The Body’s Grace

If you’ve never read it before, Rowan Williams’ essay “The Body’s Grace” is now available online here. It’s a good read, though remember that it’s now over 20 years old and Rowan has moved on in his thinking since then.

For conservatives reading it, can I suggest pondering the following questions:

  1. Do you agree with Williams’ proposition that “For my body to be the cause of joy, the end of homecoming, for me, it must be there for someone else, be perceived, accepted, nurtured; and that means being given over to the creation of joy in that other, because only as directed to the enjoyment, the happiness, of the other does it become unreservedly lovable”? Is this just in the sexual sphere?
  2. What do we think of the following – “In other words, if we are looking for a sexual ethic that can be seriously informed by our Bible, there is a good deal to steer us away from assuming that reproductive sex is a norm, however important and theologically significant it may be. When looking for a language that will be resourceful enough to speak of the complex and costly faithfulness between God and God’s people, what several of the biblical writers turn to is sexuality understood very much in terms of the process of “entering the body’s grace”.”?
  3. What is the flaw (if any) in Williams’ argument?

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