Passions of the Soul
Rowan WIlliams shows how the Eastern Fathers can help us to understand and cope with the turbulence and vicissitudes of the 21st century.
Rowan Williams has been engaged for many years in research on the riches of Eastern Christian tradition.
In The Passions of the Soul, he sets out to open up the ways in which the great classics of Eastern Christian spiritual writing can help us to understand and cope with the turbulence and vicissitudes of 21st century men and women.
Williams writes out of a deep concern to understand and display the cost of living in a culture that is theologically and philosophically undernourished, working with a diminished and trivialised picture of the human self. The Eastern monastic tradition in particular teaches us what it means to live so as to let our eyes be opened not only to God but to the material world. Before we can enter into the contemplation of the divine, we need formation in self-knowledge, and a capacity to relate to the rest of the world without selfish illusions. And in this process, we come to grasp how those human reactions work that can trap us in negative, delusory and destructive patterns of behaviour.
Only in this way can we understand the kind of people we need to become.
Rowan Williams has a record of writing persuasively for very diverse audiences, and this new book shows his skill at writing on deep and significant issues without theological jargon or intellectual over-elaboration.
About this Author
Rowan Williams is a former Archbishop of Canterbury and was until 2020 Master of Magdalene College at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of many books, including Looking East in Winter, Holy Living, and The Edge of Words, published by Bloomsbury Continuum. He lives in Cardiff and continues to broadcast, preach and lecture internationally. In 2022, he gave the second of the BBC?s centenary Reith Lectures.
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