Where God Happens
Discovering Christ in One Another
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Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the Anglican Church, has penned a remarkable little book that makes it all both relevant and accessible. Even if the names of these monks and nuns are foreign to you, their pearls of wisdom are not. This is a great introduction to the early hermits. For those interested in learning more, the book ends with a wonderful chapter on monastic wisdom, with detailed notes and suggestions for further reading.”—The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
"Rowan Williams is a scholar and priest, a mystic and a poet, a contemplative and an advocate for social justice—all rare combinations for a church leader. In Where God Happens, he combines his roles by examining the ancient wisdom of the Desert Fathers and interpreting the relevance of their teaching for Christian spirituality today. In the early monastics' search for the experience of God and an alternative style of community, he finds a new and deeper faith for the postmodern world. This compelling work of scholarship and spirituality shows why the Archbishop of Canterbury is truly a breath of fresh air and one of the most important and hopeful church leaders we have today."—Jim Wallis, editor of Sojourners magazine, author of God's Politics
The place "where God happens," according to Rowan Williams's striking new reading of the Desert Fathers and Mothers, is between each other. It's a truth that we of the twenty-first century most urgently need to learn in order to heal the experience of alienation that has become endemic to our age, and these odd and appealing ancient figures, surprisingly, hold keys to this healing.
The fourth-century Christian hermits of Egypt, Syria, and Palestine understood the truth of Christian community profoundly, and their lives demonstrate it vividly—even though they often lived in solitude and isolation. The author breaks through our preconceived ideas of the Desert Fathers to reveal them in a new light: as true and worthy role models—even for us in our modern lives—who have much to teach us about dealing with the anxieties, uncertainties, and sense of isolation that have become hallmarks of modern life. They especially embody valuable insights about community, about how to live together in an intimate and meaningful way. Williams makes these radical figures, who clearly have a special place in his heart, come to life in a new way for everyone.
The book includes an appendix of selections from the teachings of the Desert Fathers.