Sunday, February 12, 2012

Surprised By Oxford

"Who is God to you?  I'd really like to know."  No one had actually asked me such pointed questions of the topic before...I felt like a hummingbird that had hit the glass.  Hard."

Carolyn left Canada to attend Oxford.  She took with her an unquestioned agnosticism and a large chip on her shoulder from her upbringing.  She quickly met professors, friends, and assorted others who challenged (both purposefully and not) her beliefs and feelings.  Tall, Dark, Handsome (TDH) entered her life, adding a new dimension.  This book is her journey not just into belief, but purpose and fulfillment.

I really enjoyed this book as it details Weber's experiences of both the heart and mind.  So many books these days seem to cater to one or the other, rarely both.  She affirms that to believe is not anti-intellectual.  I also enjoyed the descriptions of the conversations she had with various people, believers and not and her inner thoughts that went with these discussions.  It is interesting to see how she can look back and see how various events wove together in purpose while she was there.  Overall, a very well written and interesting book appealing to a variety of readers.  Surprised By Oxford receives 4 out of 5 stars.   

From Ms. Weber herself:
Carolyn Weber graduated summa cum laude from Huron College, University of Western Ontario, Canada. She was awarded the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship to study at Oxford University in England, where she completed her M.Phil and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Romantic Literature. Also at Oxford, she taught undergraduates and became the first female Dean of St. Peter’s College. Most recently, Dr Weber has been Associate Professor of Romantic Literature at Seattle University.  She has also taught as an Assistant professor at the University of San Francisco, and as a visiting professor at Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA.  Her primary academic research interests have included the following:  theories of the soul and the relationship among art, religion and literature in 19th c. Britain and Europe; Orientalism; the Gothic; conversion and confessional narratives; spiritual autobiography; academia and parenting.

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