Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Echoes of Oxford

Loss and Gain coverThis week's guest on the Journey Home series on EWTN television was Trevor Lipscombe, director of The Catholic University of America Press:

A native of England, Lipscombe received his Bachelor of Science degree in physics from Queen Mary College of the University of London in 1983, and he earned his doctorate in 1986 from Oxford University.

He did his post-doctoral work at the Benjamin Levich Institute for Physico-Chemical Hydrodynamics at the City University of New York. He then made a commitment to a year of volunteer work at the Institute for Youth Advocacy at Covenant House in New York City. He met his future wife, a fellow volunteer, there and decided to make his permanent home in the United States. Lipscombe and his wife now have five children ages 7 to 19.

After a year at Covenant House, Lipscombe took a position as the senior editorial assistant for the American Physical Society’s Physical Review. With that first position in scholarly publishing, Lipscombe says he was “hooked.”

“Academic publishing is a wonderful profession. It is immensely rewarding to work with the leading professors in their academic fields and to help them publish the finest works of scholarship possible,” says Lipscombe.

Lipscombe continues to publish occasionally in his own academic field of theoretical fluid mechanics. A former high school and college rugby player, Lipscombe’s book The Physics of Rugby (Nottingham University Press) was named one of the top 10 physics books of 2009 by Physical World magazine.

His continued interest in physics is a hobby, he says. “While some people like to spend free time doing crossword puzzles, I like to play with equations as they relate to everyday life.”

Not shy about his commitment to his Catholic faith, Lipscombe (a lector at his local parish) says CUA had a unique draw for him. “I look forward to helping to support the mission of The Catholic University of America and to raising the visibility and prestige of the CUA Press,” says Lipscombe.

Mr. Lipscombe is also the editor of the Ignatius Press Critical Edition of Blessed John Henry Newman's novel, Loss and Gain:

This novel about a young man's intellectual and spiritual development was the first work John Henry Newman wrote after entering the Roman Catholic Church in 1845. The story describes the perplexing questions and doubts Charles Reding experiences while attending Oxford.

Though intending to avoid the religious controversies that are being heatedly debated at the university, Reding ends up leaving the Church of England and becoming a Catholic. A former Anglican clergyman who was later named a Catholic cardinal, Newman wrote this autobiographical novel to illustrate his own reasons for embracing Catholicism.

That last sentence is surprising, because during the Journey Home program, Mr. Lipscombe expressed doubt about the autobiographical nature of the novel, citing Newman's own declaration that it was not.

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