal system within Britain.[71] Williams also said of sharia: "In some of the ways it has been codified and practised across the world, it has been appalling and applied to women in places like Saudi Arabia, it is grim."[73]

Williams's position received more support from the legal community, following a speech given on 4 July 2008 by Nicholas PhillipsLord Chief Justice of England and Wales. He supported the idea that sharia could be reasonably employed as a basis for "mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution". He went further to defend the position Williams had taken earlier in the year, explaining that "It was not very radical to advocate embracing sharia law in the context of family disputes, for example, and our system already goes a long way towards accommodating the archbishop's suggestion."; and that "It is possible in this country for those who are entering into a contractual agreement to agree that the agreement shall be governed by a law other than English law."[74] However, some concerns have been raised over the question of how far "embracing" sharia law would be compliant with the UK's obligation under human rights law.[75]

In March 2014, the Law Society of England and Wales issued instructions on how to draft sharia-compliant wills for the network of sharia courts which has grown up in Islamic communities to deal with disputes between Muslim families, and so Williams's idea of sharia in the UK was, for a time, seen to bear fruit.[76] The instructions were withdrawn in November 2014.


In 2002, Williams delivered the Richard Dimbleby lecture and chose to talk about the problematic nature of the nation-state but also of its successors. He cited the "market state" as offering an inadequate vision of the way a state should operate, partly because it was liable to short-term and narrowed concerns (thus rendering it incapable of dealing with, for instance, issues relating to the degradation of the natural environment) and partly because a public arena which had become value-free was liable to disappear amidst the multitude of competing private interests. (He noted the same moral vacuum in British society after this visit to China in 2006.) He is not uncritical of communitarianism, but his reservations about consumerism have been a constant theme. These views have often been expressed in quite strong terms; for example, he once commented that "Every transaction in the developed economies of the West can be interpreted as an act of aggression against the economic losers in the worldwide game."[77]

Williams has supported the Robin Hood tax campaign since March 2010, re-affirming his support in a November 2011 article he published in the Financial Times.[78][79][80] He is also a vocal opponent of tax avoidance and a proponent of corporate social responsibility, arguing that "economic growth and prosperity are about serving the human good, not about serving private ends".[81]


The response of Williams to a controversy about the teaching of creationism in privately sponsored academies was that it should not be taught in schools as an alternative to evolution.[82] When asked if he was comfortable with the teaching of creationism, he said "I think creationism is, in a sense, a kind of category mistake, as if the Bible were a theory like other theories" and "My worry is creationism can end up reducing the doctrine of creation rather than enhancing it."[83]

Williams has maintained traditional support amongst Anglicans and their leaders for the teaching of evolution as fully compatible with Christianity. This support has dated at least back to Frederick Temple's tenure as Archbishop of Canterbury.[84]

Iraq War and possible attack on Syria or Iran[edit]

Williams was to repeat his opposition to American action in October 2002 when he signed a petition against the Iraq War as being against United Nations (UN) ethics and Christian teaching, and "lowering the threshold of war unacceptably". Again on 30 June 2004, together with the archbishop of YorkDavid Hope, and on behalf of all 114 Church of England bishops, he wrote to Tony Blair expressing deep concern about UK government policy and criticising the coalition troops' conduct in Iraq. The letter cited the abuse of Iraqi detainees, which was described as having been "deeply damaging" – and stated that the government's apparent double standards "diminish the credibility of western governments".[85][86] In December 2006 he expressed doubts in an interview on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 about whether he had done enough to oppose the war.[87]

On 5 October 2007, Williams visited Iraqi refugees in Syria. In a BBC interview after his trip he described advocates of a United States attack on Syria or Iran as "criminal, ignorant and potentially murderous".[88] He said, "When people talk about further destabilization of the region and you read some American political advisers speaking of action against Syria and Iran, I can only say that I regard that as criminal, ignorant and potentially murderous folly."[89] A few days earlier, the former US ambassador to the UN John R. Bolton had called for bombing of Iran at a fringe meeting of the Conservative Party conference.[90] In Williams's Humanitas Programme lecture at the University of Oxford in January 2014, he "characterized the impulse to intervene as a need to be seen to do something rather than nothing" and advocated for "a religiously motivated nonviolence which refuses to idolise human intervention in all circumstances."[91]

Opinion about hijab and terrorism[edit]

