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Praying for England The Heart of the Church by Sam Wells

Praying for England The Heart of the Church


Praying for England The Heart of the Church by Sam Wells

Praying for England reflects on the role of Christian priesthood in contemporary culture, and comes up with some surprising and timely insights about its efficacy and importance. There are ritual and representative functions of the priest, it argues, which remain spiritually and socially vital, even - perhaps especially - in a society which ostensibly ignores the Church, or appears so pluralistic as to lack any religious cohesion. The priestly role as mediator before God of society's deepest pains, losses, joys and irresolvable anxieties is here reimagined, and brought freshly to life though moving narratives of pastoral encounter. Above all, the priest is seen as one who goes on 'praying for England' in decisive but often uncelebrated ways, prayer being the chief measure and test of the priest's representative role. This is a deceptively simple volume - theologically accessible but often deeply moving and profound. In it a new vision is sketched of how Christian priesthood can go forward today with humility, understated dignity, and spiritual power. It will be of special interest to English churchpeople in an 'established' setting, but is written no less with an ecumenical and international readership in mind.


Seven thought-provoking and varied essays on contemporary theological and pastoral issues, with an afterword by the Archbishop of Canterbury add up to a book worthy of a better binding, and many readers ... go and buy a copy - it says far more about what we are all really here for than anything I have read for some time. - The NEWSpaper Title mentioned in Church Times, August 2008 [Praying for England's] insights have important implications. Its at times shocking and moving accounts of priestly presence in difficult circumstances speak for themseleves. - The Tablet Title mentioned in edited version of author's essay appearing in The Tablet, April 2008. A theological vision. -Christopher Ruddy, Commonweal

About the Author

Professor Wells is an Anglican Priest with a former parish in Norwich. He is one of Rowan Williams brightest young stars and recently became Professor and Dean at Duke University, USA. Professor Sarah Coakley was Professor in the Harvard Divinity School and is now Norris Hulse Professor in The University of Cambridge. She is an Anglican Priest.

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Book Info

Publication date

24th April 2008


Sam Wells

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T.& T.Clark Ltd an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


206 pages




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