Learning and the Reasons of the Heart (9 October 2016)  21171


Writer and theologian Jane Williams examines the relationship between learning and language and the tension between what we know in our hearts and what we can articulate.

Jane starts by looking at the beginning of life, when we exist in a pre-verbal stage. As wondrous as it is to see the arrival of speech in a child, there has long been a sense that children lose something as they try to contain their world in language.

Speech is one of the primary metaphors for God’s communication. Jane explores the extraordinary mixed metaphor of a Divine Language that becomes a human being and, even more strangely, a human being who has to learn to speak. The Word of God made wordless, a baby able only to cry and babble.

As a theologian it is Jane’s job – and her delight – to try to render our understanding of God in words. She explains that words are bound to be incomplete, but that’s not an admission of failure, it’s a celebration of the fact that language has its limits.

Presenter: Jane Williams
Producer: Max O’Brien
A TBI Media production for BBC Radio 4.

Music Played

Add music you love and enjoy it with My Tracks

  • English Baroque Soloists and John Eliot Gardiner

    Monteverdi’s Vespers – Duo Seraphim

  • The Chicago Symphony Orchestra

    Paul Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

  • Michael Rabin

    Paganini’s Caprice for solo violin no. 24

  • Tamas Vasary

    Brahms’ Variations on a Theme by Paganini, Op. 35

  • Julius Katchen

    Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini Op. 43

  • Hugh Bean

    Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending

  • Anoushka Shankar




Title: Pensées
Author: Blaise Pascal
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Title: Beyond the Pleasure Principle

Author: Sigmund Freud

Publisher: Hogarth Press


Title: Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood

Author: William Wordsworth

Publisher: Forgotten Books


Title: The Claim of Reason

Author: Stanley Cavell

Publisher: Oxford University Press


Title: Jabberwocky

Author: Lewis Carol

Publisher: Penguin Classics


Title: John I, The Bible, NIV

Author: NA

Publisher: Hodder Classics


Title: Trinity Sunday

Author: Malcolm Guite

Publisher: Canterbury Press


Title: Spring and Fall

Author: Gerard Manley Hopkins

Publisher: Penguin Classics


Title: Little Gidding

Author: T.S Eliot

Publisher: Faber Poetry


    [_edit_lock] => Array
            [0] => 1517672662:1

    [_edit_last] => Array
            [0] => 1

    [from] => Array
            [0] => "21135"|2016-10-09


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.