19 July 2023, The Tablet

The joy of conversation

Timothy Radcliffe and Lukasz Popko

The joy of conversation

Timothy Radcliffe and Lukasz Popko at the launch of their book
Dominican Friars


Two Dominicans, a former Master of the Order and a young Polish biblical scholar, explain that God reveals himself to his people through biblical stories, through words of friendship, and through conversations in which no one is left unheard

Two summers ago, it looked as if Timothy Radcliffe, former Master of the Dominican Order and celebrated preacher, might not be long for this world. He had advanced cancer, and faced a gruesome operation. Email bulletins sent to his friends by his brethren at Blackfriars, Oxford, triggered the kind of physical horror felt when imagining the oxygen running out in the Titan submersible: Radcliffe would be under anaesthetic for more than 30 hours, during which time doctors would saw out a chunk of his cancerous jaw and replace it with a lump of bone from his leg. If and when he finally came round, he would have a raging thirst but would not be allowed a drop to drink. He might well never be able to eat normally or to speak again. “I might have just lain in bed waiting to die,” he says.


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