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Surprised by Oxford: A Memoir

Surprised by Oxford: A Memoir

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Surprised by Oxford: A Memoir

evaluări:
4.5/5 (10 evaluări)
Lungime:
473 pages
24 hours
Lansat:
Feb 4, 2013
ISBN:
9780849949319
Format:
Carte

Descriere

2012 ECPA Christian Book Award Finalist, and 2012 Logos Book Award ~ best book in Christian Living.

Carolyn Weber arrives at Oxford a feminist from a loving but broken family, suspicious of men and intellectually hostile to all things religious. As she grapples with her God-shaped void alongside the friends, classmates, and professors she meets, she tackles big questions in search of Truth, love, and a life that matters.

From issues of fatherhood, feminism, doubt, doctrine, and love, Weber explores the intricacies of coming to faith with an aching honesty and insight echoing that of the poets and writers she studied. Rich with illustration and literary references, Surprised by Oxford is at once gritty and lyrical; both humorous and spiritually perceptive. This savvy, credible account of Christian conversion and its after-effects follows the Oxford liturgical calendar as it entertains, informs, and promises to engage even the most skeptical and unlikely reader.

 Surprised by Oxford is the memoir of a skeptical agnostic who comes to a dynamic personal faith in God during graduate studies in literature at Oxford University.

Lansat:
Feb 4, 2013
ISBN:
9780849949319
Format:
Carte

Despre autor

Carolyn Weber holds her BA from the University of Western Ontario and her M.Phil and D.Phil degrees from Oxford University. She has been Associate Professor of Romantic Literature at Seattle University; she has also taught at Westmont College, University of San Francisco and Oxford University. Carolyn and her husband share the joy of parenting three spirited children in Santa Barbara, CA and London, Canada.  Find her online at www.pressingsave.com.

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  • (4/5)
    A well-written, insightful, and balanced work surrounding coming to faith and wrestling with the realities of faith. Weber paints pictures with words that make the story come beautifully alive.
  • (5/5)
    In her beautifully written spiritual memoir Surprised by Oxford, Carolyn Weber makes us privy to three romances.

    She takes us with her as she falls in love with Oxford—the city and the school.

    We experience the ups and downs of her relationship with TDH (tall, dark and handsome) which begins when he patiently answers the many questions of this atheistic Canadian scholarship student. Along the way he poses a few questions of his own.

    Finally, we follow "Caro’s" meandering journey toward Jesus, from sneaking into the back of a cathedral to read a pew Bible, to a public baptism in the Thames River.

    Weber’s literary background makes this a book rich in quotes and allusions to literature classics like John Donne and George Herbert. But she's no cultural recluse and so pop culture wisdom, like U2 lyrics, find a place as well.

    Her keen intelligence combined with feminist leanings informs and directs the apologetic narrative as she grapples with questions she needs to have answered before she will put her faith in any dogma or deity.

    Her authenticity and warm spirit shine through all over the place as she recounts memories of life in her Canadian home and Oxford dorm conversations, pub nights, and outings with fellow students and professors.

    I found Surprised by Oxford an altogether enjoyable read and am thrilled that it won the Grace Irwin Prize as the best Canadian Christian book published in 2013.

    Surprised by Oxford is part of my own Kindle collection
  • (4/5)
    Carolyn Weber’s Surprised by Oxford is a window into the thoughts of a progressive literature student as she considers, and then accepts, the Christian worldview. One of this book’s greatest strengths is its ability to point out one of my greatest weaknesses: my ignorance of poetry and literature. Weber begins each chapter with a snippet of poetry appropriate to the plot of her story, and allusions to classic literature are found on almost every page. I recognized the names of most of the authors, but found my knowledge of the world’s best writing to be quite pitiful.Weber tells her intimate story of arriving at Oxford as a very devout feminist man-hater to continue her education in English literature. She then meets a man who challenges every horrible male stereotype she has absorbed into her mind. He is kind, selfless, confident, protective, knowledgeable, intelligent, honest, and ..... a Christian. Weber takes her readers through her confusion as she tries to explain how this man could so boldly defy her tightly-held beliefs about “What men are like”, and “What Christians are like.” This leads her into a quest to investigate the Bible and determine if it can explain the biggest questions of life.Weber gives her readers a look into the mind of an English major. She thinks about theology and spirituality very differently from many others. This insight is very valuable to those of us who do not see the world through the same lenses. On the lighter side, since this book was written by a literature student, and most of the main characters are also literature students, this book may set a new world record for “Most Metaphors Per Page.” Congratulations, Ms. Weber.
  • (5/5)
    Memoirs are an increasingly popular form. Especially since Donald Miller, the memoir seems to have found a new life by showing how a person found God. In many ways, this is just an updating of the traditional testimony that has been, and in some churches still is, a common part of the church liturgy. I have read a lot of memoirs over the past few years. Many of them quite good. But none were as well written and literary as Surprised by Oxford.

    Carolyn Weber grew up in London, Ontario. Child of divorced Hungarian immigrants, she had to work hard to make it through high school and college while working to support herself and family and making excelling grades. Caro, as she was known, won a full scholarship to study literature at Oxford. She eventually received her masters and doctorate from Oxford and now is a professor of literature.

    Her background shows through in every page. Rarely have I read a more beautiful and evocative book. Caro is brilliant, and her friends are brilliant. They quote great literature and poems at one another, have deep theological conversations, and make me wish I had studied literature instead of sociology in college. I am sure I missed a number of the allusions. Many are quite subtle, a couple I wanted to run over and show someone. I did, by the time I had read half of the book, give copies to three friends. This is a book to be shared.

    It is not a surprise that eventually Caro finds God at Oxford. But the story of her first year there, and the changes in her life are a pleasure to read. You need to go pick this book up.

    I have since read this a second time (as well as her follow up book) and it was equally good on the second reading.
  • (4/5)
    How shall I characterize this memoir? It’s partly spiritual autobiography, partly a romance, partly a Christian apologetic. That may explain its 480 pages and explain why I found it going in different direction too much which bothered me a bit. What I did like was the first part of the book. Carolyn Weber coming to Oxford as a Canadian to study in this centuries old institution with all its strange customs and traditions. She’s clearly a fish out of water and describe the culture-clash with the brits in a funny way. To be intruduced to this great university is a treat and you do feel like you’re led by the hand into the great halls of wisdom and learning (and extravagant dinner parties with the professors). Her exploration of the Christian worldview starts as she meets an American student who challenge her atheistic or agnostic beliefs. That she eventually also falls in love with him makes her spiritual search for the truth more complicated.I read it actually as the title suggest a nod to C. S. Lewis’ [Surprised by Joy] - but there’s very little about Lewis here, other than her going to a meeting in the “C. S. Lewis Society” (a good scene by the way).