Archives For Rowan Williams


Here are a some excellent theology* books that will be released this month:

* broadly interpreted, including ethics, church history, biblical studies, and other areas that intersect with theology

[ Last Month’s Theology Book List ]

Being Human: Bodies, Minds, Persons 

Rowan Williams


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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)


On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books 

Karen Swallow Prior

*** WATCH the trailer video for this book…


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In honor of the Feast Day of St. Augustine on this coming Sunday (Aug. 28), here is an excerpt from the excellent new book…

On Augustine
Rowan Williams

Hardback: Bloomsbury Continuum, 2016
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]


*** Three Poems by St. Augustine *** 

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Here are 5 essential ebooks on sale now that are worth checking out:
( Rowan WIlliams, Shauna Niequist, Jeremy Courtney, MORE)

Via our sister website Thrifty Christian Reader
To keep up with all the latest ebook deals,
be sure to connect with TCR via email or on Facebook


The Lion’s World: A Journey into the Heart of Narnia

Rowan Williams

*** $1.99 ***


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Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
– Thomas Edison,
Edison announced the invention of the phonograph on this date in 1877.
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Poem of the Day:
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
by Robert Frost
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*** From our feature:
Three Snow Poems


Kindle Ebook Deal of the Day:
The Poems of Rowan Williams

Only $3.99!!!
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*** NOTE: This stated price is for the United States. Unfortunately, this offer may or may not be available in other countries. Sorry!

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The Wake Up Call – November 20, 2014


Amazon is currently running The Big Deal ebook sale again.
We pick the best ebooks from this sale that are available for $3.99 or less!!!

CLICK HERE to browse the full The Big Deal sale of over 400 titles

Prices good through Nov 23…

*** $3.99

The Poems of Rowan Williams

*** $1.99

Lead with Humility: 12 Leadership Lessons from Pope Francis

By Jeffrey Krames

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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)

See a book here that you’d like to review for us?
Contact us, and we’ll talk about the possibility of a review.

> > > >
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Being Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer

by Rowan Williams

Read an interview with the author from RNS

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Exploring Narnia

A Feature Review of

The Lion’s World: A Journey Into the Heart of Narnia
Rowan Williams

Hardback: Oxford UP, 2013
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Peter Stevens

Recently, while discussing the role of fictional stories in spiritual formation with my students, I found myself returning to the works of C.S. Lewis as an example. While I did not discuss The Chronicles of Narnia, I can undeniably say that the fictional works of Lewis have shaped me spiritually. From a young age, I have read and reread the Narnian stories. They have become a part of my spiritual formation and of many others as well. Lewis has had this effect on Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, as well. He also confesses to repeatedly reading and studying the Lewis’ works and writes of Lewis, “He is someone that you do not quickly come to the end of – as a complex personality and as a writer and thinker” (xi). In The Lion’s World, Williams explores this complexity of Lewis in conjunction with the depth of the Land of Narnia that Lewis created. He doesn’t set out to “decode images or to uncover a system;” instead he aims “to show how certain central themes hang together – a concern to do justice to the difference of God, the disturbing and exhilarating otherness of what we encounter in the life of faith” (6).
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J. Kameron Carter on
“Haiti and The God Question.”

In a nutshell, my problem here is not with the God-and-suffering or the theodicy question as such. My problem is with the way the God-and-suffering question is usually posed and with the presumptions that come with it. As a starting point, I will address how the God-and-suffering question, or the God-and-evil question, is often posed and how it works in the public imagination.

Often, the way the God-and-suffering question is posed prevents us from asking other important social, cultural, and political questions. By concentrating on the God-and-suffering question, we overlook questions about how the painful effects of natural disaster, such as the earthquake in Haiti, have been made worse due to certain social, cultural, and political factors. And I don’t mean social and political factors simply within Haiti itself—this isn’t about blaming the Haitians. I mean to call attention to how Haiti has come to be positioned internationally among the community of nations over a quite long period of time.

Read the full essay:

[ Our review of J. Kameron Carter’s

Dostoevsky: Language, Faith, and Fiction
By Rowan Williams.

Among the works of art that one finds in the Kunstmuseum in Basel, Switzerland is Hans Holbein the Younger’s The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb. Painted in 1521, it remains a stark, almost shocking image to this day. The dead, nearly colorless Christ lies in profile with gangrenous wounds visible in his hands, feet, and side. With a tilted head and half-open eyes, his face is turned slightly away from the viewer. The dramatic effect of the painting is heightened by the fact that it is a life-size depiction, stretching across the wall the full length of Christ’s body, but with a height of no more than that of a coffin (200 cm x 30.5 cm). Moreover, the painting is encompassed by a tomb-like border with the traditional inscription that reads, in Latin, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” Holbein’s achievement is an austere representation of Holy Saturday, the day on which one cannot evade the fact that Christ died on Good Friday and before one can celebrate his resurrection on Easter morning.

This painting makes a memorable appearance in The Idiot, one of the major works by Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky. In the story, Prince Myshkin, an enigmatic Christ-like figure who becomes embroiled in the lives of those he meets upon his return to Russia, encounters a reproduction of the picture in a friend’s home. The painting makes a profound impression upon Myshkin, who goes so far as to suggest that it could destroy a believer’s faith.

