The Passion of Christ edited by Charles Williams
(Oxford University Press, 1939, 83 pages)
This little book is a selection of readings from the passion narratives of the Gospels. Each reading is followed by commentary from various spiritual writers, including Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Karl Barth, Julian of Norwich, and many others. Meant to be read during the season of Lent, the readings are broken up into seven chapters. This makes for convenient daily reading during the days of Holy Week. These readings were compiled by the poet, novelist, and lay theologian Charles Williams. Williams’ strange and paradoxical spiritual sensibility makes for some fascinating combinations of Gospel readings and commentary. The selections are well chosen, and they certainly bear out Williams’ sense that “the more time that is given to them the more vitality they seem to possess” (v). Aside from its purpose as edifying reading, the book also offers helpful insight into the sources of Williams’ own theological and spiritual writings.