Rowan Williams at Yale’s Liturgy Conference

June 27, 2018
Yale recently welcomed Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury and now Master of Magdalene College at the University of Cambridge, for the second time in the space of a month.
Lord Williams, as he is now styled in the UK - Bishop Rowan to the rest of us - was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity by the University at Commencement in May. In mid-June, he returned as keynote speaker at the recent Institute of Sacred Music liturgy conference held at YDS, whose theme was “Full of your Glory: Liturgy, Cosmos, Creation.”
Dean McGowan, Lord Williams and Dr. Felicity Harley McGowaHis lecture, at Trinity Church on the Green in New Haven, was titled “Naming the World: Liturgy and the Transformation of Time and Matter.” He addressed  the question of how names connect people and other aspects of the cosmos, and reflected on rituals wherein new names are given, connected to moments of transformation.
Earlier in the week, plenary lectures were also given by Dean Andrew McGowan, and Dr Felicity Harley McGowan, pictured here with the keynote speaker. Dr Harley McGowan’s lecture on “The Crux of the Cosmos in the Art of Fifth Century Rome,” traced the imagery of divine rule using the symbol of the globe, from Greco-Roman art through to the famous Salvator Mundi attributed to Leonardo and sold for a record price at auction last year. Excerpts of Dean McGowan’s lecture “The First-Fruits of God’s Creatures’: Bread, Eucharist, and the Ancient Economy” touching on the Lord’s Prayer, and on the miracle of the loaves in the Gospel of John, are available on his “Saint Ronan Street Diary“ blog. Bp Williams’ lecture and the others  will be published in the proceedings of the conference, to be edited by YDS expected next year.