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Synopsis

The Soul of a Bishop tells the story of a spiritual crisis that leads Edward Scrope, Lord Bishop of Princhester, to give up his diocese in England's industrial heartland and leave the Anglican Church. Troubled during the World War I by doctrinal doubts and a sense of the irrelevance of his Anglicism as well as nervousness and insomnia, a crisis is precipitated by a visit to a wealthy parishioner's home where he meets an extremely wealthy American widow, Lady Sunderbund. To her he speaks for the first time of his religious discontent. Shortly thereafter he takes a drug that, instead of mitigating his symptoms, gives him "a new and more vivid apprehension of things." The bishop experiences a mystical vision of "the Angel of God" and then God in the North Library of the Athenaeum Club, London. He emerges from the experience convinced that he must leave the Church, but is persuaded by an old mentor, Bishop Likeman, to wait three months before doing anything, during which time he continues in his episcopal duties.

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