Williams objected to a proposed French law banning the wearing of the hijab, a traditional Islamic headscarf for women, in French schools. He said that the hijab and any other religious symbols should not be outlawed.[92]

Williams also spoke up against the scapegoating of Muslims in the aftermath of the 7 July 2005 London bombings on underground trains and a bus, which killed 52 and wounded about 700. The initial blame was placed on Al-Qaeda, but Muslims at large were targeted for reprisals: four mosques in England were assaulted and Muslims were verbally insulted in streets and their cars and houses were vandalised. Williams strongly condemned the terrorist attacks and stated that they could not be justified. However, he added that "any person can commit a crime in the name of religion and it is not particularly Islam to be blamed. Some persons committed deeds in the name of Islam but the deeds contradict Islamic belief and philosophy completely."[93]

Interview with Emel magazine[edit]

In November 2007, Williams gave an interview for Emel magazine, a British Muslim magazine.[65] Williams condemned the United States and certain Christian groups for their role in the Middle East, while his criticism of some trends within Islam went largely unreported. As reported by The Times, he was greatly critical of the United States, the Iraq War, and Christian Zionists, yet made "only mild criticisms of the Islamic world".[94] He claimed "the United States wields its power in a way that is worse than Britain during its imperial heyday". He compared Muslims in Britain to the Good Samaritans, praised Muslim salat ritual of five prayers a day, but said in Muslim nations, the "present political solutions aren't always very impressive".

Position on Freemasonry[edit]

In a leaked private letter, Williams said that he "had real misgivings about the compatibility of Masonry and Christian profession" and that while he was Bishop of Monmouth he had prevented the appointment of Freemasons to senior positions within his diocese. The leaking of this letter in 2003 caused a controversy, which he sought to defuse by apologising for the distress caused and stating that he did not question "the good faith and generosity of individual Freemasons", not least as his father had been a Freemason. However, he also reiterated his concern about Christian ministers adopting "a private system of profession and initiation, involving the taking of oaths of loyalty."[95]

Unity of the Anglican Communion[edit]

Williams visiting Pakistan in 2005

Williams became Archbishop of Canterbury at a particularly difficult time in the relations of the churches of the Anglican Communion. His predecessor, George Carey, had sought to keep the peace between the theologically conservative primates of the communion such as Peter Akinola of Nigeria and Drexel Gomez of the West Indies and liberals such as Frank Griswold, the then primate of the US Episcopal Church.

In 2003, in an attempt to encourage dialogue, Williams appointed Robin EamesArchbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, as chairman of the Lambeth Commission on Communion, to examine the challenges to the unity of the Anglican Communion, stemming from the consecration of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire, and the blessing of same-sex unions in the Diocese of New Westminster. (Robinson was in a same-sex relationship.) The Windsor Report, as it was called, was published in October 2004. It recommended solidifying the connection between the churches of the communion by having each church ratify an "Anglican Covenant" that would commit them to consulting the wider communion when making major decisions. It also urged those who had contributed to disunity to express their regret.

In November 2005, following a meeting of Anglicans of the "global south" in Cairo at which Williams had addressed them in conciliatory terms, 12 primates who had been present sent him a letter sharply criticising his leadership which said that "We are troubled by your reluctance to use your moral authority to challenge the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada."[96] The letter acknowledged his eloquence but strongly criticised his reluctance to take sides in the communion's theological crisis and urged him to make explicit threats to those more liberal churches. Questions were later asked about the authority and provenance of the letter as two additional signatories' names had been added although they had left the meeting before it was produced. Subsequently, the Church of Nigeria appointed an American cleric to deal with relations between the United States and Nigerian churches outside the normal channels. Williams expressed his reservations about this to the General Synod of the Church of England.

Williams later established a working party to examine what a "covenant" between the provinces of the Anglican Communion would mean in line with the Windsor Report.

Climate and ecological crisis[edit]

In October 2018, he signed the call to action supporting Extinction Rebellion.[97]

Comments on the British government[edit]

On 8 June 2011, Williams said that the British government was committing Britain to "radical, long-term policies for which no-one voted". Writing in the New Statesman magazine, Williams raised concerns about the coalition's health, education and welfare reforms. He said there was "indignation" due to a lack of "proper public argument". He also said that the "Big Society" idea was viewed with "widespread suspicion", noting also that "we are still waiting for a full and robust account of what the Left would do differently and what a Left-inspired version of localism would look like". The article also said there was concern that the government would abandon its responsibility for tackling child poverty, illiteracy and poor access to the best schools. He also expressed concern about the "quiet resurgence of the seductive language of 'deserving' and 'undeserving' poor" and the steady pressure to increase "what look like punitive responses to alleged abuses of the system".[98] In response, David Cameron said that he "profoundly disagreed" with Williams's claim that the government was forcing through "radical policies for which no one voted". Cameron said that the government was acting in a "good and moral" fashion and defended the "Big Society" and the coalition's deficit reduction, welfare and education plans. "I am absolutely convinced that our policies are about actually giving people a greater responsibility and greater chances in their life, and I will defend those very vigorously", he said. "By all means let us have a robust debate but I can tell you, it will always be a two-sided debate."[99]

On 26 November 2013, at Clare College, Cambridge, Williams gave the annual T. S. Eliot Lecture, with the title Eliot's Christian Society and the Current Political Crisis. In this, he recalled the poet's assertion that a competent agnostic would make a better prime minister than an incompetent Christian. "I don't know what he would make of our present prime minister", he said. "I have a suspicion that he might have approved of him. I don't find that a very comfortable thought." [100]

Comments on antisemitism[edit]

In August 2017, Williams condemned antisemitism and backed a petition to remove the works of David Irving and other Holocaust denial books from the University of Manchester.[101] In a letter to the university, Williams said "At a time when there is, nationally and internationally, a measurable rise in the expression of extremist views I believe this question needs urgent attention."[102]


Williams and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II at the Armenian Genocide monument in Yerevan for a torch lighting ceremony for the genocide victims in Darfur. The two men are standing on purple cloth.

Williams did his doctoral work on the mid-20th-century Russian Orthodox theologian Vladimir Lossky.[14] He is currently patron of the Fellowship of Saint Alban and Saint Sergius, an ecumenical forum for Orthodox and Western (primarily Anglican) Christians. He has expressed his continuing sympathies with Orthodoxy in lectures and writings since that time.

Williams has written on the Spanish Catholic mystic Teresa of Ávila. On the death of Pope John Paul II, he accepted an invitation to attend his funeral, the first archbishop of Canterbury to attend a funeral of a Pope since the break under King Henry VIII. He also attended the inauguration of Pope Benedict XVI. During the Pope's state visit to the United Kingdom in September 2010, the two led a service together at Westminster Abbey.[103]

Williams said in April 2010 that the child sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church in Ireland had been a "colossal trauma" for Ireland in particular. His remarks were condemned by the second most senior Catholic bishop in Ireland, the archbishop of DublinDiarmuid Martin, who said that "Those working for renewal in the Catholic Church in Ireland did not need this comment on this Easter weekend and do not deserve it."[104]

Honours and awards[edit]


Coat of arms of Rowan Williams hide
Coat of Arms of Archbishop Rowan Williams.svg
Williams's family arms as archbishop.
Per Pale Gules and Azure a Chevron Ermine between three Lions Passant Guardant armed within Roundels Or all counterchanged
Cultus Dei Sapientia Hominis
(Latin: "The worship of God is the wisdom of man")
Other elements
The exterior heraldic ornaments pertaining to a Church of England archbishop.


  • The Theology of Vladimir Nikolaievich Lossky: An Exposition and Critique (1975 DPhil thesis)
  • The Wound of Knowledge (Darton, Longman and Todd, 1979)
  • Resurrection: Interpreting the Easter Gospel (Darton, Longman and Todd, 1982)
  • Eucharistic Sacrifice: The Roots of a Metaphor (Grove Books, 1982)
  • Essays Catholic and Radical ed. with K. Leech (Bowerdean, 1983)
  • The Truce of God (London: Fount, 1983)
  • Peacemaking Theology (1984)
  • Open to Judgement: Sermons and Addresses (1984)
  • Politics and Theological Identity (with David Nicholls) (Jubilee, 1984)
  • Faith in the University (1989)
  • Christianity and the Ideal of Detachment (1989)
  • Teresa of Avila (1991) ISBN 0-225-66579-4
  • Open to Judgement: Sermons and Addresses (Darton, Longman and Todd, 1994)
  • After Silent Centuries (1994)
  • "A Ray of Darkness" (1995)
  • On Christian Theology (2000)
  • Christ on Trial (2000) ISBN 0-00-710791-9
  • Arius: Heresy and Tradition (2nd ed., SCM Press, 2001) ISBN 0-334-02850-7
  • The Poems of Rowan Williams (2002)
  • Writing in the Dust: Reflections on 11 September and Its Aftermath (Hodder and Stoughton, 2002)
  • Ponder These Things: Praying With Icons of the Virgin (Canterbury Press, 2002)
  • Faith and Experience in Early Monasticism (2002)
  • Silence and Honey Cakes: The Wisdom of the Desert (2003) ISBN 0-7459-5170-8
  • Lost Icons: Essays on Cultural Bereavement (T & T Clark, 2003)
  • The Dwelling of the Light—Praying with Icons of Christ (Canterbury Press, 2003 )
  • Darkness Yielding, co-authored with Jim Cotter, Martyn Percy, Sylvia Sands and W. H. Vanstone (2004) ISBN 1-870652-36-3
  • Anglican Identities (2004) ISBN 1-56101-254-8
  • Why Study the Past? The Quest for the Historical Church (Eerdmans, 2005 )
  • Grace and Necessity: Reflections on Art and Love (2005)
  • Tokens of Trust. An introduction to Christian belief. (Canterbury Press, 2007 )
  • Wrestling with Angels: Conversations in Modern Theology, ed. Mike Higton (SCM Press, 2007) ISBN 0-334-04095-7
  • Where God Happens: Discovering Christ in One Another (New Seeds, 2007)
  • Dostoevsky: Language, Faith and Fiction (Baylor University Press, 2008); ISBN 1-84706-425-6
  • Choose Life (Bloomsbury, 2009)
  • Faith in the Public Square (Bloomsbury, 2012)
  • The Lion's World - A Journey into the Heart of Narnia (SPCK, 2012); ISBN 978-0281068951
  • Meeting God in Mark (SPCK, 2014), reprinted as Meeting God in Mark: Reflections for the Season of Lent (Westminster John Knox Press, 2015) ISBN 978-0664260521
  • Being Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer (Eerdmans, 2014) ISBN 978-0802871978
  • The Edge of Words (Bloomsbury, 2014)
  • Meeting God in Paul (SPCK, 2015) ISBN 978-0281073382
  • On Augustine (Bloomsbury, 2016)
  • Being Disciples: Essentials of the Christian life (SPCK, 2016)
  • God With Us: The meaning of the cross and resurrection - then and now (SPCK, 2017)
  • Holy Living: The Christian Tradition for Today (Bloomsbury, 2017)
  • Christ the Heart of Creation (Bloomsbury, 2018)
  • Being Human: Bodies, Minds, Persons (SPCK, 2018)
  • Luminaries: Twenty Lives that Illuminate the Christian Way (SPCK, 2019)
  • The Way of St Benedict (Bloomsbury, 2020)

Forewords and afterwords[edit]


