Christ on Trial on-line

How the Gospel Unsettles Our Judgement

by Rowan Williams

Archbishop of Canterbury

Archbishop Rowan Williams

The on-line study

Lent 2004


The Study Moderator: Fr Harold Macdonald


Harold MacdonaldI'm hoping that the title of this thread will be used by people interested in the study materials supplied by Canon Jim Irvine at his website, The study, in 5 (weekly) sections is based on Rowan Williams book of the same title. With Jim's permission I am suggesting that some of us might like to do our Lent together on the list, at this thread. I am the self appointed convenor of this enterprise. Here is my online introduction, (there is a written intro by Jim in the material).


1. The material is in three sections for each of the first 4 sessions. (The 5th is a wrap-up). The first section is Scripture; the second is a selection of excerpts from Rowan Williams' book. There are many such (short) paragraphs or quotes. The third is "supplementary" material from parallel sources. (Kafka, Camus, Bulgakov). You download as much or as little as you wish. PDF files can be read by the Adobe Reader, available free.

2. The short version: the basic material (Gospels and Williams) in contained in a total of 23 pages - all five sessions. ALL THE REQUIRED READING MATERIAL IS INCLUDED. You don't have to run out and buy a book. Or a Bible for that matter. It's all in the kit, so to speak. This "shorter" version is quite complete in itself. You get the Scripture passage and Rowan Williams comments. More than enough of quality material.

3. The long version includes the parallel readings. the parallel readings add 31 more pages from these supplementary authors. This gives a rich context for study; thoughtful applications of the fundamental narrative in various classic dilemmas.


1. Download as much or as little as you wish. The sooner the better. Start in.
2. Read, mark, learn and inwardly digest, before March 3. Either
version, as much as you have time for.
3. March 3, post your comments, questions, insights significant to you on this thread..
4. I will see that you receive a kindly response.
5. Be a learner. Think of others as learners. Don't be too harsh in your disagreements. Be Lenten.
6. Use the prayers supplied.
7. Each week, repeat 1-6 above, with the next batch of material.
8. If you lose it, (the material, that is) restock at
9. Hang in there for 5 weeks.
10. If you want to make your confession, don't. I mean, not here!



I know what you want.  You want a story that wont surprise you.  That will confirm what you already know.  That wont make you see higher or further or differently.  You want a flat story.  An immobile story.  You want dry, yeastless factuality.

Pi in A Life of Pi, page 336



Session 1

Mark: Voices at Midnight

Mark's account of the Trial

Master and Margarita - Bulgakov

Download PDF File 1


Session 2 - Wednesday, March 10

Matthew: Wisdom in Exile

Matthew's account of the Trial

Life of Pi - Yann Martel

Download PDF File 2


Session 3 - Wednesday, March 17

Luke: Knocking on the Window

Luke's account of the Trial

The Outsider - Albert Camus

Download PDF File 3


Session 4 - Wednesday, March 24

John: Home and Away

John's account of the Trial

The Trial - Franz Kafka

Download PDF File 4


Session 5 - Wednesday, March 31

Our Witness: Believers on Trial

Download PDF File 5


Ashes to Easter


Study design Copyright 2004 James T. Irvine

Canon Jim Irvine