Rowan Williams

Archbishop of Canterbury

Making Representations: Religious Faith and the Habit of Language

In this series of six lectures, Lord Williams considers how language about God enters our ordinary human discourse, and the ways in which language itself is more complex and problematic than we once thought. This, in turn, prompts a greater openness to references about the transcendent. He asserts that our human speech points to an initiative that is not ours and to the conviction that our intelligence struggles to keep pace with the intelligibility and communicability of our environment.


Rowan Douglas Williams was born on 14 June 1950 in Swansea, Wales. Lord Williams is acknowledged internationally as an outstanding religious leader and thinker. He served ten years as the Archbishop of Canterbury, the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England. In 2013, he stepped down to become a peer in the House of Lords and the 35th Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, as well as an Honorary Professor of Contemporary Christian Thought.

A fellow of the British Academy since 1990, Lord Williams has published several collections of articles, sermons, and poetry. His more than two dozen books cover philosophy, theology (especially early Christianity), spirituality, and religious aesthetics. These include On Christian Theology (2000), Arius: Heresy and Tradition (2002), Writing in the Dust: After September 11 (2002), Tokens of Trust: An Introduction to Christian Belief (2007), On Augustine (2016), and The Way of St. Benedict (2020).

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