John Henry Newman

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Newman, John Henry

 

Born Feb. 21, 1801, in London; died Aug. 11, 1890, in Edgbaston, near Birmingham. English theologian, educational theoretician, publicist, and church figure. Son of a banker.

Newman graduated from Oxford University and until 1833 combined university teaching with the duties of a vicar. His first work, The Arians of the Fourth Century (1833), already foreshadowed the direction that Newman would take in his later attempts to consolidate the religious doctrine of the Anglican Church. However, while working toward this goal in 90 periodically issued Tracts for the Times (1833–41), the aim of which was to bring a resounding halt to the “domination of liberalism in religious thought” and to revive “the true concept of the interrelationship between Anglicanism and the Catholic religion as a whole,” Newman moved further and further away from Anglicanism. In 1845 he converted to Catholicism and in 1847 became a priest of the Roman Catholic Church. From 1854 through 1858, Newman was rector of the Catholic University in Dublin. In 1879 he became a cardinal.

In his work Apologia pro vita sua (1864), Newman preached active acceptance of authoritarian religious views based on intuition and aided by force of will and moral feeling. Newman developed the position philosophically in An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent (1870).

Newman’s works spread widely among Catholics and were translated into various languages. In the disputes between the representatives of Thomism and Scotism, Newman took the side of the followers of John Duns Scotus and defended the principle of an “open theology” free of scholastic confines. He thereby became a precursor of the renewal and modernization of Catholicism in the mid-20th century.

WORKS

Works, vols. 1–37. London, 1868–81.
Essays and Sketches, vols. 1–3. New York, 1948.
The Letters and Diaries, vols. 1–18. London-New York, 1961–68.
The Philosophical Notebook of J. H. Newman (in 2 vols.), vol. 1. New York, 1969.

REFERENCES

Ward, W. The Life of Cardinal Newman, vols. 1–2. London, 1912.
Bouyer, L. Newman: Sa Vie, sa spiritualité. Paris, 1952.
Hollis, C. Newman and the Modern World. New York, 1968.

V. S. MURAV’EV

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