  1. Jump up to:a b "Profile: Dr Rowan Williams"News.bbc.co.uk. 8 February 2008. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams to stand down"BBC News. 16 March 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  3. ^ "Archbishop of Canterbury: Vote to confirm Justin Welby". 10 January 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  4. ^ See Profile of Master Archived 27 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine at Magdalene College, CambridgeBBC Russian.com interview with Williams: ``Я читаю на девяти или десяти языках, но говорю только на трех.`` ("I read nine or ten languages, but speak only three.")
  5. ^ "Archbishop of Canterbury to be Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge"Archbishopofcanterbury.org. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  6. ^ "University merger 11 April 2013"Southwalesargus.co.uk. 21 March 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
  7. Jump up to:a b c "Farewell Rowan and Jane Williams"Magdalene College. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  8. ^ "Peerage for the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury - GOV.UK"Number10.gov.uk. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  9. Jump up to:a b "No. 60389"The London Gazette. 11 January 2013. p. 477.
  10. ^ "Introduction: Lord Williams of Oystermouth"Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). UK: House of Lords. 15 January 2013. col. 585. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  11. ^ "Lord Williams of Oystermouth"UK Parliament. Retrieved 1 September2020.
  12. ^ "About Rowan Williams". Archbishop of Canterbury. Archived from the original on 6 January 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  13. ^ "A student's brush with Orthodoxy"Churchtimes.co.uk. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  14. Jump up to:a b Williams, Rowan Douglas (1975). The Theology of Vladimir Nikolaievich Lossky: An Exposition and Critique (PDF) (DPhil thesis). Oxford: University of Oxford. OCLC 863503770. Retrieved 13 February2018.
  15. ^ "Ordinations"Church Times (#5981). 30 September 1977. p. 5. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 26 June 2018 – via UK Press Online archives.
  16. ^ "Petertide ordinations"Church Times (#6021). 7 July 1978. p. 4. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 26 June 2018 – via UK Press Online archives.
  17. ^ "British Academy website"Britac.ac.uk. Archived from the original on 4 April 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  18. ^ "About Rowan Williams"Archbishopofcanterbury.org. Archived from the original on 4 July 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  19. ^ "Archbishop Rowan Williams confirmed in office as Archbishop of Canterbury"Archbishopofcanterbury.org. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  20. ^ . 26 September 2011 https://web.archive.org/web/20110926032411/http://www.charterhouse.org.uk/charterhouseintroduction. Archived from the original on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2017. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  21. ^ "About Oxford, Annual Review"Webcache.googleusercontent.com. Archived from the original on 2 May 2001. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
  22. ^ [1][dead link]
  23. ^ "The Religion Report: 5 March 2003 – Homosexuality and the churches, pt. 2"Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the originalon 11 February 2009. Retrieved 28 December 2008.
  24. ^ "Archbishop's New Statesman magazine interview". The Archbishop of Canterbury. Archived from the original on 5 December 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
  25. ^ Асланян, Анна (12 November 2008). Между алгеброй и гармониейCulture (in Russian). Bush House, London: BBCRussian.com. Retrieved 16 November 2008... он [Роуэн Уильямс] овладел русским специально для того, чтобы изучать Достоевского в оригинале.
  26. ^ "Interview: Rowan Williams"Tcs.cam.ac.uk. 22 January 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  27. ^ "Archbishop becomes druid"BBC News. 5 August 2002. Retrieved 28 December 2008.
  28. ^ Goddard, Andrew (2013). Rowan Williams: His Legacy. Oxford: Lion Books. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-7459-5602-2.
  29. ^ "Who's Who". 7 May 2010. Archived from the original on 7 May 2010. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  30. ^ "Divorce and the church: how Charles married Camill"The Times. 28 November 2017.[permanent dead link]
  31. ^ Left, Sarah (10 February 2005). "Charles and Camilla to Marry"The Guardian. London. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  32. ^ Williams, Rowan (10 February 2005). "Statement of support". Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  33. Jump up to:a b "Charles and Camilla to confess past sins"Fox News. 9 April 2005. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  34. Jump up to:a b Brown, Jonathan (7 April 2005). "Charles and Camilla to repent their sins". Independent.
  35. ^ "The Archbishop of Canterbury on the Royal Wedding"Rowanwilliams.archbishopofcanterbury.org. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  36. ^ "King James Bible: Queen marks 400th anniversary"BBC News. 16 November 2011. Retrieved 25 December 2011.
