Rowan's Rule: The Biography of the Archbishop of Canterbury

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Feb 24, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 466 pages
A fascinating, fair-minded depiction of Archbishop Rowan Williams. /Rowan Williams is a complex and controversial figure. Widely revered for his personal qualities, he is also an intellectual giant who towers over almost all his predecessors as Archbishop of Canterbury. Among other achievements, he has trounced the atheist Richard Dawkins, and published over twenty well-regarded books, including several volumes of poetry and a major study of Dostoevsky. / Yet he is also one of the most reviled church leaders in modern history. Long before facing calls to step down after his lecture on sharia law in early 2008, he had been accused of heresy on account of his pro-gay views. He has disappointed many of his own supporters as well. So how has high office changed Rowan Williams? Has he been bullied and manipulated? Or is he perhaps playing a long game, obliged to rate church unity above the pursuit of his own vision at a time when the Anglican Communion has never looked more unstable? / Rupert Shortt, already the author of an acclaimed introduction to the Archbishop's thought, offers answers to these and other questions in this authoritative biography. He explores how the events of the Archbishop's remarkable life have shaped his beliefs and practices today. Of particular interest is the riveting account of Williams's experience near the World Trade Center towers on the morning of September 11, 201. Written with Williams's cooperation, Rowan's Rule not only elucidates his ideas but gives a compelling portrait of a private and in some ways surprisingly vulnerable man.

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User Review  - stillatim - LibraryThing

A very readable, sympathetic account of a genuinely interesting man. Some unintended comedy arises when Shortt tries to criticize Williams; the only area in which Shortt can find disagreements is in ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Basileios919 - LibraryThing

Rare but not unprecedented, a biography of an Anglican Archbishop seldom contends with the sheer volume of primary and secondary texts about its subject as Rupert Shortt must address in this book ... Read full review

Selected pages


Semper Sursum
Tradition and the Individual Talent
Where All the Ladders Led
Fox and Hedgehog
The Newport Years
On the Front Line
The Windsor Way
Multiple Echo
Positive Capability
Picture Acknowledgements

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About the author (2009)

Rupert Shortt is religion editor of the London Times Literary Supplement and the author of Rowan Williams: An Introduction and Pope Benedict XVI: Commander of the Faith.

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