An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine by John Henry Newman

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John Henry Newman (1801-1890) was a prominent figure in the religious history of England during the 19th century becoming nationally recognized by the mid-1830s. Originally an evangelistic Oxford scholar and clergyman in the Church of England, he was a leader in the Oxford Movement. This inspiring grouping of Anglicans wished to return the Church of England to the many Catholic beliefs and forms of worship. Newman left the Anglican Church and converted to Roman Catholicism, eventually acquiring the rank of Cardinal by Pope Leo XIII. Development of doctrine is a term used by Newman to describe the way Catholic teaching has become meticulous and explicit over the centuries. "An Essay on the Development of Christinan Doctrine" presents Newman's idea of development of doctrine to defend Catholic teaching from attacks by Anglicans and Protestants who saw certain elements in Catholic teaching as corruptions or innovations. To him, this doctrine was the natural and beneficial consequence of reason to reveal a truth that was not obvious at first.


About John Henry Newman

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English clergyman John Henry Newman was born on February 21, 1801. He was educated at Trinity College, University of Oxford. He was the leader of the Oxford movement and cardinal after his conversion to the Roman Catholic Church. In 1822, he received an Oriel College fellowship, which was then the highest distinction of Oxford scholarship, and was appointed a tutor at Oriel. Two years later, he became vicar of St. Mary's, the Anglican church of the University of Oxford, and exerted influence on the religious thought through his sermons. When Newman resigned his tutorship in 1832, he made a tour of the Mediterranean region and wrote the hymn "Lead Kindly Light." He was also one of the chief contributors to "Tracts for the Times" (1833-1841), writing 29 papers including "Tract 90", which terminated the series. The final tract was met with opposition because of its claim that the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England are aimed primarily at the abuses of Roman Catholicism. Newman retired from Oxford in 1842 to the village of Littlemore. He spent three years in seclusion and resigned his post as vicar of St. Mary's on October 9, 1845. During this time, he wrote a retraction of his criticisms of the Roman Catholic Church and after writing his "Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine," he became a Roman Catholic. The following year, he went to Rome and was ordained a priest and entered the Congregation of the Oratory. The remainder of Newman's life was spent in the house of the Oratory that he established near Birmingham. He also served as rector of a Roman Catholic university that the bishops of Ireland were trying to establish in Dublin from 1854-1858. While there, he delivered a series of lectures that were later published as "The Idea of a University Defined" (1873), which says the function of a university is the training of the mind instead of the giving of practical information. In 1864, Newman published "Apologia pro Vita Sua (Apology for His Life)" in response to the charge that Roman Catholicism was indifferent to the truth. It is an account of his spiritual development and regarded as both a religious autobiography and English prose. Newman also wrote "An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent" (1870), and the novels "Loss and Gain" (1848), Callista" (1856) and "The Dream of Gerontius" (1865). Newman was elected an honorary fellow of Trinity College, Oxford, in 1877 and was made cardinal by Pope Leo XIII in 1879. He died on August 11, 1890. Trevor Lipscombe is the director of The Catholic University of America Press. He earned his doctorate at the University of Oxford and has taught at Oxford, the City University of New York, and Johns Hopkins University. He served for ten years on the editorial board of the Journal of Scholarly Publishing and is currently a member of the editorial board of the New Catholic Encyclopedia. He is the author of the Physics of Rugby (Nottingham University Press, 2009) and, with Alice Calaprice, author of Albert Einstein: A Biography (Greenwood, 2005).
Published October 22, 2011 by 244 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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