  37. ^ "Archbishop Hails King James Bible". EXPRESS UK News. 16 November 2011. Retrieved 25 December 2011.
  38. ^ "BBC Two: Goodbye to Canterbury". BBC. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  39. Jump up to:a b Gledhill, Ruth (10 February 2010). "Splitting the Anglican church may heal division, says Archbishop of Canterbury"The Australian and The Times. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
  40. ^ "Admission of Lord Williams of Oystermouth as Master of Magdalene College - Magdalene College Cambridge"Magdalenecambridge.com. Archived from the original on 24 December 2017. Retrieved 23 December2017.
  41. ^ "Dr Rowan Williams"Magdalene College. Archived from the originalon 29 December 2018. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  42. ^ "HONORARY PROFESSORS"Cambridge University Reporter. cxlvii (Special No 4). 23 December 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  43. ^ "Rowan Williams becomes new Chancellor of the University of South Wales, University of South Wales"Southwales.ac.uk. Archived from the original on 30 June 2013.
  44. ^ Turner, Robin (8 January 2015). "Ex-Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams turns playwright after writing play about Shakespeare"Western Mail. Wales Online. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  45. ^ Prior, Neil (27 July 2016). "Ex-archbishop's Shakespeare play hits the Swansea stage"BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  46. ^ "About Us". Catching Lives. Retrieved 2 September 2010.
  47. ^ [2]
  48. ^ "T S Eliot Society » of the United Kingdom"Eliotsociety.org.uk. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  49. ^ "Home"Thefeast.org.uk. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  50. ^ "The Cogwheel Trust"Cogwheel Trust. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  51. ^ "Our people, partners and sponsors - Christian Aid"Christianaid.org.uk. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  52. ^ "The Wilfred Owen Association"Wilfred Owen. Archived from the original on 22 January 2018. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  53. ^ Essays Catholic and Radical (Bowerdean 1983)
  54. ^ Politics and Theological Identity (Jubilee 1984)
  55. ^ Essays Catholic and Radical, (Ibid.)
  56. ^ Anthony, Andrew (10 February 2008). "Profile: Rowan Williams"The Guardian. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  57. ^ Williams, Rowan (2000). "Grace under Pressure?"Third Way. Vol. 23 no. 1. Interviewed by Holt, Douglas. London. pp. 18–19. ISSN 0309-3492. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  58. ^ "The Roots of a Metaphor" (PDF)People.bu.edu. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  59. ^ "The Body's Grace"Igreens.org.uk. Archived from the original on 12 February 2009. Retrieved 28 December 2008.
  60. ^ Bates, Stephen (2005). A Church At War: Anglicans And Homosexuality. London: Hodder & Stoughton. p. 176.
  61. ^ Terrorists can have serious moral goals, says WilliamsTelegraph.co.uk15 October 2003
  62. ^ Tales of Canterbury's Future? A terror apologist may soon lead the Church of England.Wall Street Journal, 12 July 2002.
  63. ^ Sharia law in UK is 'unavoidable'BBC News, 7 February 2008.
  64. ^ Libby Purves, Sharia in Britain? We think not.. Archived 7 July 2008 at the Wayback MachineTimes Online, 7 February 2008
  65. Jump up to:a b "The Times & The Sunday Times"Thetimes.co.uk. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  66. ^ "Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams will visit the Shri Venkateswara (Balaji) temple in Tividale"Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 28 December 2008.
  67. ^ Kirk, Tristan (6 May 2010). "Archbishop of Canterbury visits Northolt mosque"harrowtimes.co.uk. Newsquest Media Group Private Ltd. ISSN 1741-4938. Archived from the original on 12 May 2020. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  68. Jump up to:a b Civil and Religious Law in England: a Religious Perspective. 7 February 2008 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 July 2008. Retrieved 7 September 2008.
  69. ^ Cranmer, Frank (2008). "A Court of Law, Not of Morals?". Law & Justice(160): 13–24. ISSN 0269-817X.
  70. ^ Cranmer, Frank (2008). "The Archbishop and Sharia". Law & Justice(160): 4–5. ISSN 0269-817X.
  71. Jump up to:a b Judi Bottoni. "Archbishop denies asking for Islamic law". NBC News. Retrieved 9 February 2008.
  72. ^ "BBC Interview – Radio 4 World at One"Archbishop of Canterbury. 7 February 2008. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
  73. ^ "Archbishop slams detention regime"BBC News. 21 February 2008. Retrieved 22 February 2008.
  74. ^ "Sharia law 'could have UK role'"BBC News. 4 July 2008. Retrieved 4 June 2008.
  75. ^ Thom Dyke, "Sense on sharia". Prospect. 29 February 2008. Retrieved 25 June 2011.
  76. ^ Bingham, John (22 March 2014). "Islamic law is adopted by British legal chiefs"Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  77. ^ Mullen, Peter (7 September 2004). "I despair at the 9/11 naivety of Rowan Williams -Times Online"The Times. UK. Retrieved 28 December 2008.
  78. ^ Rowan Williams and Richard Curtis (14 March 2010). "Think tank: Hit the City with a Robin Hood tax"The Sunday Times. Retrieved 29 March2010.
  79. ^ Williams, Rowan (1 November 2011). "Time for Us to Challenge the Idols of High Finance"Financial Times. London. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
