Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Silence and Honey Cakes Paperback – November 19, 2004
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
'A profound yet readable book.' * The Tablet *
About the Author
Rowan Williams was enthroned as the ?rd Archbishop of Canterbury in 2003. He had previously been Archbishop of Wales. Before becoming a bishop he was Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity at Oxford. He is the author of a number of highly acclaimed books.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
In his book, subtitled, the Wisdom of the Desert, Archbishop Williams brings an uncomplicated simplicity and mindfulness to the stories and commentary within his work. In reading this book one experiences the diversity of perspectives among the first Christian monks and nuns in the Egyptian desert, between 350AD and 450AD.
The monks and nuns main interest was diagnosing what sort of things get in the way of blocking someone else’s relationship with Christ. They became attentive to self. They did not go to the desert to be alone, they lived in community. The desert elders knew that in going to the desert they did not leave behind the deep rooted urge to manage other people. They insisted on an ever greater honesty of self, because everyone is drawn back towards the urge to manage.
The wisdom, tucked into this easy to read book, is in volumes of treasures that will illuminate your understanding that each person must have the room to grow as God would have them (not what we would have them do). No vocation is superior; there is no standardized form of holiness.
I give Silence and Honey Cakes -5 Stars. Archbishop Williams has a remarkable implicit faith in God and he humbly imparts the wisdom of the desert elders to us. Williams remind us; work according to your vocation and do not get discouraged as God, by his grace, will reestablish you.
If you are just curious about the desert fathers as they are popularly called, or if you have a lot of book larnin' about them, or if you already live a desert existence and understand them profoundly, you'll find this book delightful.
Throughout the book Williams put teeth on the always important question of ‘how does one love their neighbor?’ We learn that it is by becoming honest, first and foremost, with ourselves. Only when we do that can we learn how to deal with the weaknesses in others. There is no room left to judge such weaknesses, explains Williams, if we have learned to rightly judge ourselves. This ties in with the theme of “fleeing.” Williams writes that “there is all the difference in the world between running from responsibility and ‘fleeing’ for the sake of truth or honesty – that is, for the sake of responsibility…what you are ultimately ‘running’ from is just this, your compulsions…of anxious comparison, status-seeking and chatter” (pp. 78,79). He ‘fleeing’ is rooted in one of his final chapters on ‘staying.’
Aside from drawing wisdom from the desert monastics, Williams also gleans from the Orthodox church. His writing on Vladimir Lossky’s distinction between ‘person’ and ‘individual’ is worth the price of the book. This distinction challenges our all too common consumeristic individualism with a beautiful understanding of varied ‘personhood’ (rooted in Trinitarian theology), and provides not just a deep concept to chew on, but important pastoral insights.
Many of us have fuzzy ideas, at best, about the Desert Christians or have read dry treatises about them. They seem far away, long ago, and forbidding.
Williams brings out their more human, even humorous side, at the same time punching home the strong spiritual teachings they offered the world.
I feel closer to those folk than ever before, and have a wider view of their idiosyncrasies as well as the overall genius of the breed.
FYI, this book was based upon a seminar Rowan Williams, then Archbishop of Canterbury, gave a while back for the World Community for Christian Meditation. He was talking to real people in real time, and although this book reads as if it were written for publication, a bit of his charm and ease with people comes through. Enjoyable, entertaining and educational. And uplifting.