A.N. Wilson: Where Rowan Williams meets Dostoevsky

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Yet the Church of England has not collapsed - not quite, anyway. And the result of the Archbishop's sabbatical in the United States is a splendid book on the wild, strange genius of Dostoevsky.

I was very glad to hear that he is quite unrepentant about having taken time off to write about the great Russian.

Rowan Williams says: "I think it is important that anyone in this sort of position does not become reactive, so your thoughts aren't determined by what's just come off the computer. And to keep that alive you need some sort of space.

"And I think it is some part of this job to try and keep stirring the cultural pot, even in a very limited way, and to say: when we are having all these debates about faith and atheism and science and so on, don't let's forget what lives of faith actually look like imaginatively, in ways that really serious writers and artists portray them, because if your view of religion is confined to a few fundamentalist platitudes, there's no debate there. Yes, just to remind people that some imaginatively serious non-trivial, non-Pollyannaish writers have lived with this. Yes, it's worth doing."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury * Culture-WatchPoetry & LiteratureReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEuropeRussia

Posted September 29, 2008 at 7:33 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. RichardKew wrote:

This is a delightful piece about Archbishop Rowan, and A. N. Wilson, lucid observer and writer that he is, has got the flavor of the ABC very well. Wilson himself has a somewhat checkered history as far as the faith is concerned, but he is, I think, absolutely fair in his assessment of Williams’ faith, his breadth of learning, and the delightful shy puckishness of his personality. Now, whether any of us ordinary mortals will be able to understand Rowan’s book on Dostoevsky remains to be seen!

September 29, 10:03 am | [comment link]
2. nwlayman wrote:

If he admires St. Seraphim so much, how can he abide people who believe so little of what the Saint believed?  How can the man who wrote a dissertation on Lossky be where he is?  Dillettante.

September 29, 12:58 pm | [comment link]
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