A Tribute to Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury

Debra Dean Murphy, an assistant professor of Religion and Christian Education at West Virginia Wesleyan College uses the opportunity of the royal wedding in Great Britain to bring a warm tribute to Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury and one of the great theologians of our time. The article is hosted by Krista Tippett on her blog OnBeing.

I paste here a few quotes from Debra’s text, for your interest:

I have admired Williams since I first encountered his writings in seminary in the late 1980s when he was the Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity at Oxford University. The depth and breadth of his scholarship has always been staggeringly impressive. Whether writing on the Resurrection or Arianism or 9/11 or Dostoevsky, Williams — whose work is rooted in his vocation as priest — is an erudite, eloquent, humble, hopeful, generous communicator of the Christian gospel.

That he became the head of the worldwide Anglican communion in this age of soundbytes and short attention spans is lamentable — for him, perhaps, but especially for the rest of us. His careful, thoughtful way with words, the patience with which he engages his many and varied interlocutors, the long view he takes of the Church’s work in the world — none of this has endeared him to a skeptical, secular Britain nor to an Anglican Church ever on the edge of schism.

In a video prepared by Lambeth Palace in anticipation of the royal wedding, Williams talks about the “mystery” and “delight” at the heart of marriage, and that ”to be a witness [to a wedding] is to be more than a spectator.”

For cynics, this might seem like a slick media strategy designed to bring more attention to an event already wildly overhyped. But Williams locates this event (and every wedding) theologically as a “moment of hope and affirmation about people’s present and future” and he counts it a privilege to “wish [William and Kate] the courage and clarity to live out this big commitment.”

There is much more in this short article that is worth exploring. Enjoy!

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

2 thoughts on “A Tribute to Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury”

    1. What do you mean more precisely. What does he lack to be a ‘true Archbishop’? And what about Leo? Could you make an effort to enlighten us?


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