I CAN'T PRETEND that the historical interests surrounding John Henry (Cardinal) Newman and the other figures of the Oxford Movement of the 1830s and 1840s were uppermost in my mind when I studied in Oxford in the mid-1950s and walked the streets haunted by their spirits. A friend once took me to a service at Pusey House, a citadel of Oxford Anglo-Catholicism, which he described as "the highest church in the world." But beyond offering a certain aesthetic pleasure, the experience left little impression. Most of my friends of an ecclesiastical turn of mind were reading and discussing Geoffrey Faber book Oxford Apostles, an early forerunner of the later fashion of psychobiography. Faber answered difficult spiritual questions by "explaining" spiritual interests in psychoanalytic terms. But the story of Newman and his followers is far more interesting than I supposed then.
When Newman, as a young fellow of Oriel College, Oxford, contemplated the Church of England of the 1830s, it seemed to him, as to the other polemicists he would shortly enlist to write the so-