According to Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who analyzes the author’s life and work in his latest book, Dostoevsky: Language, Faith, and Fiction, the painting functions as “a kind of anti-icon, a religious image which is a nonpresence or a presence of the negative.” As Williams explains, in the Orthodox tradition, icons confront the viewer with a direct gaze as worshippers seek to encounter the divine through the icon. Within Orthodox iconography, he states, the only figures ever represented in profile are demons and, sometimes, Judas Iscariot. Thus, it is unsurprising that Myshkin, whose own physical description is “plainly modeled on the traditional Orthodox iconography of the Savior,” would be so shaken by Holbein’s depiction of the lifeless Christ.

Read the full review:

Dostoevsky: Language, Faith, and Fiction
(Making of the Christian Imagination)

Rowan Williams.

Hardback: Baylor University Press, 2008.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

THE NY TIMES Review of
STILL LIFE: Adventures in Taxidermy
By Melissa Milgrom

The word taxidermy derives from two innocent Greek roots — taxis (arrangement) and derma (skin) — that when combined suggest something slightly sinister. Taxidermy was Norman Bates’s hobby in “Psycho.” Jeffrey Dahmer, the serial killer, practiced it on his neighbor’s pets. In horror movies, taxidermy often crowds the walls, derangement made manifest.

As Melissa Milgrom writes in her oddball first book, “Still Life: Adventures in Taxidermy,” many people still dismiss the field as “a creepy sideline of the ‘Deliverance’ set.” And taxidermy’s problems go deeper than public relations. Many museums, eager to snag the “iCarly” demographic, are ditching their taxidermy collections in favor of Imax movies and robotic beasties. A lot of dusty, moth-eaten stuffed animals have piled up in a lot of half-forgotten museum closets. Beware which door you open.

Read the full review:

STILL LIFE: Adventures in Taxidermy.
Melissa Milgrom.

Hardback: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]


Rowan’s Rule: The Biography of the Archbishop of Canterbury

The wise Anglican priest who instructed me in how to go about hearing confessions closed his lesson with some memorable words: “I’ve never thought less of someone after hearing their confession.”

If only it were generally the same for biographies. Some people’s lives have a priestly dimension. That is to say, their struggles have an elevated quality—they are struggles on behalf of us all; their example inspires far beyond the circle of people who directly identify with their circumstances. In short, when the bell tolls for them it tolls for us too—somehow even more than when it tolls for us alone. Rowan Williams is such a person. And the astonishing thing about this biography—this confession, if you like—is that Williams emerges from it with a reputation that is, if anything, more positive than it already was.

It’s a commonplace that Williams’s job is one you wouldn’t wish on your most antagonistic blogger. What is the archbishop of Canterbury for? He’s there to represent the life of faith, more specifically the historic catholic and reformed Christian faith, at the heart of the English nation; to be a figurehead guiding the Church of England, its bishops, its institutions and its people; and to be a unifying influence on the worldwide Anglican Communion. When Williams was ap pointed, there was widespread joy that here was a man who could do these three things like no one else imaginable—a person who epitomized the grace, wisdom, faith and generosity to which Anglicanism aspires. And yet his first seven years in office have seen him beleaguered by controversial events, a constant demand for him to exercise executive power, and a standoff of mutual incomprehension between his office and the secular press.

Read the full review:

Rowan’s Rule: The Biography of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Rupert Shortt.

Hardback: Eerdmans, 2009.
Buy now: [ ]


Wrestling With Moses:  How Jane Jacobs Took On
New York’s Master Builder and Transformed the American City

For those of us who care about cities and why they flourish or fade, the accepted wisdom boils down to this: Robert Moses bad, Jane Jacobs good.

Moses lives in urban lore as the ruthless New York bureaucrat who forced highways through neighborhoods with no regard for real lives in the way. Jacobs is his antithesis, the Greenwich Village everywoman who enshrined the virtues of messy vitality in her still-potent The Death and Life of Great American Cities.

Now there’s a book that shows how these mythic characters shaped each other’s work and reputations – a volume that leaves me wishing there was some way today to combine the best traits of both.

Read the full review:

Wrestling With Moses:
How Jane Jacobs Took On New York’s Master Builder
and Transformed the American City
Anthony Flint.

Hardback: Random House, 2009.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]


 The NYT Review of The State of Jones:
The Small Southern County That Seceded From the Confederacy

The Civil War was not a simple collision of opposites. There was internal dissent on each side: Northerners who wanted to placate the South, Southerners loyal to the Union, and thousands of deserters from both armies.

In The State of Jones, Sally Jenkins, a Washington Post reporter, and John Stauffer, a Harvard historian, recreate the life and times of the bold Southern dissenter Newton Knight. An indigent farmer in Jones County, Miss., the flinty, blue-eyed Knight was conscripted into the Southern army in 1862 and soon deserted. He organized a small band of neighbors that used guerilla tactics and swamp hideouts to fend off pursuing Confederate troops. Knight’s vastly outnumbered group became a thorn in the side of the South, which was preoccupied with the invasions of Grant and Sherman.

Knight and other Jones County residents aided the North during Reconstruction. Although Knight was married to a white woman and had several children by her, he simultaneously had a long-term liaison with a former slave of his grandfather, named Rachel. At a time when most Mississippi blacks did not own land, he deeded farmland to Rachel, with whom he had a number of children who worked side by side in the fields with their white siblings.

Read the full review:

The Small Southern County That Seceded From the Confederacy
Sally Jenkins and John Stauffer.

Hardback: Doubleday, 2009.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]