Though it is difficult to find a single designation that accurately describes Owen Barfield, perhaps "philologist" captures best the nature of Barfield's achievements as a writer and scholar.

Here is the entry on "philology" from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary ( 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.):

n. [L. philologia love of learning, interpretation, philology, Gr. ?: cf. F. philologie. . . .

1. Criticism; grammatical learning. [R.] --Johnson.

2. The study of language, especially in a philosophical manner and as a science; the investigation of the laws of human speech, the relation of different tongues to one another, and historical development of languages; linguistic science.

Note: Philology comprehends a knowledge of the etymology, or origin and combination of words; grammar, the construction of sentences, or use of words in language; criticism, the interpretation of authors, the affinities of different languages, and whatever relates to the history or present state of languages. It sometimes includes rhetoric, poetry, history, and antiquities.

3. A treatise on the science of language.