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Showing posts from October, 2011

An Eloquent Journey Towards Grace

Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber is almost like a non-fiction Brideshead Revisited.  Like that wonderful novel, Surprised by Oxford, is a moving love story and a tale of conversion.  Set in Matthew Arnold's "sweet city of dreaming spires", this is an eloquent memoir of the journey to faith.

When Weber is a young undergraduate student studying Donne in Canada, she is criticised by her lecturer for not understanding the poem.  She is surprised to discover that her professor is a devout Christian who tells her that "anything not done to the glory of God is doomed to failure..."  She begins to think about this in a deep way.  This is the first sign that, like the great poet, Weber is on a spiritual pilgrimage.

When Weber arrives in Oxford on a graduate scholarship, she is engaged to a nice young man but she feels dissatisfied with her life.  She has an anguished relationship with her clever father who apparently threw his life away to a great extent.  A tall, d…