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on April 24, 2012
Ben Myers renders clear the obscure. Rowan Williams is a complex and, for many, a confusing modern theologian. Add to that the fact that he has for the last decade or so been embroiled in controversy over contentious issues in the Anglican communion. Myers offers a deep and sympathetic, but also critical, reading of Williams' theology.

Myers lays bare the intellectual and spiritual roots of Williams' theology. Specifically, he shows the way in which William's thought has been shaped by sustained engagements with Wittgenstein, MacKinnon, Augustine, Russian Orthodox theology, Freud, Gillian Rose's Hegelianism, and various forms of ascetic practice. This provides an interpretive framework for understanding Williams' sometimes difficult writings, and illuminates the theological background to some of his more controversial decisions (e.g., his positions on Sharia law and homosexuality, respectively).

The book is not heavy-handed or polemical. Myers often lets Williams' positions speak for themselves. This charitable approach makes this an ideal book for readers sympathetic or critical to Williams. If one is already positively disposed towards Williams, this book will be eminently helpful in showing the way his thought has been formed over the decades. The reader with sharp disagreements will discover where the disagreement truly originates.

While Myers seems sympathetic towards much of Williams' thought, this does not turn the book into iconography. Myers demonstrates a patient and loving listening to the thought of Williams. While the book is not without celebrations and criticisms, for the most part the reader is left to make up her own mind with regard to the legitimacy and import of Williams' thought.

The charitable approach taken in the book is combined with a lovely writing style that is colourful and concise. The book makes a compelling case in the space of 132 pages, and does so as a real "page-turner". This is a rare feat, especially for a theological book. As such it is a wonderful example of theological writing.
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on December 19, 2012
Christ the Stranger is beautifully written, hard to put down and fulfils its promise of critical engagement in a way which makes Rowan Williams more rather than less interesting. highly recommended
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on May 28, 2014
I came away with a greater appreciation for the influences on Williams' thought, with some insights into his lukewarm pastoral response toward homosexuals, with more understanding for the rather dour shape in which he expresses his Christian believing, and a sense of the coherence and care of this fine intellect at work.
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on August 13, 2013
Rowan Williams is an intimidating character. He ponders and makes theological moves with (sometimes maddening) caution, but this book gives an excellent (and brief) background into the key systems that drive the theology of Rowan Williams. I would encourage anyone to give this a sreious look.
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on February 26, 2013
This book will challenge your faith (in a good way) forcing you to seriously evaluate you approach to your relationship with God.
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on June 16, 2013
This is one of he best books of Christian theology I have ever read. A must for any thinking Christian who wants to go deeper.
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on November 30, 2013
The book is well written, clear in its organization and laying out difficult material. It reveals a deep theologian,
but one who--to my mind-- is overly dark in his assessment of the core Christian gospel.
I did not give a higher rating, not because the author has not done a fine job, but rather because
I was disappointed by what I learned about Rowan Williams, his subject.
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