PUSEY, EDWARD BOUVERIE: Church of England tractarian; b. at Pusey (12 m. s.w. of Oxford), Aug. 22, 1800; d. at Ascot Priory, Oxford, Sept. 16, 1882. He was the second son of the first Viscount Folkestone, Jacob Bouverie, descending from the old Huguenot family of Bouverie. At the age of eighteen he entered Christ Church College, Oxford, and. in 1824 was elected fellow at Oriel College, where he became intimately acquainted with J. H. Newman and John Keble. He studied oriental languages, but after a prolonged stay in Germany (1825-27, in Göttingen, Berlin, and Bonn) devoted himself to the study of German theology. By his work on this subject, Historical Enquiry into the Probable Causes of the Rationalistic Character . . . Predominant in the Theology of Germany (London, 1828-30) he attracted the attention of academic circles, so that the duke of Wellington in 1829 made him regius professor of Hebrew and canon of Christ Church.
In 1833 the Tracts for the Times (see TRACTARIANISM) had begun to appear and caused a great sensation. Although Pusey was in contact with the circle from which they proceeded, it was only with his treatise on baptism, Scriptural Views of Holy Baptism (nos. 67-69 of Tracts for the Times, 1835) and the publication of the Library of the Fathers (see below) that he, at the end of 1834, joined the forces of High-churchism which after that formed the purpose and task of his life. He exercised a great and decisive influence upon the character and events of the movement, but was not responsible for the foundation of the new party. He threw himself into the study of the Fathers and of those "Anglicans" who in the seventeenth century had not succeeded in realizing their idea that the "old church," i.e., the medieval Church, in spite of Roman deformations, had been the only true expression of the Church of Christ, and from these studies Pusey's ideas of the Church received a decisive influence. In this spirit he, together with Keble and Newman, edited, after 1836, the Oxford Library of the Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church, Anterior to the Division of the East and West (50 vols., Oxford, 1838-85). In a lecture on the Book of Common Prayer he asserted, long before Newman, that many "genuinely Catholic" doctrines might be upheld even with the acknowledgment of the Thirty-nine Articles. In 1843 Pusey, in a sermon, stated views which, deviating from the conception of the sacrament current since the Reformation, closely approached the medieval sacrificial idea of the real presence. In consequence he was deposed from his office as preacher. The news of his deposition created such a sensation that Pusey advanced to a leading position in the struggle of the church, and the movement was characterized by the name of Puseyism.
As in his sermons, so in his theological investigations Pusey was held in check by a forced conservatism that strove to awaken forgotten ideals. Although he possessed great gifts as a polemical writer, he was not a profound theologian. His thought lacked consistence and keenness, but in the knowledge of ecclesiastical antiquities he excelled most of his contemporaries. In directing his eye to the past, he could not comprehend the modern spirit. His theology found adherents only until the sixties. Some of his disciples turned away from him, others went beyond him. His efforts at harmony with Rome and the renewal of the medieval conception of the sacrament, coinciding with the awakening of the medieval ideal of art upon English soil (Preraffaelites), led in natural consequence to a renewal of medieval ceremonies in worship. Although Pusey himself, ignoring the import of his own thoughts, vigorously protested against such a renewal, he could not hinder the renewal of ceremonies from becoming the shibboleth of his party, or Puseyism from being lost in ritualism.
The fundamental traits of his theology Pusey laid down in a number of works which in almost every instance were destined to serve the ecclesiastical questions of the day. The most important are: The Doctrine of the Real Presence, as contained in the Fathers (Oxford, 1855); The Real Presence . . . the Doctrine of the English Church (1857); The Minor Prophets, with Commentary (5 parts, 1860; reissue, London, 1906 sqq.). In the work called Eirenicon (vol. i., 1865) The Church of England a Portion of Christ's One Holy Catholic Church, and a Means of Restoring Visible Unity, he tried to show the ecclesiastical theological foundations of a union with Rome on the basis of the Council of Trent. In the second volume of the same work, The Reverential Love Due to the Ever-blessed Theotokos and the Doctrine of her Immaculate Conception (1869), and in the third volume, Is Healthful Reunion Possible? (1870), both addressed to J. H. Newman in the form of letters, he pursued the idea of union still further and tried to remove the difficulties between England and Rome as being of little account by the assumption of the Gallican principles of Bossuet. The third Eirenicon Pusey sent to the majority of bishops assembled at the Vatican, but it was rejected, and the subsequent triumph of Ultramontanism (1870) completely destroyed his hopes of reconciliation. Besides several collections of sermons, Parochial Sermons (4 vols., 1832-50); University Sermons (3 vols., 1864-79); and Lenten Sermons (1858, 1874), and other works, Pusey published: Marriage with a Deceased Wife's Sister and God's Prohibition of the Marriage with a Deceased Wife's Sister (1849, 1860); The Royal Supremacy not an Arbitrary Authority (1850); The Councils of the Church (1857); Daniel the Prophet (1864); On the Clause: "And the Son" (1876); Habitual Confession not Discouraged (1878); What is of Faith as to Everlasting Punishment (1880).