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Book Review

George Herring

What was the Oxford Movement?

ISBN 0-8264-5186-1

Continuum, London, 2002, 12.99

(price at publication of review)


Reviewed September 2003; © Copyright, The Society of Saint Francis, 2003

This book is designed for students, but is an admirable survey of the Oxford Movement for anyone interested in its history.  It provides the most impartial account I have seen of its development in all its complexity.  It begins with Contents, covering history over centuries and not merely the immediately preceding years, goes on to Ideas and then to Events.  There is a final chapter on Parishes and then an Epilogue.  There is also an assortment of short passages, very well chosen under the heading Documents.  It shows how some of the Events have become myths, and throws light on many aspects of the development of the Movement: not as limited to Oxford and those educated there as has sometimes been supposed.  There are statistics to show the actual effect of Newman's conversion and other events.  Altogether it is an illuminating read in several ways, and it reads much more easily than I would have expected, in fact, it led me on to discover more of the different aspects of the history.

Gillian Clare OSC


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