Cover design for What is the point of being a Christian? by Timothy Radcliffe OP
Image reproduced by kind permission of Bloomsbury Continuum
In 2005 Timothy Radcliffe OP published What is the point of being a Christian? to explore the practical implications of the Christian Faith. For a generation to whom orthodoxy may appear a straightjacket, Radcliffe seeks to show in this and other published works (Why go to church? 2008; Take the plunge: living baptism and confirmation, 2012) how the Church’s core teaching and practice makes possible a more fully human life.
During his nine years as Master of the Order (the first Englishman to hold the post in eight hundred years) from 1992 to 2001, Timothy Radcliffe had similarly re-articulated in modern terms the age-old role within religious life of the traditional vows taken by friars, monks, nuns, and apostolic sisters: vows of voluntary poverty, celibate chastity, and obedience. He composed a series of five influential letters to the Order on these themes between 1994 (‘Vowed to Mission’) and 1999 (‘Initial Formation’) which were published to a far wider audience that year with other essays in Sing a new song: the Christian vocation. Since stepping down as Master of the Order, Fr Radcliffe has travelled the globe addressing different groups on often difficult issues in Church and society.