A Memoir of Faith and Doubt
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At the tender age of fourteen, Richard Holloway left his home town of Alexandria, north of Glasgow, and travelled hundreds of miles to be educated and trained for the priesthood at an English monastery. By the age of twenty-five he had been ordained and was working in the slums of Glasgow. Through the forty years that followed, Richard touched the lives of many people as he rose to one of the highest positions in the Anglican Church. But behind his confident public faith lay a restless heart and an inquisitive mind. Poignant, wise and fiercely honest, "Leaving Alexandria" is a remarkable memoir of a life defined by faith but plagued by doubt.
* The most stirring autobiography I have read in a great many years -- John Gray New Statesman * What a deeply loveable man; and what a deeply loveable book. Nobody, whether interested in religion or not, could fail to be intensely moved -- Mary Warnock The Observer * Quite simply, a wonderful book -- Alexander McCall Smith * Wise, sympathetic and absorbing ... a profoundly humane vision of what religion should be Sunday Times * Endlessly vivid and fascinating ... A delight and inspiration to believers, non-believers and ex-believers alike -- Philip Pullman * This is a portrait of a formerly devoted Christian who, by confessing his faults and doubts to us, becomes exemplary, an Everyman, and a guide to how we too might lose faith without sacrificing our souls -- Alain De Botton The Times * Captures the bewildering range of churches within the Church ... Holloway certainly throws down the gauntlet - with a quiet, elegiac passion - to Christians who arm themselves in certainty ... They should read this wide, erudite book as a matter of urgency -- David Robson The Sunday Telegraph * Leaving Alexandria gives a profound sense of the benefits, as well as the difficulties, that accrue from taking a zigzag path through life ... it summarises an argument that a lot of people will find sympathetic, as well as compelling -- Andrew Motion The Guardian * It absorbs and refreshes the mind ... it is the pleasure of following a good, restless mind through questions that afflict all but the most thoughtless -- John Lloyd Financial Times * An enlightening walk through a life that encompasses West Africa, the Gorbals, rent strikes, the divided self and the question of grace -- Mark Cousins Scotland on Sunday * At a time when the world has urgently needed wise and compassionate leadership, this poignant memoir, written with the integrity, intelligence and wit that we expect from Richard Holloway, lays bare the ludicrous and entirely unnecessary mess we have made of religion Karen Armstrong * Exceptional...it is rare to find someone in whom intellectual and emotional intelligence combine so movingly -- Maggie Ferguson Intelligent Life * This book offers quite unique insights into a troubled, contemporary religious mind. It also reminds us that, in Richard Holloway, Episcopal Edinburgh may have lost a thoughtful bishop but Scotland gained a unique social critic and commentator -- Alex Wood Lothian Life * This is a deeply moving and disturbing biography. Holloway, is a confident author, assured when recreating both the past and the feelings that moments evoked...A writer capable of considerable brilliance, an intellectual who can provoke thought, a genuinely good man trying to be better The Herald * Peppered with prose and poetry, the book underlines a profound love of literature. Holloway's own writing style is elegant and lucid, particularly when addressing religion -- James Carson The Skinny * This is an intellectual account which is thoughtful, starkly honest, and at moments touching in its understated wisdom and sensitivity ... an engaging examination of an individual's growth as a compassionate human being -- Catherine Larner We Love this Book * Beautifully written and dramaturgically candid -- Pat Kane The Independent
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