When Carolyn Weber arrived at Oxford University to begin her post-graduate studies, she felt no need for God and had no interest in him. An intelligent young woman who had grown up in a nominal Roman Catholic family, she was glad to rely on her intellect for the answers to life’s greatest questions. As a blooming academic, she had few mentors or models who could show that faith is not only compatible with intellectual pursuits, but that it actually enhances them.
But the Lord had plans for Weber. Soon after arriving on campus she met a young man who shared the gospel message with her and, as she came to learn, once you have heard that message you cannot unhear it. The message resounded in her heart and mind. She spent 2 terms pondering that message, learning more about it, fighting against it, reading the Bible and engaging in conversation with anyone who would speak to her. She knew that the Lord was pursuing her and she eventually began to pursue him in return.
This tale is described in Surprised by Oxford, Weber’s newly-published memoir. The quirky setting for this pursuit, this love story, is the ancient campus of Oxford University. The structure follows Oxford’s academic year and its 3 terms, Michaelmas, Hilary and Trinity. There are 3 dimensions to this love story—love for Oxford, love for a young man, and love for a Savior. The three are interwoven and inseparable; each one is fascinating.