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Lux Mundi


Lux Mundi is the title of a book of theological essays published in 1889 (4th ed. 1890), subtitled A Series of Studies in the Religion of the Incarnation. It was edited by Charles gore, Anglican Bishop of Oxford, and did much to transform the AngloCatholic movement in the Church of England (see anglocatholics). The book was written after a group of young Oxford men had become impatient with the superficial "Romanizing" tendencies of the ritualists and the obscurantist fundamentalism in which Edward pusey and others would have imprisoned the oxford movement. This group was also deeply concerned with the social question and with the sense of responsibility for the wellbeing of all men, including the poor and underprivileged, that Gore had learned from B. F. westcott, and Westcott from the Christian socialism of F. D. maurice. The most memorable pages in Lux Mundi occur in the essay "The Holy Spirit and Inspiration," written by Gore himself. This essay marked the beginning of Liberal Catholicism in the Church of England, because its author affirmed that it is not inconsistent with the Catholic faith to accept the reasonable results of higher criticism of the Scriptures and the wellfounded discoveries of science. The brief preface to the book, also written by Gore, explained the purpose of this "new look" in AngloCatholicism: "We have written in this volume not as 'guessers of truth,' but as servants of the Catholic creed and Church, aiming only at interpreting the faith we have received." All the authors of Lux Mundi were extremely conscious of continuity with the Catholic past and also of the need for "great changes in the outlying departments of theology" to meet the "new needs, new points of view, new questions" of the times. Other contributors to Lux Mundi were canons H. Scott Holland and Aubrey Moore, J. R. Illingworth,E. S. Talbot, R. C. Mobberly, Arthur Lyttelton, W. Lock,F. Paget, W. J. H. Campion, and R. L. Ottley. Lux Mundi was severely attacked by such prominent High Church leaders as Henry Parry Liddon and was publicly assailed in Convocation.

Bibliography: j. k. mozley, Some Tendencies in British Theology from the Publication of Lux Mundi to the Present Day (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge 1951). a. m. ramsey, From Gore to Temple (London 1960). j. carpenter, Gore: A Study in Liberal Catholic Thought (London 1960).

[w. hannah]

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