John Henry Newman by Frank M. Turner
The Challenge to Evangelical Religion

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One of the most controversial religious figures of the nineteenth century, John Henry Newman (1801–1890) began his career as a priest in the Church of England but converted to the Roman Catholic Church in 1845. He became a cardinal in 1879.

Between 1833 and 1845 Newman, now best known for his autobiographical Apologia Pro Vita Sua and The Idea of a University, was the aggressive leader of the Tractarian Movement within Oxford University. Newman, along with John Keble, Richard Hurrell Froude, and E. B. Pusey, launched an uncompromising battle against the dominance of evangelicalism in early Victorian religious life. By 1845 Newman’s radically outspoken views had earned him censure from Oxford authorities and sharp criticism from the English bishops.

Departing from previous interpretations, Turner portrays Newman as a disruptive and confused schismatic conducting a radical religious experiment. Turner demonstrates that Newman’s passage to Rome largely resulted from family quarrels, thwarted university ambitions, the inability to control his followers, and his desire to live in a community of celibate males.


About Frank M. Turner

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Frank M. Turner is John Hay Whitney Professor of History at Yale University.
Published October 1, 2002 by Yale University Press. 752 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

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The Guardian

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John Henry Newman: The Challenge to Evangelical Religion by Frank M Turner 751pp, Yale, £35 Cardinal Newman's Apologia Pro Vita Sua remains one of the great landmarks of Victorian literary culture.

Jan 04 2003 | Read Full Review of John Henry Newman: The Challe...

Publishers Weekly

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Cardinal John Henry Newman is an intellectual icon to many Catholics, particularly those who gather on college campuses in the "Newman Centers" that bear the famous convert's name.

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Project MUSE

Yet, if there is a definitive biography, it is probably that of Ian Ker (John Henry Newman:A Biography, 1988), who used Newman's own writings, especially his letters and diaries, to piece together a remarkable portrait of Newman as he would have wanted to be painted.

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