Rowan Williams – On The Benedict Option: a new monasticism for the 21st century

Source: The Benedict Option: a new monasticism for the 21st century

Finally a serious analysis of Dreher’s book on the so-called ‘Benedict option’, in fact, in my opinion, a fatalistic, and possibly extremely damaging, call for withdrawal of committed Christians from social involvement, after the continuous series of defeats they have registered in the foolish ‘cultural wars’ they have fought as they tried to revive of ‘gloriously’ defunct Christendom. Which resembles with the similar social withdrawal of the original ‘fundameentalists’ at the end of the 19th century. Am I the only one who is worried by this similarity?

Here are just a few signidicant quotes from Rowan Williams:

‘Given that the greatest moral dramas of 20th-century America were to do with civil rights and foreign war, Dreher’s perspective here is worrying. He assumes, laudably, that the new Christian communities will have some concern for the marginal and needy but anything like a broader social ideal does not figure largely.’

‘What is left most worryingly vague is how such groups might maintain a level of self-criticism, and how they would handle issues around authority and management of conflict. Benedict has a fair bit to say about this, and Dreher shows he is aware of it and of the problem of alienating a younger generation by excessive exclusivism.’

The Benedict Option is unsettling. It confronts the prevailing consensus about how far the majority is willing to make room for principled dissent and public argument – yet at the same time shows a rather dispiriting lack of confidence in public argument.’

‘…[the book] fails to note the irony of advocating what it does in a climate where liberal triumphalism has already been shaken by a very un-Benedictine set of influences, through the resurgence of populist conservatism and protectionism. And neither restating liberal nostrums nor Dreher’s “strategy of hibernation” – to borrow a phrase from Adorno – seems an adequate answer to this.’

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Rowan Williams at Changing the Landscape

Rowan Williams discusses the mixed economy at Changing the Landscape, 6th May 2011, Oxford.

Thanks to my son, Daniel for the link.

Dr Rowan Williams – New Perspectives on Faith and Development – UPDATE

New Perspectives on Faith and Development: Closing keynote address

In the final seminar of this series on faith and development our speaker asks:

Have we ignored the teachings of faith groups in our treatment of the natural environment? Do faith traditions have a relevant voice on climate change and environmental degradation? Can they provide us with the energy and focus to overcome inaction? Do they add anything new to this debate?

Keynote Speaker: Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury

Chair: Rabbi David Rosen

* * *

Here is a summary of Rowan Williams’s presentation, as it appeared in The Guardian: Continue reading “Dr Rowan Williams – New Perspectives on Faith and Development – UPDATE”

Archbishop Rowan Williams on Death, Resurrection and Human Destiny in Christian and Muslim Perspective

April 23rd, 2012 | The 11th Building Bridges Seminar for Christian and Muslim scholars was convened by the Archbishop of Canterbury from April 23-25, 2012. The first day of the seminar, to be held at King’s College, London, consisted of public lectures on the seminar’s theme: “Death, Resurrection and Human Destiny in Christian and Muslim Perspective”.

Archbishop Williams Address to the Catholic Synod of Bishops

Your Holiness, Reverend Fathers,
brothers and sisters in Christ – dear Friends

1. I am deeply honored by the Holy Father’s invitation to speak in this gathering: as the Psalmist says, “Ecce quam bonum et quam jucundum habitare fratres in unum”. The gathering of bishops in Synod for the good of all Christ’s people is one of those disciplines that sustain the health of Christ’s Church. And today especially we cannot forget that great gathering of “fratres in unum” that was the Second Vatican Council, which did so much for the health of the Church and helped the Church to recover so much of the energy needed to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ effectively in our age. For so many of my own generation, even beyond the boundaries of the Roman Catholic Church, that Council was a sign of great promise, a sign that the Church was strong enough to ask itself some demanding questions about whether its culture and structures were adequate to the task of sharing the Gospel with the complex, often rebellious, always restless mind of the modern world. Continue reading “Archbishop Williams Address to the Catholic Synod of Bishops”

Religion in Public Life – Tony Blair, Charles Moore and Rowan Williams

Archbishop Rowan Williams, the Rt Hon Tony Blair, and writer and former Daily Telegraph editor Charles Moore discussed ‘Religion in Public Life’ in the final conversation of the Westminster Faith Debates series.

Religion In Public Life

Tuesday, 24 July 2012 at 17.30 BST, Tony Blair will discuss the role of religion in public life alongside Archbishop Rowan Williams and  former Daily Telegraph editor Charles Moore.

Hear three of Britain’s most dynamic figures discuss  a topic relevant all over the world. What part should religion play in democratic society? How should democracy respond to the challenges – and protect the positive impact – that faith can bring? Tony Blair, the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and Charles Moore will discuss the big issues around faith and its place in public life, offering insights from state, church and the media.

This event concludes the Westminster Faith Debates series co-organised by the Religion and Society programme at Lancaster University, ESRC and Theos which has focused on the impact of religion in modern society.

(Source, HERE.)