Friday, November 14, 2008

Country Vicar - Chapter 4 - Myth of the Country Parson

If you have read A Priest to the Temple, or the Country Parson this chapter will help to view the country parson from a different view. At times Osborne is almost critical it seem of Herbert's Country Parson. The short tale entitled “The Move” also gives a glimpse into the different perspectives that are held of the country parson — by the parson – by the overseers – by the parishioners.

The chapter begins with a brief summary of the word parson, it's origins, and it's implications for ministry.

Osborne points out George Herbert's position when he wrote the Country Parson, noting that it was not published till years after his death. Herbert was the vicar of the Parish of Bemerton in Wiltshire. According to Osborne, Herbert wrote “about what he was trying to achieve.” And there appears to be no confirmation that Herbert was able to live up to his own ideals, but they were certainly his ideals. Possibly most clerics would whole up for themselves similar ideals for their vocation and ministry.

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