The Detour is a fascinating journey through eight worlds in seven chapters. Not strictly an autobiography, it provides glimpses of a Lancashire childhood in pre-war and wartime Leyland and the Roman Catholicism of that time and place. There follows the wider world of grammar school and the author's first contact with the Jesuits; and then that of the vitiate, which he aptly calls 'Out of this World', so surreal and strange does it w appear. He then contrasts the liberating world of Oxford, with its tutors and general openness, with the rigid spiritual, philosophical and theological worlds that belonged to what he calls 'Jesuitism'. After protracted studies he held responsible posts at Heythrop College for over ten years, where he played a major role in its move to become part of the University of London. After a further decade as Head of Theology and Religious Studies at the Roehampton Institute, Robert Butterworth is w enjoying married life in domestic retirement, cooking, studying Greek classical writers and exploring his new world of personal reflection, which has led him to propose some practical and challenging principles for the reinterpretation and revision of Roman Catholic tradition. The whole story makes for a riveting read, with a rare combination of elegance, depth and contemporary relevance.