DRAWING-ROOM CONVERSION: A Sociological Account of the Oxford Group Movement by Allan W. Eister

DRAWING-ROOM CONVERSION: A Sociological Account of the Oxford Group Movement

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is an attempt to describe The Oxford Group Movement in sociological terms. Begun as a quiet venture in personal evangelism by Frank N.D. Buchman, the Oxford Group developed into a large and skilfully directed evangelical movement. It attracted the enthusiastic and devoted adherence of many prominent and influential people in this country and abroad, and at the same time was sharply criticized for some of its emphases. While it has won adherents from all classes of society, the dominant element in it has always been drawn from the socially prominent. Dr. Eister has subjected the whole process to sociological analysis. He looks at ""life-changing"", ""soul surgery"" and ""Moral Rear"" as through a scientific microscope. He attempts to determine what kinds of religious experience were had, what kinds of ideas about personal and social problems were developed. He purports neither to laud nor to disparage, but to analyze and describe the movement in such a way that the reader will understand it without passing judgment upon it. Sympathizers with the movement will no doubt feel that such a coldly scientific approach to something that has meant so much to them is in the nature of a sacrilege. Indeed, it is a question to what degree a religious movement with all of its subtleties and intangible values and emotional over-tones is susceptible of scientific analysis. However, the attempt makes of this an interesting book and one which will no doubt attract much attention, not only from members and friends of the group but from others who are interested in such of its emphases and values.

Publisher: Duke University Press