A pair of spectacles which once belonged to Cardinal Newman will be the focal point of a lecture to be given by Rt Rev Dr Geoffrey Rowell, Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe, at a village church in Oxfordshire on Thursday 10 May 2012.
The event is part of A History of Christianity in 15 Objects which explores how a small sect in Roman-occupied Judaea went on to become one of the greatest forces of religious, social and cultural change the world has ever known.
Bishop Geoffrey says “On 14 July 1833, a young Oxford don rose to the pulpit of the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Oxford and preached a sermon that would come to mark the beginning of one of the most significant religious movements in English, and Anglican, church history - the so-called 'Oxford Movement'. This celebrated campaign by a group of Oxford dons has come to be associated with increased ritual in public worship and neo-Gothic architecture, but for John Keble, John Henry Newman, Edward Pusey and others at Oxford in the early nineteenth century, their efforts did not originate in concern for a religious aesthetic, but from a deeply held concern for the sustenance of the Christian's credal commitment to the 'catholic and apostolic Church' in an age of reform and revolution across Europe.”
The Bishop will bring his prized possession - the spectacles of this modern English 'saint', John Keble, to Deddington, to help people think about what it meant to be a Christian in post-revolutionary Europe.