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Book Review

Douglas Dales

Glory: The Spiritual Theology of Michael Ramsey

ISBN 1 85311 535 5

Canterbury Press, Norwich, 2003, 16.99

(price at publication of review)

 

Reviewed May 2005; © Copyright, The Society of Saint Francis, 2005

 

This is that rare book: learned yet deftly and lovingly explained, simple yet deep.  I feel the better for being in its presence: as if I had completed a Summer School with a teacher who makes God real and Anglican theology attractively wholesome.  And to make God real for someone, according to Ramsey, is to be a saint.

 

First and foremost a priest, Ramsey's wish, as interpreted by Dales, is to draw us into the presence of Holiness by inviting us to respond unreservedly to Glory, to the Love of God as experienced in Christ and summed up in Jesus' prayer in John 17.  Glory within simplicity is what we are given.

 

Dales knew Ramsey well and is a Bede worthy of his subject.  He lets Ramsey speak while also pointing out things of interest and importance.  At times he speaks too much, interrupting a Ramsey thought and confusing me.  For the last third of the book the balance between commentary and quotation is right, and the book reads smoothly.

 

Dales links the life and the writing well, and enjoys pointing out who and what had influenced and shaped Ramsey.  Each chapter is introduced by a superb extract from Milner-White's collection of prayers My God, My Glory.  A friend was doubtful about the relevance of the quotations to the chapter they preceded.  I feel that the Milner-White complemented and graced Ramsey's exquisite explaining.  We are offered a partnership.

 

Ramsey always gets me thinking about God in Christ in new ways - with wonder and fresh hope.  Dales has found much treasure. 

 

Jeremy Harvey

Taunton

 

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