English Catholic Converts and the Oxford Movement in mid-19th Century Britain


Adams, Pauline


Historian, former Vice-Principal, Somerville College, Oxford, author of Somerville for Women: An Oxford College 1979-1995(O.U.P.,1996)

Foreword by Kenneth Parker, Ph.D,Professor of Historical Theology, St.Louis University

Considered by many to be a “classic” in English 19th century religious history, this work discusses the converts who joined the Roman Catholic Church in the middle years of the nineteenth century. The converts were placed in a position of special prominence, their secession being seen as an important comment on trends within the Church of England, and their acquisition as of great consequence for the Church of Rome. This study is concerned primarily with the ways in which the converts’ own lives were affected by their change of religion: how conversion impacted on their relations with family and friends, their work, and their daily life, and how they themselves responded to the demands made by the Catholic Church on their faith and their taste, their political loyalties and their social habits. A central chapter deals with the married Anglican clergy converts whose family commitments debarred them from the Catholic priesthood. Beyond its intrinsic human interest, the experience of the converts sheds valuable light on such topics as the dynamics of Victorian family life, the secular implications of a religious Establishment, and the process by which English Catholicism, after Emancipation, became integrated into the mainstream of English society.

The author's preface discusses trends and research in English Catholic studies over the last thirty years as in pertains to the convert question.

Ch1: Introduction: George Ryder
Ch2: The conversion of England: expectations and statistics
Ch3: The process of reception into the Church
Ch4: Family responses to conversion
Ch5: The convert priests
Ch6: The reluctant laymen: married clergy converts
Ch7: Conversion and secular employment
Ch8: The Catholic life of converts
Ch9: Conclusion: Old Catholics, converts, and apostates

English Catholicism, Social and religious life in mid Victorian England, Cultural Studies, Roman Catholicism, Theology and politics in the United Kingdom 1840-1880,Historical Theology,Anglican History,19th c.
Release Date: 
Cloth: 978-1-933146-84-3 /1933146-84-2
Trim Size: 
6 x 9

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