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.’

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.)

The Archbishop Rowan Williams Address to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

Wednesday 23rd May 2012

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, delivered an address to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in which he discussed the various challenges facing both the Church of Scotland and the Church of England.

The full text of the Archbishop’s address follows, or listen to an audio recording [16Mb, 16 mins] or watch the video recording. Continue reading “The Archbishop Rowan Williams Address to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland”

John Milbank – After Rowan: The Coherence and Future of Anglicanism – Opinion – ABC Religion & Ethics (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

After Rowan: The Coherence and Future of Anglicanism – Opinion – ABC Religion & Ethics (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

I really commend this serious text to you and I thank my friend Charles Twombly for the link.

 

NT Wright – Rowan Williams: An Appreciation

Fulcrum: Rowan Williams: An Appreciation.

This is a very moving tribute to the Archbishop Rowan Williams, by NT Wright, probably the most prominent Anglican theological at this time.

Here is just one paragraph, as an example:

His mind has been, above all, for unity, always central to a bishop’s vocation. Not a shoulder-shrugging, lowest-common-denominator unity, but the hard-won, costly unity that makes demands on charity and patience rather than on conscience. He has worked hard for that unity within his own Anglican Communion and across denominational lines. He is one of a tiny handful of Anglican theologians to be a household name in Roman and Eastern Orthodox circles; and he has won friends in the free churches, too. When he was an official observer at an international Methodist conference twenty years ago, he complained in his closing remarks that they hadn’t sung his favourite Wesley hymn, ‘And Can it Be’, with its solid gospel affirmation, ‘No condemnation now I dread; Jesus, and all in him, is mine!’ They obediently stood up and sang it.

Secularists using Christianity as ‘surrogate’ for Islamic radicals, says bullish Rowan Williams – Telegraph

Secularists using Christianity as ‘surrogate’ for Islamic radicals, says bullish Rowan Williams – Telegraph.

The Archbishop of Canterbury makes a very strong statement about the unfair way in which fundamentalist secularists attack Christians, because they do not dare to speak openly about Islamist violence.

Rupert Shortt – The archbishop of Canterbury’s balancing act

History will judge Rowan Williams to have been a great archbishop of Canterbury in all sorts of ways, many yet unsung. As his biographer, I sometimes wonder whether more fractious members of his flock realise how lucky they have been to have him. Institutionally, though, his decade in office will probably end in honourable defeat.

The deepest issue facing him has not been over gay clergy or women bishops, as many assume, but a question he sees as even more pressing – how the church makes up its mind on disputed questions. Continue reading “Rupert Shortt – The archbishop of Canterbury’s balancing act”

Archbishop Rowan Williams to step down as Archbishop of Canterbury

The Archbishop of Canterbury speaking after the announcement that he will step down from the office of Archbishop of Canterbury at the end of December 2012 to take up the position of Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge. A transcript of the complete interview is available HERE.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams to Resign at End of Year – NYTimes.com


Queen Elizabeth II with the archbishop of Canterbury,
the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, in London last month.
(Source, New York Times)

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams to Resign at End of Year – NYTimes.com.

He will certainly be missed by many. He was a man of peace who tried to do his best in a troubled time. Yet, it is not easy to be caught in the middle, between the stubborn extreme liberalism of American Episcopalians and the staunch ultra conservatism of African and Asian Anglicans (well funded in their actions by their counterparts in America), both groups being ready to sacrifice the unity of our broad church for the sake of their partisan views.

Anglicanism is going through a difficult period.

May God have mercy on us and give us a visionary orthodox leader.

Since today I have heard that the Archbishop Rowan Williams will retire from his position at the end of this year, allow me please to reblog my favourite post about him on this blog.
You may read the full story on the Archbishop of Canterbury website.

Persona

Teachers at a Scottish church primary school asked children to write the following letter:

“To God,
How did you get invented?”

Alex Renton, a British journalist and non-believing father of one of the children emailed the letter to various church institutions, with very little response, if any: to the Scottish Episcopal Church (no reply), the Presbyterians (ditto) and the Scottish Catholics (a nice but theologically complex answer).

Finally he also sent the letter to “the head of theology of the Anglican Communion, based at Lambeth Palace”. Here is the response she got:

View original post 270 more words

Sanctus: BREAKING NEWS: ++Rowan is actually making sense

Sanctus: BREAKING NEWS: ++Rowan is actually making sense.

