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Storms and Stillnesses

Former archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams looks back over what has been a stormy year in many ways and reflects on our limited ability to control the world we live in.

For New Year's Eve, former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams looks back over what has been a stormy year in many ways, and reflects on our limited ability to control the world we live in.

For Dr Williams, a storm offers us two truths. One is that there's ultimately no defence against human fragility - we can't postpone forever the acknowledgement that we are not all-powerful over the world. The other is the fact that the comfort we make for ourselves repeatedly blocks out the reality of other people's experience of fragility and risk.

Dr Williams argues, "Unless we remember how much of a lie it is that we can make ourselves completely safe, we shall train ourselves not to notice how the majority in our world continue to live." He explains that, at the heart of our experience of storms, is a religious revelation that there is no guarantee of safety but a promise that we shall be held through it all and not defeated.

According to Dr Williams, "When we show ourselves ready to stand alongside those who face the worst upheavals, trials and pains, we reflect just a little of the steady presence at the root of everything that never disappears, the pulse that continues to beat even when we can hardly discern it - the presence we call God."

Presenter: Dr Rowan Williams
Producer: Michael Wakelin
A TBI Media production for BBC Radio 4.

30 minutes

Last on

Sun 31 Dec 2017 23:31

Music Played

  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68, “Pastoral”, IV. Gewitter - Sturm (Allegro)

    Performer: The Philadelphia Orchestra.
  • Henry Purcell

    They That Go Down to the Sea in Ships

    Performer: Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Oxford.
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    A Sea Symphony, IV. The Explorers

    Performer: London Symphony Chorus and the Philharmonia Orchestra.
  • Edward Elgar

    Enigma Variations, Op. 36

    Performer: BBC Philharmonic.
  • Joseph Parry

    Aberystwyth (Jesu, Lover of My Soul)

    Performer: Treorchy Male Choir.

Readings


 

Title: King Lear

Author: William Shakespeare

Publisher: Penguin Classics

 

Title: The Wreck of the Deutschland

Author: Gerard Manley Hopkins

Publisher: Shearsman Books

 

Title: Psalm 107                     

Publisher: Oxford University Press

 

Title: Psalm 29           

Publisher: Oxford University Press

 

Title: The Revelations of Divine Love         

Author: Julian of Norwich

Publisher: Oxford University Press

 

Title: Mark 4:35-41   

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Broadcasts