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John Henry Newman

John Henry Newman: The Challenge to Evangelical Religion

Copyright Date: 2002
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 752
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    John Henry Newman
    Book Description:

    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 autobiographicalApologia Pro Vita SuaandThe 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.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-12799-7
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-23)

    The protagonist of this volume isnotJohn HenryCardinalNewman, whom many people regard as the father of the Second Vatican Council, whose name adorns Roman Catholic student societies on numerous North American college and university campuses as well as scores of websites, and the cause of whose sainthood has been pressed for some time. Nor do these pages address John Henry Newman of the Birmingham Oratory, author ofThe Idea of a University,the most influential work on the liberal education in the English language;A Grammar of Assent,an enduring exploration of religious belief; andThe Dream...

  5. CHAPTER 1 The Evangelical Impulse
    (pp. 24-64)

    Evangelical protestant religion was the most dynamic force within North Atlantic Christianity from the middle of the eighteenth century through at least the middle of the nineteenth. In many of the cultures originally touched by that evangelical faith its influence lingered, often reasserting itself well into the twentieth century and beyond. David Hempton has perceptively commented, “Religious cultures are not static, nor are they isolated from their social setting, rather they are made and remade by the people who live them, and therefore hardly ever conform to the fixed boundaries commentators have designed for them.”¹ Such was certainly true of...

  6. CHAPTER 2 Men in Motion: John Keble, Richard Hurrell Froude, Edward Bouverie Pusey
    (pp. 65-109)

    In the hagiography of the Tractarian Movement, John Keble, Richard Hurrell Froude, Edward Bouverie Pusey, and John Henry Newman often appear as figures of innate Catholic sensibility, who stepped magisterially into the ecclesiastical struggles of the Reform Act era to defend ancient Catholic truths of faith and practice. In point of fact, in the years before 1833, they actuallybecamethe Tractarians as they decided that only through a major challenge to evangelical religion both inside and outside the Church of England could that institution and its clergy survive in the rapidly shifting religious climate. Throughout the 1820s the future...

  7. CHAPTER 3 John Henry Newman and the Call to Obedience
    (pp. 110-161)

    Whatever the contributions of Keble, Froude, and Pusey, the disruptions and transformations the Tractarians unleashed in the Church of England would not have occurred without John Henry Newman. He alone possessed the psychic energy and the polemical gifts required to make Froude’s envisioned “row” in the English Church. Whereas Keble, Froude, and Pusey were men in motion, Newman for the thirty years between 1815 and 1845 personified the impetus to religious self-transformation that over the course of the Victorian decades recast both the British and transatlantic religious landscapes. During those years Newman’s religious life and thought underwent one indeterminate metamorphosis...

  8. CHAPTER 4 What the Early Tracts Said
    (pp. 162-206)

    Paradoxically theTracts for the Timesthemselves have remained among the least read and least cited documents of the Tractarian Movement. In 1841 they received credit for having initiated an “increased reverence and regard manifested . . . for the Liturgy, Creeds, Sacraments, Episcopal polity, and Apostolical succession of the Church,” a “greater apprehension of the fearful sin of schism,” and a “more diligent attention given to the study of Ecclesiastical History, and of Christian Antiquity,” but within a generation of their appearance the tracts remained quietly ignored by many people originally associated with them and then by later commentators...

  9. CHAPTER 5 The Hampden Case
    (pp. 207-254)

    In february 1836, Lord Melbourne appointed Renn Dickson Hampden as Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford. The Tractarians, along with others in the university, unsuccessfully opposed the nomination, then vehemently assaulted Hampden’s theology and religious character, and finally secured by vote of Convocation a minor but symbolically important limitation on his new professorial duties. The affair erupted after several years of private academic rivalry and two years of public political controversy between Hampden and various Tractarians. The attack on Hampden marked the peak of Tractarian influence in the university and ironically legitimated similar later hostile actions being taken against the...

