Adam Bittleston

His Life, Work and Thought

Kenneth Gibson

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Quick Look

  • The first biography of an influential writer, thinker and theologian, a priest of The Christian Community
  • Gibson draws on the unpublished journal of Bittleston's close friend, William Golding, to create an interesting portrait of this influential individual
  • Bittleston's writings on Shakespeare are published together for the first time in this fascinating biography

The first biography of an influential writer, thinker and theologian, a priest of The Christian Community, alongside a selection of his writings.

234 x 156 mm
Floris Books
Religion & Spirituality
b/w photographs
288 pages
Publication date:
21 Oct 2010


Adam Bittleston (1911-89) was an ordained priest of The Christian Community, a movement for religious renewal founded in 1922 with the help of the philosopher and founder of anthroposophy, Rudolf Steiner. This book is the first biography of a fascinating and influential individual, presented alongside a selection of his writings, including all his articles on Shakespeare.

From his student days in Oxford Bittleston was a close friend of William Golding, author of Lord of the Flies, and this book draws on Golding’s unpublished journal. Bittleston was also very gifted with the written word, as well as being a much sought after spiritual counsellor. His wife, Gisela, once wrote that his 'main interest was to help people sort out their destiny.' His knowledge of Shakespeare was equal to that of any academic or writer of his time and most of his books and articles draw deeply on Shakespeare's work.

Essays in other sections of the book were selected to reflect Bittleston's wide reading and deep knowledge of language, history, the ‘spirit’ of the English people, and religion and the gospels.

He was also recognized as one of the foremost theologians of the Christian Community in Britain. He was able to translate spiritual ideas into modern life and in keeping with modern times, and was the author of several books, including Meditative Prayers for Today (1953), The Spirit of the Circling Stars (1975), Our Spiritual Companions (1983), The Seven Planets (1985), Loneliness (1987) and Counselling and Spiritual Development (1988).


'Kenneth Gibson provides a vivid biographical introduction putting him in the context of his times, including the strong religious traditions in his family and his lifelong friendship with Sir William Golding... Bittleston comes across as a man whom I would very much like to have met, erudite, humane and wide ranging in his concerns.'
-- David Lorimer, Scientific and Medical Network Review, Winter 2010


Kenneth Gibson is a lecturer at the University of Derby and specialises in adult education, history of education and seventeenth century ecclesiastical history.


You might also be interested in books by Adam Bittleston:
From Loneliness to Connection
Meditative Prayers for Today
Our Spiritual Companions

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