Yesterday we launched 'Prayer and Thought in Monastic Tradition: Essays in Honour of Benedicta Ward SLG' at Harris Manchester College in Oxford. It was a wonderful evening, and a real first for me as for this book I have had a foot each side of the fence. One as publisher, and the other as volume editor. The evening went extremely well. We had a wonderful drinks reception, during which I gave a short speech, as did my co-editors Santha Bhattacharji and Rowan Williams. Rowan then presented the volume to Sister Benedicta, and she offered some gracious words of thanks.
Working on this volume has been a real privilege for me, not only as it has provided the opportunity to honour one of the leading medievalists of her generation, but also because it has given me an opportunity to really thank someone who has given me and countless others a great deal.
I am also extremely proud of the volume we have produced. As my colleague Santha says in the introduction the chapters are quietly revisionist, almost without exception. This hopefully will mean, as Sister Benedicta said herself yesterday, that there will be much for others to follow up as a result of this collection. Our contributors really are the cream of the crop, as you can see from the contents list and I am grateful to them all for their excellent work, and also for their good humour as I put them under rather Draconian deadlines... which they all met!
I would love to talk about the contents of the volume here, or post a sample chapter or two, but amongst our excellent contributions I cannot pick a favourite. So instead I post my own very short biographical piece on Sister Benedicta which I hope will give blog readers an insight into the volume and into Sister Benedicta's work - Download Chapter 22 . [Please note that the file included here is an uncorrected proof]