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The Poems of Rowan Williams [Paperback]

By Rowan Williams (Author)
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Item Number 143866  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   104
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.46" Width: 5.36" Height: 0.3"
Weight:   0.3 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2004
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  0802826857  
EAN  9780802826855  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Foreword by Phoebe Pettingell Long admired as a compassionate churchman and a superb scholar, Rowan Williams is also a poet of resounding voice and feeling. His earthy, poetic meditations are for everyone, religious and nonreligious alike. Archbishop Williams speaks from the crucible of faith, yet his words emerge from the universal experience of life. "I dislike the idea of being a religious poet," he says. "I would prefer to be a poet for whom religious things matter intensely." The Poems of Rowan Williams gathers all of the poems from the Archbishop's two previous collections, After Silent Centuries (1994) and Remembering Jerusalem (2001), and includes some more recent ones as well. The subject matter of these sixty-five poems ranges broadly - the natural world, works of art, a visit to the Holy Land at Easter, ancient Celtic artifacts, a group of thin girls waiting at a bus stop, grief at the loss of loved ones. Readers from all walks of life will come to cherish this choice collection of verse.

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More About Rowan Williams

Rowan Williams Rowan Williams was enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury in February 2003. His previous positions include Archbishop of Wales, Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity, Oxford and Dean of Clare College, Cambridge. He has taught theology for more than fifteen years in five continents, worked as a parish priest, and published widely. His previous publications include "Teresa of Avila" (1991), "Open to Judgment" (1994) and "Sergi Bulgakov" (1999).

Rowan Douglas Williams was born in Swansea, south Wales on 14 June 1950, into a Welsh-speaking family, and was educated at Dynevor School in Swansea and Christ's College Cambridge where he studied theology. He studied for his doctorate – in the theology of Vladimir Lossky, a leading figure in Russian twentieth-century religious thought – at Wadham College Oxford, taking his DPhil in 1975. After two years as a lecturer at the College of the Resurrection, near Leeds, he was ordained deacon in Ely Cathedral before returning to Cambridge.

Rowan Williams on his Graduation, Christ's College Cambridge, with Parents Aneurin and Delphine Williams, 1971From 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.

Rowan Williams and Jane Paul on their Wedding Day, 1981In 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.

Rowan Williams was born in 1950.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Incarnate words...  Mar 14, 2004
Rowan Williams is celebrated as one of the more academically accomplished Archbishops of Canterbury in recent memory; indeed, even those who disagree with his theological points of view rarely fault his scholarship or methodologies. Williams also has a collection of texts dealing with spiritual practices and issues, such as his series on praying with icons, and his recent text dealing with cultural issues in iconographic ways.

With this breadth of creativity, it should come as no surprise that Williams is also a poet. Being an Anglican, used to the Shakespearean-sounding liturgies and poetic, rhythmic cadences of the spoken words of worship services, and being strongly rooted in the Welsh culture where the blend of English and Celtic influences produces wonderfully strong lyrical constructions, Williams has a natural depth in the poetic. Somewhat ironically, Williams was raised in a Presbyterian household (where things done decently and in good order was the rule of the day), becoming an Anglican of his own accord while still at home. Williams had a broad education that included a developing appreciation for poets in the English language - the work of T.S. Eliot and W.H. Auden are apparent in some of his work. Williams also translated poetry of writers from other languages (such as Rilke), including his native Welsh (Ann Griffiths, T. Gwynn Jones, and Waldo Williams).

Perhaps the greatest strength of Williams' poetry is its immediacy and descriptive power. Anglo-Catholic liturgies are very tactile experiences - there are things to see, to smell, to hear, and to do. Anglo-Catholic theology is very incarnational - the word made flesh, something Williams takes to heart in his poetry, which seems to have a lot of flesh on the words, with thick descriptive power putting the reader in the heart of the feeling and experience.

This book includes all of the poems from Williams' previous volumes of poems, 'After Silent Centuries' (1994) and 'Remembering Jerusalem' (2001), in addition to new ones. Some relate directly to the icon work Williams did in relation to his meditative texts on praying with icons, 'Ponder These Things: Praying with Icons of the Virgin Mary' and 'The Dwelling of the Light: Praying with Icons of Christ'. There is also a selection of some of his translations from German and Welsh.

There is a tremendous spirit, full of creativity and passion, present in these poems. Some are clever, some are heart-felt; all are glorious expressions of this caring and careful writer. Perhaps Williams says it best when he speaks of not wanting to be a 'religious poet' but rather a poet for whom religious concerns matter strongly. One can sense this strong sense of connection with independence, a distinction without a difference.

Powerful words.


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