Rowan Williams on Christian Anthropology

Rowan Williams recently gave a lecture as part of the ‘A World to Believe in – Cambridge Consultations on Faith, Humanity and the Future’ sessions. It’s well worth reading the whole thing. Here’s a snippert:

‘Religious belief is not only belief about God, it’s belief about human beings. And what is non-negotiable in faith is not simply a set of doctrines about the transcendent, but a set of commitments about how human beings are to be seen and responded to. Not everybody in our society has an anthropology, a doctrine of human nature, not everybody has a set of such commitments and they probably never will. But it is a very impoverished society, and it is a very limited educational policy, that assumes you can do without the memory of such doctrines and commitments around. Christian anthropology, the Christian vision of what human beings are about, assumes a number of things about humanity which shape Christian responses to human existence. It assumes that human beings are summoned to respond to an initiative from God, that human beings are summoned to shape a life that will itself communicate something of God to others, and something of humanity itself to God. It assumes that humanity is called to question fictions about both the society and the human self in the name of some greater destiny or capacity in humanity than most political systems or philosophies allow. So, properly understood, Christian anthropology – the Christian doctrine of human nature – is one of those things which ought to reinforce in the university and in society more widely, a set of deep suspicions about the ways in which that range of human capacity is shrunk by political expediency and convenience’.

Full lecture here.

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