Rowan Williams The Wounded Knowledge: Christian Spirituality

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Preface Rowan Williams, The Wounded Knowledge: Christian Spirituality from the New Testament to St. John of the Cross Probably, Augustine’s Confessions is a single text that most resonate with Rowan William’s imaginative life. It is a work that uniquely fuses spirituality with theology. Augustine articulates truth about God by talking to God: the reader is eavesdropping on his theology. The modern distinction between theology and spirituality is rendered meaningless in Augustin’s language of prayer. In the opening paradox of the Confessions, he asked whether we first pray (in order to know God) or first know God (in order to pray). How could we call on a God whom we don’t already know something about? But how could we know anything…show more content…
It has a he long sub-title: “A Theological History from the New Testament to Luther and St. John of the Cross.” It is a history of ideas within the field of Christian spirituality. The focus for such historical study is on “the ways in which a succession of Christian saints attempted to articulate their vision of the Christian calling, the diverse ways in which they responded to the call toward wholeness.” Thus for Rowan Williams the goal of the Christian life is not enlightenment but…show more content…
His first patristic example was Ignatius of Antioch, both Greek and Latin Fathers such as Irenaeus of Lyons, Clement of Alexandria, Athanasius, Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa, the monks of the desert, the monks of the Benedictine and the Cistercian orders, and some of the medieval theologians. In The Wound of Knowledge, Williams approvingly cites Gregory of Nyssa who “says simply that since ‘intellectual’ knowledge of God is impossible, God must be found and known in the converted heart of the believer and in the purity of his or her life and actions.” Williams argues that the monks found God by living and working in close quarters with one

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