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Society of Saint John the Evangelist (1866-) | Archival Collections at Wheaton College

Name: Society of Saint John the Evangelist (1866-)

Historical Note:

The Society of Saint John the Evangelist (SSJE) was founded in the parish of Cowley in Oxford, England, by the Reverend Richard Meux Benson in 1866. SSJE was the first stable religious community of men to be established in the Anglican Church since the Reformation.

The ministry of Oxford’s Society of Saint John the Evangelist had a profound impact on Lewis’s spiritual formation. It is doubtful that anyone had as great an impact on Lewis’s spiritual development during the spiritually formative years from 1940-1952 as Father Walter Adams. Adams was an Anglo-Catholic and he gently but purposefully led Lewis to become a High Churchman. Adams also introduced Mr. Lewis to the writings of Richard Meux Benson, the founder of the SSJE. Thanks to the writing of Benson and the mentorship of Father Adams, Lewis grew to celebrate and enjoy, as he phrased it, “the really present” Lord Jesus Christ. (text adapted from Dorsett’s article in the SSJE archive)

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