A moving and personal anthology from the Sunday Times bestseller, encompassing melancholy, morality, mortality and more
Richard Holloway is one of our most beloved public thinkers. As Bishop of Edinburgh and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church he put principle over Church policy to advocate for gay rights and women in the priesthood. He never shied away from confronting his own doubts and fears, whether questioning his own faith, or facing the inevitability of death. Across numerous bestselling books he has been a radical voice of compassion and realism, helping us navigate the hectic modern world.
Throughout his life Richard has turned to poets and writers to help answer the big questions, and for solace and guidance in the face of life’s challenges. Now in The Heart of Things he shares those poems and words which have been his own guide, offered in the hope they will help us too.
Here then are some lights along life’s path, with thoughts and reflections on living well, death, sadness, regret, sin, conflict and forgiveness. All interwoven with Richard’s philosophical consideration of what they have meant to him. This is a book to turn to for inspiration, guidance and comfort. It offers lessons from those who, in Richard’s words, ‘know best how to listen and teach us to listen’, all united by ‘the sensual appeal of words, the pain and pleasure they impart’. It is a book to treasure.
“Praise for Stories We Tell Ourselves: An engaging, erudite explanation of how he came to be where he now stands and is a warning against the cruel righteousness of many belief systems”
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“If every priest and imam, every MP and CEO, every person like you and me read this, then the world would be a better place. It is devastatingly humane. It blends science, philosophy and religion and admits the art (and artifice) in these avowedly objective forms. Erudition and empathy; I wept”
“Engaging and uplifting… . this personal, scientific and philosophical journey to explore what might be the answers to the world’s biggest questions is both playful and inspiring … The richness of this book challenged the short space of a review”
“Thought-provoking [and] stimulating … a sane guide through the turbulence of the modern world, one written with humour and self-deprecating pessimism”
“There is much in this book to make you think, much to provoke argument for and against”
Richard Holloway was Bishop of Edinburgh and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church. A former Gresham Professor of Divinity and Chairman of the Joint Board of the Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Screen, he is a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Leaving Alexandria won the PEN/Ackerley Prize and was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize. It was a Sunday Times bestseller, together with Waiting for the Last Bus.