Sunday, April 17, 2016


"The roots of my identity are not in time", Rowan Williams, Lost Icons, page 109.

We don't need the personal pronoun. He is using himself as a generic human. The roots of identity are not in time. What is 'in time'. He means, we can't construct by will or redemption our identity based on past experience. Past experience is too much intertwined with the experience of those we have affected by our lives. It is not under our control alone. Identity is therefore intertwined.

The first 100 pages of this little book are a difficult read. These 9 words are as succinct a summary as I can hear so far. (But I got them quite wrong. He means the opposite. He sees identity as so overlaid with temporal accident as to be unrecoverable except by extreme vulnerability - and no sense of an identity that is otherwise. But maybe I won't get it until I finish this puzzle.)

Williams on the cover in ecclesiastic splendour is himself a lost icon.

Now off to church... to find my identity, splintered all over the place, in past and future, each a foreign country.

New book - why did you read the Bible in Hebrew. Call it Translation. There is certainly a book there, on purpose, process, foreignness, and identity. Maybe I will right it some day. Then it would be a ship, my own arkish barge of pitched atonement.