Newman, John Henry


Newman, John Henry
(1801–90)
   Theologian and Cardinal.
   Newman was educated at the University of Oxford, and was ordained into the Church of England ministry. In 1828 he was appointed vicar of the University Church. He came to the notice of the public with his contribution to the Tracts for the Times. With E.B. pusey, John keble and Hurrell froude, he was a leader of the Oxford Movement, believing that the Church of England was a middle way between the excesses of Rome and the errors of Protestantism. The final tract, number 90, in particular, caused a sensation in its attempt to reconcile the doctrines of the Church of Rome with the Anglican Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion. During this period, Newman also wrote the Arians of the Fourth Century. He was having increasing doubts about the validity of Anglicanism; in 1843 he resigned from the University Church and in 1845 he was received as a Roman Catholic. Subsequently he established the Oratory of St Philip neri in Birmingham; he was Rector of the short-lived Catholic University in Dublin from 1854 until 1858 and he fell out with manning over a book review in the Rambler periodical.
   He seemed doomed to a succession of failures. However, as a result of a personal attack from Charles kingsley, in 1864 he produced his Apologia pro Vita Mea in which he explained his religious odyssey. His obvious sincerity and his mellifluous prose style won him a host of admirers. Among his other books were the Essay on the Development of Doctrine, the Idea of a University (which contains the most devastating description of that nineteenth-century ideal, the gentleman) and A Grammar of Assent. Although the rift with Manning was never healed, his merits were recognised within the Church and he was made a Cardinal in 1879. Newman’s ideas on the development of doctrine have influenced many later thinkers and he himself has become something of a cult figure. With his ‘silvery voice’, his final sermon on the ‘parting of friends’ and his melancholy career as a Roman Catholic, he has been the inspiration for numerous monographs.
   John Henry Newman, Autobiographical Writings, edited by H. Tristram (1955);
   D. Newsome, The Convert Cardinals (1993);
   D. Nicholls and F. Kerr (eds), John Henry Newman: Reason, Rhetoric and Romanticism (1991);
   T.R. Wright (ed.), John Henry Newman: A Man for our Time? (1983).

Who’s Who in Christianity . 2014.

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