15 February 2024, The Tablet

From Russia with love

From Russia with love Sharing the riches of the eastern Christian spiritual tradition

From Russia with love

‘An essay on the cure of souls’: Rowan Williams
photo: Alamy, NEIL SPENCE.


In this little book Rowan Williams gives us a tonic for our times – a primer in self-awareness drawn from spiritual writings of the eastern Mediterranean between 450 and 750 CE and anthologised in The Philokalia. While we might wonder how the teachings of these stern ascetics fit into our busy digital lives, Williams thinks their acute and fundamentally honest diagnosis of the human condition is perennial. Perhaps it is even more needed in our western world where the “self” unapologetically takes centre stage.



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