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Faith in the Public Square Hardcover – 15 Nov 2005

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Continuum (15 Nov. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408187582
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408187586
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.1 x 23.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 242,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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About the Author

Rowan Williams is Archbishop of Canterbury. He was formerly Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity at Oxford and Archbishop of Wales.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Brian Reifer on 2 April 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Rowan Williams takes the questions that trouble the people today in these universal exacting times and applies to them the Christian viewpoint and values. He tackles the problems to social order - or, if you like disorder, the secularism in its varied forms. It is a carefully thought through reply to these problems beginnig from the simple first beliefs in God and the Creation and leads on from there.

It is a book that challenges preconceptions.

It is a book for the inquiring mind lost and seeking some solutions to unanswered questions & half spoken beliefs.

Built up through a series of individual chapters; each can be read as a stand alone piece of writing on the issues of today whether they be economics, multiracial societies or the place and need of the Church's influence in government today.

This is the best book of its kind and a necessary document in our time.

In the short time I have possessed it this book has opened my eyes to many aspects of the role of the church and its importance to our daily lives at all levels of the community.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Meadows on 5 Mar. 2014
Format: Hardcover
I was aware of the existence of 'Faith in the Public Square' a little while ago, when it seemed to cause a minor stir among some Anglicans but it seems to have little longer-lasting impact. The first thing to note about it, however, is that it’s not a book that Rowan actually set out to write. Instead, it’s a collection of transcripts of various sermons and lectures he gave between June 2002 and February 2012. Much of the vernacular used for a public address has been kept; in fact, I’m not certain how much editing was done to the transcripts at all, apart from the staff at Bloomsbury occasionally omitting spaces whenever they thought italics were most appropriate, something I hope they will correct in any subsequent print runs.

As the title suggests, the book is largely about how issues of faith and religion play out in public life. The lectures have been ordered by theme, rather than by the order in which they were first given, so as to try to give some kind of coherency to discussions on a quite wide variety of topics. The first two parts of the book, which are the longest and, I think it’s fair to say, the most intricate, are about secularism, multiculturalism, pluralism and the different ways these are perceived, coupled with Rowan’s own thoughts about which is the right path to walk down.

If anything though, these chapters could be skipped, as Rowan summarises it all very nicely in the Preface. The rest is more filling in the details. Crucial to this point of view is the distinction between what he refers to as “procedural secularism” and “programmatic secularism”. The former is a stance where no religious (or non-religious) position is given undue privilege in places of public life, such in government or media.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By grand daddy on 17 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A dense read but worth the effort. Some real gems here from a man of great faith. Inspirational work that repays the effort of reading thoughtfully.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By d.i. marquand on 14 Dec. 2012
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This is a collection of essays and lectures, but it hangs together beautifully. A profound and stirring contribution to public debate by a truly great man.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 13 April 2013
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This is a book of collected addresses by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, and it raises some very important themes. It is not a pot-boiler of popular hot-button topics, but needs to be read slowly, one chapter at a time and thought about carefully.

I think that it is an excellent book and well worth the investment of time and energy in reading it.
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Chris Brown on 6 Nov. 2012
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Rowan Williams brings together a wide range of commentary on a series of key contemporary issues. All of the articles are thoughtful and bring a strong analytical intelligence to matters of concern to all who are seeking the common good.
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By Jennywren on 10 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hard reading. Take it slowly.
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