Sometimes it makes sense to concentrate on a single concept in order to understand the contribution of an individual to the history of ideas. This may mean artificially reducing the complexity of a person’s thought and vision. It may, however, be helpful in finding a hermeneutic ‘entry door’ into those thoughts and visions.
I have come to the (preliminary) conclusion that “Decentering” is such a key concept in the writing of Rowan Williams. “Decentering” features in Williams’ work both on questions of individual spirituality and matters of collective well-being. In Williams’ approach the individual and collective dimensions are not to be viewed separately but together. Individual choices bear upon the order of state and society and collective decisions provide the framework for the welfare of individuals and their ‘pursuit of happiness’.