The Head of the Anglican Church rejects the redefinition of marriage.

The law has no right to legalise same-sex marriage, the Archbishop of Canterbury declared yesterday.

Dr Rowan Williams said a new marriage law for gay couples would amount to forcing unwanted change on the rest of the nation.

He also said it would be wrong to legalise assisted dying because of the threat it would pose to the vulnerable and because it would go against the beliefs of most people.

In a key speech on human rights, the head of the Anglican Church put his weight behind other leading clergy who have launched a powerful campaign to prevent David Cameron from going ahead with his plan to allow the full rights of marriage to same-sex couples.

Richard Dawkins, Rowan Williams, Anthony Kenny: “Human Beings & Ultimate Origin” Debate

Arhiepiscopul de Caterbury îl „dezbate” pe Richard Dawkins la Oxford. « Methoughts, mefeats and medefeats.

Something to absolutely not miss. Thanks to Manu Contac for the link.

Rowan Williams on Islam

An End to All Endings? Reflections on Rowan Williams’ Critical Theology « Per∙Crucem∙ad∙Lucem

An End to All Endings? Reflections on Rowan Williams’ Critical Theology « Per∙Crucem∙ad∙Lucem.

This is superbly nuanced evaluation of the theology of Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury.

Thanks to Scot McKnight for the link.

Here is the conclusion of the article:

…so much depends on how Williams is read. In OCT (pp. xii-xv), he speaks of three styles of theology. Accordingly, readers of Williams must be careful to always hear even his ‘critical’ theology as both ‘celebratory’ and ‘communicative’. Otherwise, we play back in monophonic mode what is necessarily heard stereophonically.

Archbishop Rowan Williams’ sermon for Christmas Day 2011

When the first Christians read – or more probably heard – the opening words of John’s gospel, they would have understood straight away quite a lot more than we do. They would have remembered, many of them, that in Hebrew ‘word’ and ‘thing’ are the same, and they would all have known that in Greek the word used has a huge range of meaning – at the simplest level, just something said; but also a pattern, a rationale, as we might say, even the entire structure of the universe seen as something that makes sense to us, the structure that holds things together and makes it possible for us to think.

Against this background, we can get a glimpse of just what is being said about Jesus. His life is what God says and what God does; it is the life in which things hold together; it is because of the life that lives in him that we can think. Jesus is the place where all reality is focused, brought to a point. Here is where we can see as nowhere else what connects all reality – all human experience and all natural laws. Edward Elgar famously said about his Enigma Variations that they were all based on a tune that everyone knew – and no-one has ever worked out what he meant. But John’s gospel declares that the almost infinite variety of the life we encounter is all variations on the theme that is stated in one single clear musical line, one melody, in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. ‘In him was life, and the life was the light of men.’ Continue reading “Archbishop Rowan Williams’ sermon for Christmas Day 2011”

Archbishop Rowan Williams on Forgiveness

The person who asks forgiveness is a person who has renounced the privilege of being right or safe; he has acknowledged that he is hungry for healing, for the bread of acceptance and restoration to relationship. 

But equally the person who forgives has renounced the safety of being locked into the position of the offended victim; he has decided to take the risk of creating afresh a relationship known to be dangerous, known to be capable of causing hurt. 

Both the giver and the receiver of forgiveness have moved out of the safety zone; they have begun to ask how to receive their humanity as a gift. Continue reading “Archbishop Rowan Williams on Forgiveness”

Archbishop Rowan Williams Remembers John Stott

Thursday 28th July 2011

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, remembers the life of the Revd John Stott, and has delivered the following tribute in response to news of his death last night.

‘The death of John Stott will be mourned by countless Christians throughout the world.  During a long life of unsparing service and witness, John won a unique place in the hearts of all who encountered him, whether in person or through his many books.   He was a man of rare graciousness and deep personal kindness, a superb communicator and a sensitive and skilled counsellor.  Without ever compromising his firm evangelical faith, he showed himself willing to challenge some of the ways in which that faith had become conventional or inward-looking.  It is not too much to say that he helped to change the face of evangelicalism internationally, arguing for the necessity of ‘holistic’ mission that applied the Gospel of Jesus to every area of life, including social and political questions.  But he will be remembered most warmly as an expositor of scripture and a teacher of the faith, whose depth and simplicity brought doctrine alive in all sorts of new ways.

