Throughout his time as Archbishop, theology professor, pastor and spiritual director, Rowan Williams has referred to St Benedict and his celebrated Rule. Originally drawn up to regulate the life of his monks, who were all laymen, it has been since followed as a rule or set of precepts applicable to many forms of communal living. Even non-religious people have valued the Rule in the quest to lead a more human and humane form of life. Benedict was an advocate of calmness and had a great gift for organisation, or what we would now call management. This is the background to Rowan Williams’s perceptive and beautifully written book.