Tuesday, May 09, 2006


So, I'm reading my introduction to the Oxford Movement so I can figure out how to research my paper on the Oxford Movement. This is admittedly an activity toward which I'm favorably disposed, but it seems to me that a lot of this history sounds remarkably familiar. Take the following, for instance - if I remove all the period markers from this paragraph, it sounds equally applicable to today (non-inclusive language notwithstanding):
"men who had been colleagues suddenly found that they had to choose between friends and the Church which had nurtured them. ...those who had converted felt the need to persuade others to join them. Because they knew intimately the Church..., converts were able to attack its weak points. As a result, many... felt beleaguered. This was further exacerbated by the attitude of the authorities of the Church..., which appeared... to be saying sternly to unsettled men that they should go, whilst simultaneously the [other] Church... seemed to be beckoning and welcoming."*

It's an imperfect analogy, but it rings true for me.

*Credit where credit is due: this is from Michael Chandler's book An Introduction to the Oxford Movement.


The young fogey said...

What a wonderful subject to study!

Sorry if I'm being thick, but who are the beleaguered minority, their opponents and other Church today in your analogy?

Beth said...

I imagine any number of people would have any number of interpretations of that analogy - I leave it open for all of them. I wanted mostly to call attention to the rhetoric itself, as it's the sort of thing I hear from left and right and moderate, gay and straight and bisexual, separatists on both sides and Anglican-communion-junkies and any number of people.

Mark J. said...

You could almost hand that quote to any group on any of the hottest issues today, and they'd associate themselves with the "beleaguered minority," and the "other side" with the "opponents."

The young fogey said...

Thanks for your thoughtful answer. Of course from my end it seems that after several ups and downs (these times being among the latter) nothing much has changed for the Catholic Movement in 150+ years! But I see your and Mark's point.