Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Christ the Heart of Creation” as Want to Read:
Christ the Heart of Creation
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Christ the Heart of Creation

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  61 ratings  ·  13 reviews
In this wide-ranging book, Rowan Williams argues that what we say about Jesus Christ is key to understanding what Christian belief says about creator and creation overall. Through detailed discussion of texts from the earliest centuries to the present day, we are shown some of the various and subtle ways in which Christians have discovered in their reflections on Christ ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published November 13th 2018 by Bloomsbury Continuum (first published September 6th 2018)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Christ the Heart of Creation, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Christ the Heart of Creation

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  61 ratings  ·  13 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Christ the Heart of Creation
Joseph Sverker
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
An incredibly impressive book and also extraordinarily dense. For me it was by no means an easy read, yet very, very rewarding. I was hoping to use it as a course book on undergraduate level, but I think it is too advance, which is sad in a way. The content should be communicated also on an undergraduate level because the discussion which Williams is mainly concerned with, the relationship between the infinite and the finite, the Creator and the created, is not normally a main concern in ...more
Roy Howard
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rowan Williams is the rare theologian who writes for popular audiences as well as the academy. This one is for those pastor-theologians who appreciate serious theological reflection. The book is an extended commentary on an earlier essay of Anglican theologian Austin Farrer that ponders the infinite and finite as as way to understand the Incarnation of Christ. From there, Williams surveys the history of theological reflection beginning with the early church and moving through the reformation to ...more
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Clarifying discussion on Christology

Williams offers a helpful reflection on the history of the Church's discussion of Jesus Christ as fully human and fully divine. He clarifies the creature/Creator distinction, and the risk of violating that distinction. Though aspects of the discussion are dense, it is worth wrestling through. He cover three main periods: the early development through Aquinas, the Reforms Luther and Calvin, and the modern era in Kierkegaard and Bonhoeffer ( with reflections on
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An extremely dense and learned book over the nature of Christ. A number of interesting insights, but ultimately I would get lost. I probably only understood about 20-30%, but I know enough to recognize an excellent work of scholarship.
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an extremely technical and quite difficult Christology. It looks (via Austin Farrer) at Aquinas, then the steps by which, from the NT onwards, Aquinas is reached, including the formation of Chalcedon and its “refinement” by Leontius of Byzantium and Leontius of Jerusalem, Maximus the Confessor and John of Damascene. It then looks both at the decay of the Thomist synthesis in Scotus and Luther, but also, more surprisingly, at its continuation and development in Calvin and then in Barth, ...more
Fascinating, powerful account of Christology. Must read for anyone interested in scholarly work on Christ's person. Slow reading and meditation required.
Peter Carey
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, what a wonderful book!

Wow, what a wonderful book by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams on Christ and Christology. Beginning with the earliest Christians, Dr. Williams charts the story of Christology through the centuries, and leaves me pondering deeply the meaning of Christ in my own life and the life of the World!
Carl Nelson
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An important modern reading of the language of the incarnation

Chalcedon declared Christ fully God and fully man. Williams starting with an observation of Farrar about infinite and finite reviews literature from Augustine to Bonhoeffer trying to faithfully treat the Chalcedon faith. Aquinas formulation of ease is given an important place in the argument. Clearly written making challenging philosophical arguments fairly straightforward to follow.
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a number of readers have noted, this is a dense and challenging read. I haven't been reading much "proper" systematic theology over the past year-and-a-half (for a variety of reasons), and working through this book over the course of a few months was a workout (in a good way). Williams seeks to answer the question "how does Christology ... generate a new and fuller grasp of the ‘grammar’ of createdness?" and does so by winding his way from the New Testament through Aquinas and on to ...more
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
Despite philosophical training in metaphysics, I'm not all that interested in theological metaphysics. My basic metaphysical approach is the organic philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead and the traditions of Process philosophy and American pragmatism. But when it comes to theology I approach the language as metaphorical and shrouded in mystery and have no real impulse for the sort of nuanced language that can occupy theological metaphysics.

Which means this book was a serious stretch for me.
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: doctrine-ethics
Rowan Williams writes (though does not, in my experience, speak) in a form of verbal algebra. This is not necessarily a criticism, but it does mean that you have to understand the terms in order to comprehend his meaning. When the blurb on the book says that he writes with pellucid clarity I am tempted to respond that if you have to look "pellucid" up in the dictionary then this book is not for you.

Unusually in my experience of reading Rowan, I did understand most of the terms because I've spent
Richard Woodhouse
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book on Christian Theology by the former Archbishop of the Church of England. He studies the theological insights of Thomas Aquinas, Austin Farrer, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and also insights from the Philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. How Christology both reveals God and yet also has a apophatic aspect to it too. He also touches on the work of Soren Kierkegaard as well. I am going to re-read this book again soon. Very profound philosophical/Theological work that needs more study from a limited ...more
Marc Schneider
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Dense and rich like a nice banana bread. Highly recommended to any serious theology nerds.
Reid Selmer
rated it it was amazing
Jul 31, 2019
Pete Patterson
rated it it was ok
Feb 17, 2019
Josh Valdix
rated it really liked it
Jun 10, 2019
Guilherme Cordeiro
rated it it was amazing
Jun 07, 2019
John Mann
rated it liked it
Jun 14, 2019
Johnny Serratt
rated it it was amazing
Jan 23, 2020
rated it really liked it
Jan 06, 2019
Shaun Brown
rated it it was amazing
Nov 24, 2018
Eric Parsons
rated it really liked it
Nov 26, 2019
John Francis
rated it it was amazing
Oct 24, 2019
Jarrod Dillon
rated it did not like it
Jan 21, 2020
Morgan Bell
rated it liked it
Dec 21, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Jan 02, 2020
rated it really liked it
Oct 21, 2019
rated it really liked it
Dec 31, 2018
Jack Pappas
rated it it was amazing
Dec 09, 2019
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • That All Shall Be Saved: Heaven, Hell, and Universal Salvation
  • For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy
  • On Christian Doctrine
  • Christian Flesh (Encountering Traditions)
  • Divine Scripture in Human Understanding: A Systematic Theology of the Christian Bible
  • The Complete Works
  • The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth
  • The Word Made Strange: Theology, Language and Culture
  • A Church for All
  • You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit
  • Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Critical Appropriation of Russian Religious Thought
  • Blessed Rage for Order: The New Pluralism in Theology
  • Modernity and Self-Identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age
  • Disability and Christian Theology: Embodied Limits and Constructive Possibilities (An American Academy of Religion Book)
  • The Psalms, Poetry on Fire
  • The Book of Books: A Biography of the King James Bible, 1611-2011
  • Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You
  • Cora Cooks Pancit
See similar books…
Rowan Douglas Williams, Baron Williams of Oystermouth, is an Anglican bishop, poet, and theologian. He was Archbishop of Canterbury from December 2002-2012, and is now Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge and Chancellor of the University of South Wales.
“God and the world are not two things to be added together. Neither are they two things that are ‘really’ one thing. They exist in an asymmetrical relation in which one depends wholly on the other, yet is fully itself, made to be and to act according to its own logic and structure.” 1 likes
“In the light of this clarification of the finite/infinite distinction, we can see that ‘revelatory’ action, including whatever events allow us a closer conscious share in infinite agency (in the love of the Trinity, to use the conventional theological phrasing), will be, not an interruption of the finite sequence, but a particular configuration of finite agency such that it communicates more than its own immanent content.” 0 likes
More quotes…