In this text, Rowan Williams goes back to the th century Desert Fathers and Mothers for inspiration and insight He rediscovers that the spirituality of the deseert resonates strongly with aspects of the modern spiritual search


15 thoughts on “Silence and Honey Cakes: The Wisdom of the Desert

  1. Bob Elvis Bob Elvis says:

    I have always admired and respected Rowan Williams as a deep thinker and one who is unafraid of posing difficult questions I came to this book seeking further insights into eastern religion and culture via mysticism What I got was so much Rowan Williams views on the potential for a new take on what it is to live in community and how best one can serve one s fellow human beings are moving and enlightening What he has to say about language, its use and the power of its corollary silence is profound and beautiful I shall definitely be reading Benedicta Ward s The Sayings of the Desert Fathers , the subject matter for this discourse and, hopefully, John Chryssavgis In the Heart of the Desert the Spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers drawn on by Rowan Williams Silence and Honey Cakes is not an easy read, at least it is not if you front up to the challenges Rowan Williams presents The arguments are, of course, cogently made as only a true academic can but Williams presents them in a truly accessible form My natural bent is not toward theological writings of the Christian discourse but for Rowan Williams I shall make an exception This book is a delight to the mind and spirit one to cherish.


  2. L.W L.W says:

    A wonderfully intimate thought provoking exploration of the lives and writings of the desert monks of the 5th century.Skeptical of some aspects of the emerging catholic church these men and women devoted themselves to Christian community, devotion, reflection and above all, the pursuit of living in simplicity and humbleness.With today s current trend of many of us trekking off to distant lands to experience poverty and different kinds of community this book reminds us that this trend is not really as new as we think Many people have always yearned to put their busy, hectic stressful lives on hold While the current trend tends towards narcissism and the quest to find the real me these earlier people attempted to build better relations with each other, to worship God as they saw right and to practice the teachings of the new testament.Rowan Williams has done an excellent job of balancing description and analysis, gently letting the voices of the past speak for themselves while at the same time pointing out many of our contemporary problems apply to the questions this group of people were asking all those years ago in North Africa For instance the issue of restlessness is discussed by the desert fathers, a timeless problem.


  3. Heather Heather says:

    This book is worth careful reading because it can give the reader fresh insights into how a life of faith might best be lived So far I have read it three times and revisited some passages too I have taken the deeper message to heart It is beautifully written Superficially it is easy to read, but there is great depth there.


  4. Mary Mary says:

    One of several books recommended on a friends course, which I read as support Timeless and challenging, one of the best we have read.Explores the reasons behind some Anglican thinking and helped me appreciate so much , as I haven t a background in that form of church.Older book but don t be put off, it is full of ageless wisdom and bang up to today s needs.


  5. Mrs Brown Mrs Brown says:

    I need to go back to this one The information about the early church and the links to monasticism in Europe is interesting The edited highlights of the desert fathers thinking basically love rather than judgement is authentically Christian But I am not sure I have inwardly digested all that is being said by Rowan Williams and feel that quite a lot has been left out so this is not a complete picture.


  6. RichardDM RichardDM says:

    Simply outstanding A treasure trove of ancient wisdom and hilarious conversations in the desert.


  7. The Green Man The Green Man says:

    This is only a short book, but it is worth reading slowly The Desert Fathers and Mothers are a treasure trove in their own right here Rowan Williams distils some themes from their teachings and shows how they are still important to us today As I finish this book I m back on looking for some Williams to feed myself with.


  8. Dennis Wyatt Dennis Wyatt says:

    Eternal wisdom from time informative of a previous time


  9. Maura McGrath maura mcgrath Maura McGrath maura mcgrath says:

    It is not my style


  10. petermcarey petermcarey says:

    Rowan Williams has written a marvelous little book reflecting on the Desert Fathers and Mothers Dr Williams chooses several anecdotes and sayings of these early monastics, and then reflects upon them and gives the reader much rich food for thought Wonderful book


  11. The Good Crone The Good Crone says:

    Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, is an elegant writer with a surprisingly deep personal understanding of the contemplative life, and an obvious love of the desert elders This book is so wonderful, it would be among the top 10 I d take to a desert island If you are just curious about the desert fathers as they are popularly called, or if you have a lot of book larnin about them, or if you already live a desert existence and understand them profoundly, you ll find this book delightful.


  12. Glenn Austegard Glenn Austegard says:

    I like the theme of the book, and Rowan Williams does a good job of interpreting the wisdom og the desert tradition and making it relevant in our time.


  13. Robert T Spencer Robert T Spencer says:

    I ve become a fan of the writings of the former Archbishop of Canterbury This is a wonderful little book for those interested in the spirituality of contemplative prayer.


  14. mdc.inoz mdc.inoz says:

    Anyone reading this little gem will appreciate the depth of thinking of the author and his genuine understanding of the subject on which he writes with such conviction The Desert Tradition This is a thoughtful book, a delight to read, instructional and optimistic Thoroughly recommended.


  15. Kristin Schultz Kristin Schultz says:

    thanks