On Christian Theology / Edition 1

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This distillation of 20 years of Rowan Williams' pastoral and academic work tackles many of the most searching questions of theology and society at the end of the twentieth century.

  • Collects the work of a prominent writer and serving bishop on the history of Christian theology and spirituality.
  • Brings together Rowan Williams' theological essays with studies of wider issues from a theological point of view.
  • Includes an introduction to his work by Bishop Williams.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I believe Rowan Williams is one of the most creative and profound theologians writing in the latter half of the twentieth century. There is extraordinary significance to bringing together many of these essays into one book which makes them available to a wider public." L. Gregory Jones, Duke University

"A sustained and remarkably coherent essay on the daunting task of doing theology today. They again show him to be a theologian of immense erudition and maturity, and, perhaps more importantly, of fine sensitivity to the subterfuges of human frailty."Times Literary Supplement

"It is certainly a thought-provoking book; and if it gets people thinking honestly and deeply about the problems it discusses, then I am sure its author will be satisfied." Church Times

"Few contemporary theologians could offer such an exhilarating, authoritative and properly demanding exploration of what it means to do Christian theology. A companion volume on Christian ethics would be more than welcome." Nicholas Sagovsky, University of Newcastle.

"Rowan Williams speaks out of a fund of learning and pastoral experience which has made him arguably the most distinguished theologian in the English-speaking world. In Williams' hands the language of finality and universal significance gains unexpected energy." The Way.

"[On Christian Theology] exhibits a distinctive theological posture...having remarkable and deep internal coherence. His terms of engagement do not so much incite challenge and response as provoke fresh and more supple thinking of one's own. And that provocation is accompanied by the intense esthetic satisfaction of being drawn into the intellectual dance of so nimble and inventive a theological sensibility." David H. Kelsey, Yale Divinity School.

"The range of these essays, the importance of the subjects they treat, and, of course, Williams's erudition all mean that these essays will need to be taken seriously. A wide range of readers will owe Williams a debt of gratitude for the scatter of characteristically brilliant insights in these essays." The Heythrop Journal

"All in all, this is a valuable and stumulating book - one to which the reader will want to return." Studies in World Christianity

Gerard Loughlin
Rowan possesses a subtle, always carefully qualified theological vision...[the book] offers tough but intoxicating reflections which are as stirring and intelligent as theology and social analysis can be. Essential reading, then, for all who think that our common life should be other than it is, and for all who hope and pray that it will be so.
Times Literary Supplement
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631214403
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/11/2000
  • Series: Challenges in Contemporary Theology Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 328
  • Sales rank: 1,075,589
  • Product dimensions: 6.05 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

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).

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Table of Contents




1. Defining the Enterprise.

Theological Integrity.

The Unity of Christian Truth.

The Judgement of the World.

The Discipline of Scripture.

2. The Act of God.

On Being Creatures.

Beginning with the Incarnation.

The Finality of Christ.

Word and Spirit.

3. The Grammar of God.

Trinity and Revelation.

Trinity and Ontology.

Trinity and Pluralism.

4. Making Signs.

Between the Cherubim: the Empty Tomb and the Empty Throne.

The Nature of a Sacrament.

Sacraments of the New Society.

5. Living the Mystery.

Incarnation and the Renewal of Community.

Interiority and Epiphany: a Reading in New Testament Ethics.

Resurrection and Peace: More on New Testament Ethics.

'Nobody Knows Who I Am Till the Judgement Morning'.


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