A complex man with a very public presence, Rowan Williams' contributions to religious and secular life in Britain are influential but little understood. Theo Hobson's 'Anarchy, Church and Utopia' (ACU), which outlines and critiques the development of Williams' theology of the Church (ecclesiology), is a good place to start understanding: The Church is the place from where Williams draws his moral and political resources, and so how he operates inside and outside of the Church is largely an expression of his ecclesiology.
Chapter 1 of ACU is a helpful overview of several key theological themes in Williams' thought, including Anglo-Catholicism, liberalism and theologian Karl Barth. In each case Hobson interweaves theology with biography (mostly taking the latter from university life - lecturers, colleagues etc...) - a nice touch which introduces us to Williams' social world as well as his thought. The remaining three chapters continue with a similar format. Mixing theology and biography (with emphasis on the former), Hobson traces the development of Williams' ecclesiology chronologically, from his Oxbridge `starred first' in theology, 1971, to Canterbury, 2002. The major sources referenced along the way are Williams' books and public addresses.
Hobson writes ACU not just as a commentary but as a thesis in itself. The book is intended as a critique of Williams' ecclesiology, exposing what Hobson considers to be an unresolved tension between Williams' traditionalism and idealism (a thesis hinted at in the title). We see this theory worked out throughout the book, supplying a nuance which makes it all the more interesting. (N.B. Hobson's tone is very sympathetic and not disparaging). Yet this critical commentary doesn't complicate the book so much that it's unsuitable for those unfamiliar with Williams. Throughout, Hobson is lucid and accessible. His thesis is slightly too underdeveloped to merit a 5 star review but overall ACU is very insightful and rewarding.