Monday, April 12, 2010

It's My Own Fault

We were talking about the Oxford Movement in my "Christianity in Britain" class last week.

Oxford Movement (noun): A bunch of Anglican scholars and clergymen said, "Why don't we try being more Catholic? We'll call it Anglo-Catholic." They wrote tracts and it was all fun and games, until John Henry Newman said "Uh, guys, this is silly" and actually became Catholic. Everyone hated him for a while but if you ask me, he's a hero.

My professor asked the class, "Who was at the center of the Oxford Movement?" And before anyone could say a word, he looked at me. "Tess, you tell us. But keep it to under a minute. I saw that brick you were reading last night." It was one of those moments where you squirm and feel like a goody-two-shoes. But it is true: if anyone in the class is an expert on John Henry Newman, it's me. Because I'm reading this:

I'm on 100 of its 800 pages and I need to finish it by next week. Then I need to read Newman's sermons and write a paper on his philosophy. And then do the same for Chesterton by May 1. It's a brutal schedule, and the worst is that no one is making me do this but myself.

We have the option to do independent research for 3 credits while in London. I am doing mine on "the British Catholic intellectual tradition in the 1800s and 1900s" or basically reading biographies of Newman, Chesterton and Tolkien along with some of their works. I am so glad I chose to do it, I love the subject... but after spending the past 2 nights catching up on reading, I'm beginning to think I am crazy!

(Well duh)

As far as book recommendations, the Tolkien biography by Humphrey Carpenter is soooo good- short and incredibly interesting. Especially good for dads, scholarly types, and LOTR nerds.

(Like me)

At least I don't have class on Tuesdays. So I'm off to read some more, and then sleep in. 

Good Night, The Book Girl


  1. Can I read it when you're done? It sounds fascinating! Will this turn into a thesis next year?

  2. Yes, I definitely recommend it! I thought about making this my thesis but I picked a different topic... which I will likely blog about some time. :)