One of the most controversial religious figures in centuries, Rowan Williams is also an admired figure who often "towers intellectually" over almost all his peers. As the Archbishop of Canterbury spearheaded the movement to liberalize the Anglican Church, and his remarks became so controversial he resigned in 2008. The personal portrait, by reporter Rupert Shortt, tells the life story of this complex, and at times, misunderstood man. Timely, and insightful, this book will shed light on the struggles surrounding Anglicanism, and one of its most controversial figures.
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. 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 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 looked ever more unstable?
Rupert Shortt, already the author of an acclaimed introduction to the Archbishop's thought, now offers answers to these and other questions in this authoritative biography. Written with Rowan Williams's full cooperation, it not only elucidates his ideas, but gives a compelling portrait of a private and in some ways surprisingly vulnerable man.