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Durham University

Department of Theology and Religion


Publication details for Professor Mike Higton

Higton, Mike (2018). Rowan Williams. In The Oxford Handbook of Ecclesiology. Avis, Paul Oxford: Oxford University Press. 505-523.

Author(s) from Durham


Rowan Williams’s ecclesiology is shaped by his account of the spiritual life. He examines the transformation of human beings’ relationships to one another, driven by their encounter with God’s utterly gracious love in Jesus Christ. The church is the community of forgiven people generated by Christ’s resurrection. It is animated by its constant exposure to God’s love in Christ in word and sacrament. It is held to that exposure by its doctrinal discipline. It is a community in which members go on learning from one another how to go more deeply into that exposure. For Williams, the church’s commitment to unity and its commitment to truth go together: truth cannot be discovered without holding together in unity to learn from one another; and proper ecclesial unity is unity in this search for truth.