The Heart of Things

An Anthology of Memory and Lament

Richard Holloway

The Heart of Things by Richard Holloway (Hardback ISBN 9781838854959) book cover

Available as Hardback, eBook

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.

“Open-hearted and wide-minded … Holloway’s commentary and anthology will indubitably bring a crumb of comfort to many readers”

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“This is a marvellous book: refreshing, wise, sincere and sophisticated … a sustained work of spiritual autobiography … beautifully written … The Heart of Things is a moving book, and it does indeed ask the reader to reflect on last things”

”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”
sunday Times

“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”
Damian Barr

“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”
daily Mail

Richard Holloway

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.