Towards a Visionary and Historical Consciousness: Rowan Williams’s Four Quartets Lectures (1974–1975)

Khegan Delport


The aim of this essay is to provide a critical exposition of Rowan Williams’s unpublished lectures on T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets. A thorough examination of these texts has been lacking in various interpretations of Williams’s writings, and this essay aims to remedy this paucity, making available the argument and content of the lectures open to scrutiny and historical investigation. As will be seen, Williams’s interpretation of the poems is robustly theological, and seeks to articulate a radically incarnational reading of the Four Quartets. Such an interpretation seeks to assert creation’s fundamental historicity and often tragic contingency, while at the same time suggesting that it is only when reality is seen for what it is that a vision of redemption may be truly glimpsed. 


Rowan Williams; T.S. Eliot; poetry; Christology

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