Book Notification

Carolyn Weber Books In Order

Book links take you to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn money from qualifying purchases.

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Surprised by Oxford (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Holy Is the Day (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon

Carolyn Weber is a Canadian author of religion and spirituality books. she has taught literature to undergraduate students for over a decade and worked as an associate professor at Seattle University. She completed her M. Phil and Doctoral degrees at Oxford University. Carolyn was the first female Dean of St. Peter’s College, Oxford. She lives with her husband and their four children in London, Ontario, Canada.

Carolyn Weber’s debut memoir, Surprised by Oxford, clinched the renowned Grace Irwin Award, the most esteemed accolade for Christian literature in Canada, among other honors. Additionally, her subsequent book, Holy is the Day: Living in the Gift of the Present (published by InterVarsity Press), earned a place on the shortlist for the same award and emerged victorious in the faith living category. Surprised by Oxford was adapted into a feature film directed by Ryan Whitaker.

Carolyn Weber’s memoir, Surprised by Oxford, unfolds her remarkable journey of faith against the intellectually rigorous backdrop of Oxford University during the 1990s. Often, it’s presumed that those steeped in academia might find it challenging to reconcile their intellectual pursuits with the leap of faith Christianity requires. However, Weber’s story beautifully challenges this notion, illustrating that intellect and faith are not mutually exclusive but can complement each other profoundly. Her narrative is a testament to the idea that God’s reach extends even into the ivory towers of academia, drawing even the most skeptical minds toward the truth of the Gospel.

Weber, originating from a mixed agnostic-Catholic background marred by family turmoil, arrives at Oxford as a fiercely intelligent student harboring skepticism toward men and religion. Awarded a full scholarship, her Oxford journey is an academic endeavor and a spiritual exploration triggered by her encounters with Kent Weber, a fellow scholar and devout Christian. Kent’s awkward yet sincere romantic gestures towards Carolyn become a backdrop to her deeper exploration of faith, especially as she delves into C.S. Lewis’s Surprised by Joy and contemplates his spiritual awakening at Oxford.

Unlike typical Christian genre books, which might lean towards simplistic narratives, Surprised by Oxford offers a rich tapestry of intellectual and spiritual questioning, set among a cast of characters who bring depth and authenticity to the academic setting of Oxford. The memoir transcends the formula of a romantic comedy by intertwining Carolyn’s spiritual conversion with her developing feelings for Kent, providing an intellectually engaging and emotionally resonant narrative.
Weber’s honesty about the challenges of embracing Christianity—navigating personal sacrifices, enduring struggles, and confronting doubts—lends a raw and genuine quality to her story. She doesn’t shy away from discussing the difficult decisions and internal turmoil accompanying her faith journey, offering readers a candid look at the complexities of becoming a Christian. The memoir also touches on theological themes in a manner that is accessible and not overly didactic, allowing readers to glean insights into God’s character and the nature of faith without feeling overwhelmed.

Surprised by Oxford is a compelling read for anyone seeking spiritual encouragement or insight into the journey of faith amidst intellectual skepticism and personal doubts. Carolyn Weber, now an Associate Professor of Romantic Literature, showcases her exceptional writing talent and sharp wit, making this memoir not just an account of coming to faith but also a celebration of how intellectual inquiry and spiritual seeking can coexist. Her story is a powerful reminder of the transformative power of faith and how God meets individuals in the most unexpected places and circumstances.

Sex and the City of God is Carolyn Weber’s memoir, published in 2020. The book is intriguingly titled to echo the works of Candace Bushnell. The ensuing pop culture phenomenon delves deep into a woman’s exploration of her sexuality, framed by her commitment to living within the spiritual boundaries of the City of God. This choice catalyzes a profound journey of love, reconciliation with her estranged father, and an enriched comprehension of sexuality’s true essence. Woven into this narrative is a touching love story, narrated with finesse by a truly talented author, making this book a compelling and enriching read.

The narrative embarks with the author’s father on his deathbed, a man who, in his twilight years, found faith and forged a newfound closeness with his daughter. The author’s recollections drift back to her childhood, marked by her father’s absence and poignant memory of waiting in vain for him on her seventh birthday, clad in a dress he had chosen for her. This backdrop of familial complexity sets the stage for her transformative journey.

Fast forward to her time at Oxford for graduate studies, a period punctuated by a pivotal summer when she begins to embrace her faith in Christ. Amidst this backdrop is the figure of TDH (Tall, Dark, and Handsome), a fellow believer who introduces her to divine concepts, though she initially sees him as nothing beyond a platonic friend. Complicating matters is Ben, an ex-lover whose sudden reappearance challenges her newfound convictions. An encounter at a summer cabin, disrupted by an unexpected delivery of books, propels her towards a life dedicated not to earthly desires but to the ideals of Augustine’s City of God.

Her spiritual odyssey is enriched by Bible studies and a reevaluation of sexuality through the lens of biblical genealogies, viewing lineage not merely as a human construct but as a divine tapestry of creation and adoption into God’s family. However, this path is not without its trials, including frustrating romantic endeavors and a particularly challenging episode in a cold cabin.

Throughout her journey, the ongoing dialogues with TDH, marked by mutual respect and candid discussions on chastity and temptation, lay the groundwork for a deeper connection. His eventual move back to the States opens the door to courtship as genuine as it is fraught with the realities of marital life, including the temptations that accompany it.

The story circles back to the author’s father, closing with his final voice message and a contemplative reflection on the impact of our choices in love on our last moments. Carolyn Weber’s masterful storytelling, imbued with vivid descriptions, poetic interludes, and theological insights, invites readers into her intimate experiences of longing, struggle, and faith. Through her journey, readers are encouraged to ponder the divine possibilities for human love and sexuality, suggesting that perhaps God offers something far greater within the pursuit of the City of God.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Carolyn Weber

Leave a Reply