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Beyond Reality: Dostoevsky and ‘Holy Fools’. Talk by Dr Rowan Williams

Wednesday 11 October, 2017, 19:00 - 21:00

| £5

Dr. Rowan Williams is widely known as a recent Archbishop of Canterbury – he held the office from 2002 till 2012. At present, he is the Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, and chair of the board of trustees of Christian Aid.

However, it is probably somewhat less known that Rowan Williams is a philosopher and a poet, and has profound interest in great Russian novels (Dostoevsky’s “Brothers Karamazov” and “Demons”, and Pasternak’s “Doctor Zhivago”, to name but a few) and Russian religious philosophy, in particular Sergey Bulgakov. He recalls:

It began in my teens. I read the great Russian novels, listened to the great composers, watched Eisenstein’s films. I became intensely aware of an alien cultural presence on the other side of Europe which had a hinterland of imagery both odd and seductive. I moved from music and literature inexorably to Russian religious philosophy.

In 2007, Rowan Williams published a book “Dostoevsky: Language, Faith and Fiction”.

Apart from Welsh, he speaks or reads in nine other languages, including Russian!

Dr Rowan Williams has strong Cambridge connections. He read theology at Christ’s College, Cambridge; worked as a tutor, chaplain and Director of Studies at Westcott House (1977-1980), and then served as a parish priest at St George’s Church in Chesterton (Cambridge) in 1980-1983, until he was appointed as a Lecturer in Divinity at Cambridge University. In 1984-1986, he was Dean and Chaplain of Clare College, Cambridge, and recently, having retired from the office of Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams returned to Cambridge to become Master of Magdalene College.

We would like to refer you to a very informative and insightful interview with Rowan Williams by Lesley Chamerlain in the Prospect magazine, exploring his deep interest in Russian literature and philosophy.

Language: English

Entrance: CamRuSS members free, students £3, others £5
(no need to book – please pay on the door)
The talk will be followed by refreshments (juice, wine and nibbles) and an informal discussion.

Everyone is very welcome!


Wednesday 11 October, 2017
19:00 - 21:00


The Old Library, Pembroke College
Trumpington Street
Cambridge, CB2 1RF United Kingdom



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