Anglican Samizdat

August 14, 2009

Rowan’s hell

Filed under: Nothing in Particular,Rowan Williams — David Jenkins @ 10:27 am

One of Jean-Paul Sartre’s bon mots was Hell is other people (No Exit); Rowan Williams takes the opposite view:

The Archbishop of Canterbury has described hell as being stuck by himself for ever.

Dr Rowan Williams said that although his vision was not that of the traditional inferno, being alone with his “selfish little ego” for all eternity would be torment enough.

This view fits well with one biblical metaphor for hell: being cast into outer darkness (Matt 22:13).

According to C. S. Lewis, people choose hell for themselves on the principle, better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven (The Great Divorce).

Another type of hell might be having to spend eternity with no-one to talk to except Rowan Williams.


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