  80. ^ Parker, George (2 November 2011). "Archbishop Backs 'Robin Hood Tax'"Financial Times. London. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
  81. ^ Josh White (23 October 2014). "Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams talks to The World Weekly about good tax citizenship"The World Weekly. Archived from the original on 24 February 2015. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  82. ^ Stephen Bates, religious affairs correspondent (21 March 2006). "Archbishop: stop teaching creationism"Education.guardian.co.uk. London. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
  83. ^ Close (21 March 2006). "Transcript: Rowan Williams interview"The Guardian. London. Retrieved 28 December 2008.
  84. ^ "Charles Darwin & Evolution". 8 August 2014. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014.
  85. ^ Archbishops slam Iraq jail abuseBBC News, 30 June 2004
  86. ^ "Archbishops Warn Blair over Iraq Prisoner Abuse"The Scotsman. 29 June 2004. Archived from the original on 12 April 2005. Retrieved 12 August 2013. Archived at Wayback Machine.
  87. ^ "BBC NEWS, UK, Archbishop's 'regrets' over Iraq"BBC News. 29 December 2006. Retrieved 28 December 2008.
  88. ^ "BBC NEWS, UK, Archbishop speaks of Iraq damage"BBC News. 5 October 2007. Retrieved 28 December 2008.
  89. ^ Gledhill, Ruth (6 October 2007). "Archbishop: Iraq far worse than acknowledged"The Times. UK. Retrieved 28 December 2008.
  90. ^ Taylor, Ros (30 September 2007). "Bolton calls for bombing of Iran"The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 28 December 2008.
  91. ^ Ritzema, John (6 February 2014). "Seated at the right hand of Power: Rowan Williams on faith and force"Oxonian Review. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  92. ^ Arab West Report (26 July 2008). "(Arab West Report: art. 38, 52 – 2003)"Arabwestreport.info. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  93. ^ "28. Muslims should not be made scapegoats for the London bombings - Arab West Report"Arabwestreport.info. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  94. ^ US is 'worst' imperialist: archbishopThe Times, 25 November 2007
  95. ^ "Rowan Williams apologises to Freemasons"The Daily Telegraph. UK. 20 April 2003. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
  96. ^ "LONDON: 'Signatories' of Akinola letter say they didn't sign - VirtueOnline – The Voice for Global Orthodox Anglicanism"Virtueonline.org. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  97. ^ Alison Green; et al. (26 October 2018). "Facts about our ecological crisis are incontrovertible. We must take action"The Guardian. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  98. ^ "Archbishop of Canterbury criticises coalition policies"Bbc.co.uk. 9 June 2011.
  99. ^ Ross, Tim (10 June 2011). "David Cameron hits back at the Archbishop of Canterbury"Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  100. ^ "News » T S Eliot Society"Eliotsociety.org.uk. Retrieved 23 December2017.
  101. ^ "Petition urges Manchester Uni to remove books by Holocaust denier David Irving". 2017.
  102. ^ "Rowan Williams urges removal of Holocaust denier's books". 2017.
  103. ^ Imogen Levy and Duck Soup http://ducksoupdev.co.uk"Westminster Abbey – Historic Abbey service for Pope"Westminster-abbey.org. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  104. ^ David Batty (3 April 2010). "Archbishop of Canterbury: Irish Catholic church has lost all credibility"Guardian. UK. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
  105. ^ "Dr Rowan Williams is honoured for work on Russia". BBC. 12 March 2010. Retrieved 12 March 2010.
  106. ^ "Recognising Excellence: Manto among 192 Recipients of Top Civil Awards"The Tribune Express. Karachi. 14 August 2012. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  107. ^ K.U.Leuven celebrates commitment to European societyKatholieke Universiteit Leuven,
  108. ^ "Special Convocation and at Huron University conferring the Degree of Doctor of Divinity upon Dr. Rowan Williams - Huron University"Huronuc.ca. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  109. ^ Norman De Bono (12 March 2019). "Former Anglican church head to make London visit - The London Free Press"Lfpress.com. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  110. ^ "Archbishop home for city honour"Bbc.com. 31 July 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  111. ^ "Archbishop of Canterbury receives freedom of city". BBC. 17 November 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  112. ^ "Burke's Peerage - The Official Website"Burkespeerage.com. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  113. ^ "The British Academy President's Medal"British Academy. Retrieved 23 July 2017.

External links[edit]

Church in Wales titles
Preceded by
Clifford Wright
Bishop of Monmouth
Succeeded by
Dominic Walker
Preceded by
Alwyn Rice Jones
Archbishop of Wales
Succeeded by
Barry Morgan
Church of England titles
Preceded by
George Carey
Archbishop of Canterbury
Succeeded by
Justin Welby
Academic offices
Preceded by
John Macquarrie
Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity
Succeeded by
John Webster
Preceded by
Duncan Robinson
Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge