The Armour of Light: The Life of Reverend Doctor Barry Marshall

Nola Firth

The Armour of Light: The Life of Reverend Doctor Barry Marshall
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The Armour of Light: The Life of Reverend Doctor Barry Marshall

Nola Firth

The Armour of Light is about a truly remarkable Australian, a man who was described by some as a saint, and whose church rattling and lampooning of his opposition challenged others.

Barry Marshall was probably the most well -known Australian priest at the time of his tragic death, in 1970, from a fall which occurred just before his investiture as the first Australian Principal of Pusey House at Oxford University. He was well known for his total dedication to his priestly life, his ixture of erudition and playfulness, for his work as a Bush Brother in outback Bourke and his time as chaplain at Trinity College, the University of Melbourne.

Barry was responsible for introducing significant Vatican ll inspired reforms into the Anglican Church in Australia. To the consternation of his bishops he campaigned against infant baptism, maintaining it was a socially accepted practice rather than a serious commitment to Christianity, and as such was a harbinger of the demise of the church. Four decades after his death the influence of the Christian church as an institution has indeed greatly diminished in western society.

Despite enormous technological progress and modern development, our society harbours high levels of depression and suicide, and many are seeking meaning in their lives. Barry Marshall’s view of such things and his prophetic foresight are part of a story which enriches the history of Australian spirituality.

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