1833-1890: The Victorian era

The trend during this period will be rediscovery of liturgy and church history ("high church") and spreading Christianity ("low church" emphasis). Serious problems dealing with industrial poverty and with new scientific understandings.

The Oxford Movement

1833 John Keble's sermon "National Apostasy" is against a common-sense plan to reduce the number of Irish bishops. It begins the Oxford Movement. (Keble is already known for his book of poems, "The Christian Year", 1827). Edward Bouviere Pusey and John Henry Newman begin publishing "Tracts of the Times". (Hence the movements' other name, Tractarianism.) The Oxford Movement emphasizes the historic continuity of the church without opposing evangelicism and is regarded as strongly anti-liberal.
1844 James Lloyd Breck, priest, founds Nashotah House, with Anglo-Catholic emphasis.
1845 J. M. Neale founds the Ecclesiological Society, a club for college students interested in restoring and redesigning parish churches.

John Henry Newman falls victim to the Roman fever, later becomes a cardinal.
1864 Royal College of Organists popularizes organs for church music.
1860 "Essays and Reviews", favorable to science and modernism, published. Rev. Frederick Temple, later Archbishop of Canterbury, discusses the valuable contributions of non-Christian thinkers.

Rev. H.B. Wilson pleads for tolerance and common sense in doctrinal matters, instead of "godless orthodoxy", so that the church can retain credibility.

Rev. Rowland Williams reviews the new field of Biblical archaeology.

Rev. Benjamin Jowett popularizes historical and literary criticism of the Bible.

Rev. Mark Pattison reviews church history in the last century pointing out "irrational" elements.

Rev. Baden Powell popularizes new understandings about the earth's real history.

C.W. Goodwin (the only layman) argues for a figurative interpretation of the Biblical creation stories.

Both high and low churchmen are appalled. The authors are called "the Seven Against Christ". Dr. Pusey collects 11,000 signatures from outraged clergymen who still believe in scriptural inerrancy and eternal damnation for the wicked. Temple writes to the bishop of London, "Many years ago you urged us from the University pulpit to undertake the critical study of the Bible. You said that it was a dangerous study, but indispensable.... To tell a man to study, yet bid him, under heavy penalties, come to the same conclusions with those who have not studied, is to mock him."

Conservatives are shocked when a secular court allows the clerical contributors to retain their positions. The court finds that a priest who doubts eternal damnation is not a threat to public morality.
1871 Order of deaconesses revived.
1874 English universities introduce qualifying examinations for graduates in theology. This is considered highly innovative.
1880 In England, colorful "high church" ceremonial worship is replacing "low-church" long sermons and drabness. The reserved sacrament is reintroduced.
1889 James De Koven, priest, of Nashotah House, asserts that it is all right for the U.S. church to have candles, incense, genuflections.

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