  10. CHAPTER 6 The Assault on the Protestant
    (pp. 255-292)

    From 1833 and through 1835 theTracts for the Timeshad heaped fulsome opprobrium on the religious and ecclesiastical inadequacy of Dissent, repeatedly portraying it as tending toward the ill-defined but much dreaded Socinianism of eighteenth-century Rational Dissent. Except, however, among Unitarians, the theology of early Victorian Dissent was profoundly evangelical. Consequently, the Tractarian critique of Dissent necessarily comprised a more general assault against evangelical religion, which, especially after Pusey’s tract on baptism of late 1835, embraced that of evangelicals inside the Church of England. Moreover, the Tractarians’ drive against evangelicalisminsideas well asoutsidethe establishment broadened into...

  11. CHAPTER 7 The Pursuit of the Catholic
    (pp. 293-352)

    In late October 1833, when Oxford Apostolicals considered organizing a clerical society, Newman’s old friend J. W. Bowden advised, “In choosing a name for your Society, let the word ‘Catholic’ appear. Our great error has been that we have forgotten ourselves, or at least forgotten to teach others, that we, Churchmen, are the Catholics of England; and, unless we can wrest the monopoly of the term from the Papists, we do nothing. Wemustdisabuse our fellow churchmen of the idea that we belong to a Church, comparatively new, which, some 300 years ago,supplantedthe old Catholic Church of...

  12. CHAPTER 8 Proving Cannon
    (pp. 353-403)

    In 1833 the Tractarians had commenced their enterprise by denouncing Dissent and within a matter of months had extended their critique to establishment evangelicals. By early 1841 the advanced Catholics among them were demanding their own right to dissent within the Church of England by subscribing to the 39 Articles in a manner that did not repudiate the expansive Catholic faith and devotion they now pursued. On February 27, 1841, Newman undertook to satisfy their concerns and thus to preserve his own Catholic constituency by publishingTract 90, innocuously entitledRemarks on Certain Passages in the Thirty-Nine Articles. His contentious...

  13. CHAPTER 9 In Schism with All Christendom
    (pp. 404-473)

    Although from 1833 onward evangelical and nonevangelical commentators hurled epithets ofpopish, papist,andRomishat the Tractarians, other no less hostile observers refused to embrace that tempting Protestant–Roman Catholic binary opposition in their analysis of the movement unleashed byTracts for the Times. They saw a different category of religious behavior at work, that of schism. For example, during theTract 90controversy of March 1841, theMorning Heralddeclared,

    However paradoxical it may at first appear, schism is the very essence and element of Puseyism. . . . Ask the papist whathethinks of Puseyism. He...

  14. CHAPTER 10 Monks, Miracles, and Popery
    (pp. 474-526)

    Newman pursued two distinct goals in the publication ofTract 90and his formal establishment of the Littlemore monastery, each of which roused opposition from both evangelicals and high churchmen. The first was a determination to secure toleration for Catholics within the ministry of the Church of England through implicit recognition of Catholic latitude in clerical subscription to the 39 Articles. His second goal was to continue and to expand the Tractarian devotional experiment. The latter effort has received much less scholarly attention than the former. Advanced Tractarian Catholic devotion and theology largely disappeared from the Victorian religious scene when...

  15. CHAPTER 11 Endgame
    (pp. 527-586)

    In one of the most persuasive passages of theApologia Pro Vita SuaNewman invoked the memory of “three blows which broke me” between July and November 1841, causing him to lose faith in the Catholicity of the Church of England. These incidents included his coming to perceive even more than previously the analogy between the English Church, presumably including his own sect therein, and the ancient Monophysite communion, his encountering the first of the fierce episcopal charges againstTract 90,and the launching of the Jerusalem bishopric project. Thereafter, the English Church in his eyes bore all the signs...

  16. CHAPTER 12 Paths Taken and Not
    (pp. 587-642)

    Why, after the events of 1845, John Henry Newman departed the Church of England is reasonably clear, but why he entered the Roman Catholic Church is not self-explanatory. That question is not a theoretical issue but one much pondered by observers at the time. The assumption of the inevitability of Newman’s reception into the Roman Church precludes the query, “Inevitable in lieu of what?” The answer is in lieu of still other available contemporary religious alternatives. Recognizing the problematic rather than inevitable character of Newman’s conversion opens the way for reconsidering both his life goals and the manner in which...

  17. Abbreviations
    (pp. 643-644)
  18. Notes
    (pp. 645-724)
  19. Index
    (pp. 725-740)