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Poetry Review 104:2 Summer 2014

Philip Gross is always very interesting (e.g. Deep Field), so I was pleased that the first three poems in this edition were his. The first, “The Players” is a brilliantly subtle evocation of the causes and ramifications of the First World War; so subtle, indeed, that it might not be about that at all. 395 more words


Rowan Williams on prayer

Some kinds of instruction in prayer used to say at the beginning, “Put yourself in the presence of God.” But I often wonder whether it would be more helpful to say, “Put yourself in the place of Jesus.” It sounds appallingly ambitious, even presumptuous, but that is actually what the New Testament suggests we do.

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Tranquillity is not the state that springs to mind when Dylan Thomas is mentioned. He seems to have been fleeing tranquillity even while desperate to find it, like another addictive poet, Francis Thompson, pursued by… 371 more words

Rowan Williams on reading and interpreting scripture

Things get difficult if you hold that the Bible is only a human product; but they also get difficult when the Bible is treated only as a set of timeless instructions from God, irrespective of the actual process by which the texts arose.

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On Blond Jesus -- how a little art history can go a long way

Everyone once in a while, someone, maybe a friend in conversation, maybe a preacher from a pulpit, will come down hard on traditional western images of Christ, saying that that pale, blond, slender Jesus is a remote image of someone who is very close. 597 more words


Art, Love, and Creation

I have argued before here that art is one of the things that humans do which most fully constitutes our humanity, and sets our nature apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. 1,672 more words


Simone Weil and perfectly pure desire

I’ve been intrigued by the French philosopher, anarchist and mystic, Simone Weil (1909-1943), ever since hearing a lecture about her by Rowan Williams (from the same Holy Week series as Dr Williams’ lecture on… 711 more words