We give thanks to God for his life and for all that was given to us through his ministry.’

(Source, HERE.)

ENInews – Archbishop of Canterbury’s comments provoke response from British government

ENInews¦ Featured Articles.

In a strongly-worded opinion piece in the June 9 issue of The New Statesman, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, took a stand against recent economic, criminal justice, and healthcare reforms proposed by British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Now, that is what I call a responsible church leader.

It makes me feel proud that I am Anglican.

You may read HERE Rowan Williams’s  article in The New Statesman.

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. Continue reading “A Tribute to Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury”

Letter to God

Teachers at a Scottish church primary school asked children to write the following letter:

“To God,
How did you get invented?”

Alex Renton, a British journalist and non-believing father of one of the children emailed the letter to various church institutions, with very little response, if any: to the Scottish Episcopal Church (no reply), the Presbyterians (ditto) and the Scottish Catholics (a nice but theologically complex answer).

Finally he also sent the letter to “the head of theology of the Anglican Communion, based at Lambeth Palace”. Here is the response she got: Continue reading “Letter to God”

Several Leaders Will Boycott Anglican Summit in Dublin

 

Canterbury, England. At least seven of the leaders representing 38 Anglican provinces worldwide will not attend a key meeting in Dublin from 25-30 January. Their absence comes at a time when the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, is under mounting pressure from two wings of the 77 million-member Anglican Communion on the subject of human sexuality.

The Primates’ Meeting, which was established in 1978 and is closed to the public, generally takes place every two years.

Some archbishops have told Williams they will not attend because of the presence of the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, and because of recent developments in her province, including the recent election of a lesbian bishop, according to a report in the Times of London. Continue reading “Several Leaders Will Boycott Anglican Summit in Dublin”

Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury – 2010 Christmas Sermon


Archbishop Rowan Williams (Picture, from HERE)

Saturday 25 December 2010

In his traditional Christmas sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, focuses on how the birth of Jesus is but one stage of the fulfilment of God’s unchanging promise of support in the struggle for human redemption, how ‘the story of Jesus is the story of a God who keeps promises’.

So Christmas is a time of coming to terms with God’s all embracing and redemptive love for us, despite the cost and the tragedy involved, the human failures and betrayals. God, he asserts, despite our limitations and the humiliation our weaknesses lay on him, realises ” we cannot live without him; and he accepts everything for the sake of our well-being”. Continue reading “Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury – 2010 Christmas Sermon”

Papa Benedict il intilneste pe Rowan Williams la Palatul Lambeth

Discursul Sfântului Părinte Papa Benedict al XVI-lea
adresat Arhiepiscopului anglican Rowan Williams de Canterbury
Palatul Lambeth, vineri, 17 septembrie 2010

Sfinţia Voastră,

Este o plăcere pentru mine să pot să vă întorc onoarea vizitei pe care mi-aţi făcut-o la Roma cu o vizită fraternă aici, la reşedinţa Dvs. oficială. Vă mulţumesc pentru invitaţie şi pentru ospitalitatea pe care mi-aţi oferit-o în mod generos. Îi salut pe Episcopii anglicani reuniţi aici din diferite părţi ale Regatului Unit, pe fraţii mei Episcopi din Diecezele catolice din Anglia, Ţara Galilor şi Scoţia, precum şi pe reprezentanţii ecumenici prezenţi. Continue reading “Papa Benedict il intilneste pe Rowan Williams la Palatul Lambeth”

Rowan Williams visiting China

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, is to visit China for the first time later this year.

Dr Williams will visit five cities, including the capital Beijing, after being invited by senior Protestant church leaders in China.

He will meet religious and business leaders as well as government officials to discuss challenges facing the Church and society, he said in a statement. Read on…

Archbishop of Canterbury’s address at a Willebrands Symposium in Rome

Rowan Williams, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury is in Rome, for meetings at the Vatican, including an audience with Pope Benedict XVI (see some details HERE).

The Archbishop also contributed to the Willebrands Symposium, an academic event celebrating the ecumenical contribution of Cardinal Willebrands, the first President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, organised after the Second Vatican Council.

Continue reading “Archbishop of Canterbury’s address at a Willebrands Symposium in Rome”