In many ways, we seem to be living in wintry times at present in the Western world. In this new book, Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury and a noted scholar of Eastern Christianity, introduces us to some aspects and personalities of the Orthodox Christian world, from the desert contemplatives of the fourth century to philosophers, novelists and activists of the modern era, that suggest where we might look for fresh light and warmth. He shows how this rich and diverse world opens up new ways of thinking about spirit and body, prayer and action, worship and social transformation, which go beyond the polarisations we take for granted.
Taking in the world of the great spiritual anthology, the Philokalia, and the explorations of Russian thinkers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, discussing the witness of figures like Maria Skobtsova, murdered in a German concentration camp for her defence of Jewish refugees, and the challenging theologies of modern Greek thinkers like John Zizioulas and Christos Yannaras, Rowan Williams opens the door to a 'climate and landscape of our humanity that can indeed be warmed and transfigured'.
This is an original and illuminating vision of a Christian world still none too familiar to Western believers and even to students of theology, showing how the deep-rooted themes of Eastern Christian thought can prompt new perspectives on our contemporary crises of imagination and hope.
About the Author
Rowan Williams (Baron Williams of Oystermouth) is Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, UK. He was formerly Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford, UK, and was Archbishop of Canterbury from 2002 - 2012.
"The language is precise and exact, yet also evocative and elegant." - Church Times
"An austere read, reflecting a lifetime’s intellectual engagement with Orthodoxy. It is at the same time full of warmth. Williams' account of holy folly is wonderful." - The Tablet
"There is no theological writer in English whose prose is more lucid, more crystalline, more careful, than Lord Williams of Oystermouth, known more widely as Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury from 2002 to 2012 ... Looking East in Winter is a brilliant exploration of modern Orthodox theology ... Archbishop Rowan has completed another remarkable book, the reading of which is itself a meditative and nourishing experience." - Medium