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Table of Contents

Preface Introduction 1. Christ Against the Truth 2. Devils 3. The Last Word? Dialogue and Recognition 4. Exchanging Crosses 5. Sacrilege and Revelation:Thje Broken Image Conclusion Bibliography

Promotional Information

An extraordinary book, which enables us to consider the nature of God in the 21st Century through the lens of Dostoevsky's novels.

About the Author

Rowan Williams (Baron Williams of Oystermouth) is Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, UK. He was formerly Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford, UK, and was Archbishop of Canterbury from 2002 - 2012.


BBC Radio 3 Literary Proms: Archbishop on Dostoevsky [for a transcript please see 'published reviews' folder on macshare]
"...a real feeling for literary narrative... a profound and thought provoking book" Salley Vickers, The Times, September 2008
"There are some splendid reflections in this study on the affinities between faith and literary form ... Dostoevsky reveals the kind of exquisite subtelty of insight we have come to expect from this poet-philosopher." The Tablet
Title mention in London Review of Books, November 2008
"Rowan Williams' fascinating book intermittently achieves what the best literary criticism strives for - smart readings of challenging works that simultaneously find ways to shed some light on some urgent problems of our time" Times Higher Education Supplement, November 2008
"Wild Ecstasy, people having fits, sons murdering fathers, prostitutes converting psychopaths to Christ-this is the world of Dostoevsky, and you can see why the Archbishop finds it a refreshing change from the current Liliputian crises in the Church" Mary Miers, Country Life, November 2008
"The Archbishop of Canterbury has written a book on Dostoevsky which illuminates the real operations of religion in human minds.... We need a guide who combines the gifts of a literary critic and a trained theologian to work out how far the novels of Dostoevsky can be used as vehicles for such explorations. We also need a guide who is deeply versed in the ethos and spiritual traditions of the Russian Orthodox Church to place Dostoevsky, and the tormented exchanges of his characters, within some intelligible historical framework. Luckily the Archbishop of Canterbury combines all these qualities, and more" A. N. Wilson, Times Literary Supplement
"Williams takes into account a vast range of critical writing on his subject as well as the work of theologians and philosophers... Anyone who studies this book carefully and is not familiar with Dostoevsky's novels, is likey to go away with a desire to read them" Paul Richardson, Church of England Newspaper, October 2008
"Rowan Williams is an excellent literary critic. He makes you want to read, or reread, everything that Dostoevsky wrote. The books that he describes are spacious enough to contain a whole world, and beautiful enough to serve as icons that illuminate ours" Andrew Brown, The Guardian, September 2008
"There is an engagement with contemporary literature which is hard to find in any other public figure... He speaks knowledgeably and and appreciatively" The Daily Telegraph, September 2008
"Although Rowan Willaims is very modest about hsi credentials in writing an important book on Dostoevsky, it is difficult to think of anyone who is better qualified... a remarkable contribution to understanding not just Dostoevsky, but what it might involve to be a religious believer in the world today" Richard Harries, Church Times, October 2008
"His discussion of icons is a wonderful fusion of literary criticism and theological exposition, which makes more sense of the Christian understanding of the incarnation than almost anything I have ever read on the subject" Andrew Brown, The Guardian, September 2008
"Williams writes superbly, every sentence counts, he can express just what he wants to say with eloquent precision and conviction. Not only those interested in Dostoevskii's Christianity will find much enrichment for their thoughts but, given its centrality to his fiction, this book will be indispensable for anyone seriously interested in Dostoevskii. Williams has gone very deeply into Dostoevskii's art and has illuminated, as few have, its Christocentric heart." The Slavonic and East European Review, 87.4, October 2009
Archbishop Rowan Williams reviews Absence of Mind in The Telegraph 28th May, with a puff for Dostoevsky at the end of the review.
'The archbishop's book is an absorbing critical account of Dostoevsky's work which uses his real understanding of how Christian ideas shaped Dostoevsky's world and people. He is particularly good on the devil' AS Byatt in The Guardian, 17th July -- AS Byatt
"Permeated by Williams's distinctive vocabulary... [this book is] challenging and inspiring" Third Way, November 2008
Title mentioned in 'Byzantium' in an article written by the author
"a very good book....Dr. Williams has come as close as any twenty-first century western man can hope to do, to the spirit that aniamted Dostoevsky's literary genius. This is no mean achievement" Churchman, 1 November 2008 -- Gerald Bray
"This work offers solely a Christian understanding of Dostoevsky's work and does not entertain alternative readings" Chioice, Feb 2009 -- A.J. DeBlasio
Reviewed by John D. Baird, TLS 16 january 2009
Author article, Book mentioned * The Guardian *

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