Edward Bouverie Pusey

1800-1882. Leader of the Oxford Movement.* Educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated in 1819, he became fellow of Oriel College in 1822. During 1825-27 he studied biblical criticism in Germany, and in the process acquired a good knowledge of oriental languages. Although the book he published on his return was understood to sympathize with the rationalism he had studied in Germany, Pusey denied this, and all his subsequent biblical work was strongly conservative; the best known is his commentary on the Minor Prophets and on Daniel. In 1828 he was appointed regius professor of Hebrew. As a member of Oriel he was already acquainted with Keble* and Newman,* and when the latter began the Tracts for the Times in 1833, Pusey also contributed. Two of them, one on baptism and the other on the Eucharist, were much longer than the previous tracts. Pusey was instrumental also in the publication of the Oxford Library of the Fathers.

Outside his academic studies he further contributed to the Oxford Movement by his opposition to Dr. Hampden's appointment as professor of theology, and by his support of Newman in the storm over the publication of Tract 90. In 1843 he was inhibited as a university preacher because of a sermon on the Eucharist. When in 1845 Newman seceded to the Roman Church, Pusey became the best- known figure in the Church of England. The very fact of his staying in the Church of England retained many others who might otherwise have left also. He founded sisterhoods, encouraged private confession, and supported the revival of ritualism, though he himself kept to a very simple ceremonial.

His own desire for reunion with the Roman Church led to his publishing in three stages his Eirenicon, which met with a disappointing response, especially after Vatican I* in 1870. In later years, however, he was more occupied with combating the growing strength of liberalism represented in Oxford by Benjamin Jowett,* in publications such as Essays and Reviews (1860), and in proposals to truncate or omit the Athanasian Creed.* A man of great personal devotion, his private life was haunted by tragedy: his wife, to whom he was devoted, died after eleven years of marriage, and all but one of his children predeceased him. After his death Pusey House in Oxford was founded as a center for theological study, and this contains his library.

See Lives by H.P. Liddon (4 vols., 1893: full list of Pusey's works) and G.L. Prestige (1933).