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The Wound of Knowledge: Christian Spirituality from the New Testament to St. John of the Cross Paperback – July 25, 2003
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About the Author
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From 1977, he spent nine years in academic and parish work in Cambridge: first at Westcott House, being ordained priest in 1978, and from 1980 as curate at St George's, Chesterton. In 1983 he was appointed as a lecturer in Divinity in the university, and the following year became dean and chaplain of Clare College. 1986 saw a return to Oxford now as Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity and Canon of Christ Church; he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Divinity in 1989, and became a fellow of the British Academy in 1990. He is also an accomplished poet and translator.
In 1991 Professor Williams accepted election and consecration as bishop of Monmouth, a diocese on the Welsh borders, and in 1999 on the retirement of Archbishop Alwyn Rice Jones he was elected Archbishop of Wales, one of the 38 primates of the Anglican Communion. Thus it was that, in July 2002, with eleven years experience as a diocesan bishop and three as a leading primate in the Communion, Archbishop Williams was confirmed on 2 December 2002 as the 104th bishop of the See of Canterbury: the first Welsh successor to St Augustine of Canterbury and the first since the mid-thirteenth century to be appointed from beyond the English Church.
Dr Williams is acknowledged internationally as an outstanding theological writer, scholar and teacher. He has been involved in many theological, ecumenical and educational commissions. He has written extensively across a very wide range of related fields of professional study - philosophy, theology (especially early and patristic Christianity), spirituality and religious aesthetics - as evidenced by his bibliography. He has also written throughout his career on moral, ethical and social topics and, since becoming archbishop, has turned his attention increasingly on contemporary cultural and interfaith issues.
As Archbishop of Canterbury his principal responsibilities are however pastoral - leading the life and witness of the Church of England in general and his own diocese in particular by his teaching and oversight, and promoting and guiding the communion of the world-wide Anglican Church by the globally recognized ministry of unity that attaches to the office of bishop of the see of Canterbury.
His interests include music, fiction and languages.
In 1981 Dr Williams married Jane Paul, a lecturer in theology, whom he met while living and working in Cambridge. They have a daughter and a son.
Top Customer Reviews
Dr. Williams presents in this thematically rich and diversified volume, a mystical overview of Christian spiritual life from the Apostolic Fathers to St. John of the Cross. Among those included are Ignatius of Antioch, Irenaeus of Lyons, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Athanasius, Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, Augustine of Hippo, Martin Luther, and many others. The reader of this book will experience: an ecumenical journey in time and space to discover ancient Christian traditions, through delving into the patristic door. Living the faith, is part of his pilgrimage, reflected in his contribution to 'Anglican quest for holiness,' and continues with his book: 'The Making of Orthodoxy.'
History of Loving Knowledge:
The Passion of my God; starts with faith, spirituality, belief (doctrine) which is represented in the Philippians' Christological hymn. His first patristic example was Ignatius of Antioch, allegedly the kid who offered the five loaves to Lord Jesus. His masterful statement is, p17: "Thus martyrdom comes as a natural culmination of a far more prosaic process of kenosis (self emptying) from "The shadow of the Flesh":
A tour of the Mystics:
Starting with Philo the mystical Jew, Irenaeus, and the Apophatic Alexandrines: Clement, Origen, in a fascinating virtual tour. Origen and Athanasius struggled with the meaning of sharing the divine life. Gregory of Nyssa wrote about imitating the pattern of God's life as revealed in Jesus.Read more ›
This entails laying the backgrounds for each writer-teacher's lifetimes. Williams thus provides a dynamic view of the times and thought in the roiling Roman empire and the troubled west that continued after the Roman Empire continued only in the East after the disastrous invasions that destroyed the western political infrastructure.
Gnostics and Mystics
He draws an especially helpful picture of the Gnostic movement and some of its varieties, analyzing how early Christian writers answered this challenge. We learn that some writers used concepts, terminology and theological ideas similar to the gnostics. Some were careful to avoid these.
These writers all reject the Gnostic claim that the Creator God was an evil secondary God, and that material creation and our bodies and natural lives are inherently evil. They affirm the creation by the One True God, who redeems as he creates. One commonality among those writing in the Gnostic era is to carefully affirm that the Christian faith follows the Jewish in affirming that there is only one God. It is interesting to review the different concepts among these writers of creation and life in regard to moral life and redemption.
Active and Interesting
Williams is astutely able to keep all this material active and interesting. This is not a boring academic fact-guide, but a portrayal of living men and women in the midst of their life-struggles.Read more ›
The inside cover reads "Second, revised edition 1990 by Darton, Longman & Todd, London." For example he writes in the notes on page 194, "On the complex question of Jesus' relation to Israel and the Law, my earlier and very much over-simplified account has been revised in light of more recent work, notably Jesus and Judaism, E.P. Sanders (London 1985)."
It also says in the front cover of the book, "U.S. release of the second, revised edition in 1991 by Cowley Publications. First published in the United States under the title Christian Spirituality." So, if you have the book Christian Spirituality by Rowan Williams, I think (but am not 100% sure) that is the revised 1990 version.
The author writes with authority in matters, including our inclinations to "religious control" where we wish to come to Christ and the New Testament without so many certainties. Let me stop a moment and say something of certainties, as found in a poem by the author of the book "Run, Shepherds, Run: Poems for Advent and Christmas." In that book the Episcopalian teacher at a seminary in Berkeley, California USA says, "If you want to go to God, go without/your certainties. Take your graces. Leave/your certainties behind..." (L. William Countryman, "Going to God with the Shepherds.) This is good advice on an approach to reading this 191 page paperback published by Cowley Publications, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
The subtitle of the book tells us that the author is writing about, "Christian Spirituality from the New Testament to Saint John of the Cross.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you want to know about early Christian spirituallity and how it was thought of/formed in the early church fathers this is the book for you. A lot of info in a fairly short book.Published 22 days ago by Jawnymude