John Henry Newman

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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, 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.


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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The sermons of John Henry Newman are replete with warnings to heed the direct calls of God with quickness--neither lagging behind God nor trying to get ahead of him.
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Pope Benedict XVI will be making the announcement on December 20, and the late Pope will then be beatified next October, the month after the Venerable John Henry Newman is beatified.
Lovers Rent The Catholic Church has announced that it will exhume and rebury the corpse of England's greatest theologian of the 19th century, Cardinal John Henry Newman, who died in 1890.
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And whether it's in Catholic publishing, Catholic parish life, or our everyday faith lives, Cardinal John Henry Newman had it right when he said, "Here below to live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often."