The exhilarating scope of the title - Words and the Word - may seem almost undercut by its sober subtitle: The Use of Literature as a Practical Aid to Preaching. But the value of this book lies in its very bi-polarity. On the one hand, here are practical ways of enhancing the word delivered from the 'mountain' of the pulpit (usually not so lofty these days); on the other, here are some of the great themes that pervade theology and life. This duality seems utterly right. And both aspects are illumined, not obscured, by reference to the preacher's own story. So, this is a book that seminarians, deacons, priests, even bishops, would do well to take in hand. Indeed, conveyed with suitable tact, what a wonderful present for priest friends! But it would be a loss were it confined to the clergy. Just as a good sermon will lead its listeners beyond appreciation of a preacher's learning or eloquence to simple apprehension of the 'thing' itself, the res of the celebrated mystery, the presence of the Lord, and its consequences for our lives, so this book both opens a door into our literary inheritance and edges us again and again towards the universal questions: What is literature? What is the relationship of the great literary works of humanity - the 'secular Scriptures' - to the Word and words of Christianity and its Jewish antecedent? How might we enter into this literary world, and integrate our human culture with our Christian faith? How might a lectio humana enrich our lectio divina, and vice versa? How might I finally educate myself? Surely every word that is true, beautiful and good can be found again, and should be, in the service of the Word made flesh, and add its lustre to the halting words of preachers. Fr Anderson has done a service to us all by living in this noble tradition, by preaching from it for a half a century, and now leaving us this limpid exposition of it. Abbot Hugh Gilbert,OSB Canon Bill Anderson celebrated his Golden Jubilee of priesthood in 2010. His varied ministry in Aberdeen has included teaching at Blairs College (the now closed Junior Seminary) and serving as Catholic Chaplain at the University, Adminstrator at St Mary's Cathedral, and parish priest of St Francis of Assisi. He has been Spiritual Director at the Scots College, Rome and a producer of religious programmes with the BBC. Brought up in Edinburgh, he is a graduate of Edinburgh, Cambridge, Aberdeen and Thames Valley Universities. He is a former "Preacher of the Year" (an award of the College of Preachers sponsored by The Times), and holds diplomas in speech & drama from three London colleges, as well as the Poetry Society's gold medal for verse-speaking. In his retirement, Canon Bill returned to teaching part-time, teaching Latin to undergraduates at Aberdeen University. He is Chaplain to the local Newman Association.
Words and the Word by William R Anderson was published by Gracewing in September 2010 and is our 58141st best seller. The ISBN for Words and the Word is 9780852447451.