On 23rd September 2022 St Edward’s School will be hosting an academic conference on the subject of ‘The Oxford Movement and Education’. A distinguished team of leading academics will convene to explore the distinctive role of the Movement in the context of schools, universities and the nation.
This conference explores the close relationship between the Oxford Movement and the history of school and university education in nineteenth-century Britain. Recent work on the Oxford Movement and its ‘Tractarian’ adherents has expanded beyond traditional representations of the subject as an ecclesiastical impetus within the Church of England. It has rediscovered the ways in which a religious insurgency also worked through social criticism, literature, scholarship, and the visual arts, thereby leaving a profound impression on Victorian culture more widely. Building on this research, the conference turns its attention to the less-studied connections between the Oxford Movement and education: a sphere in which many of the other preoccupations of Tractarian activism also found expression. Tractarian-influenced Anglican clergy such as Nathaniel Woodard saw the foundation of new schools as a crucial means of realising the Oxford Movement’s hopes of renewing the faith of England. Universities comparably became environments for the application of Tractarian ideas of pedagogy, learning, and gender. Addressing these and related subjects, the conference will also consider the question of the historical legacies of the Oxford Movement’s educational work to twentieth and twenty-first century posterity.
The Oxford Movement’s ambition was to re-establish the importance of faith and worship in the lives of people in Britain following a 150-year period of growing secularization. By the 1830s, several academics from the University of Oxford championed this cause, advocating for the revival of Catholic practices and for their inclusion in Anglican liturgy. Among these scholars were members of the university, such as John Henry Newman, Edward Pusey and John Keble. Their subsequent impact on spiritual and academic life at the university was indelible. The presence of Keble College, named after one of the Movement’s distinguished members and founded at the university in 1870, serves a constant reminder today that the Oxford Movement has played a significant role in the development of Oxford’s history.
For more information and to see the full schedule please visit: