Apologia Pro Vita Sua
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John Henry Newman’s Apologia pro Vita Sua is generally considered not only a great work of theology, but also one of the great classics of English literature. Often compared to Augustine’s Confessions, one of the first reviews (included in this Norton Critical Edition) goes so far as to call it “a far deeper revelation, and a far greater moral achievement” than even the Confessions. Even the Bloomsbury critic Lytton Strachey, who was not only vociferously opposed to Newman’s theology, but was al...more
But it is not a spiritual work in that sense. It is not intended to edify. It is, simply, a record of Newman's changing beliefs which led by a fairly direct route to Catholicism. It is a justification of his conversion as intellectually honest. It is not apologetic, as he is not primarily concerned with giving arguments, and those which appear are inc...more
I'll be spending 2013 reading biographical materials: autobiographies, biographies, diaries and letters. Over the course of the next twelve months, I'll be reading and discussing three items in each of those four categories. It isn't just that the people who are the focus are important, and that their stories are fascinating, but biographical material itself poses its own questions – how is the life of a real person constructed in narrative? Wha...more
This book is at the same time a fascinating time-capsule, documenting the spiri...more
Most of the book consists of Newman defending himself and his conversion from Anglicanism to Catholicism (which I guess was totally radical at the time, but now seems like practically a baby step between religious identifications). His defense...more
Fascinating picture of England, Oxford, the Anglican church in the mid-nineteenth century
I was struck by how an idealistic romanticism seemed to drive Newman, both consciously and unconsciously, in his religious movement towards Rome. There are places of truly beautiful writing to savor throughout, and I can see why this is considered a classic of Christian memoir. Finally, and this has been said before, but the narrative is an argument that Anglo-Catholic...more
Bl. Newman's integrity is admirable and his ability to think and express himself logically is remarkable. His prose is beautiful, if long.
I learned quite a bit about Anglican theology and the Anglican predicaments in the mid-19th century. It's fascinating to compare it with what is happening today in the Anglican Church.
Overall, a good read! Glad I picked it up!
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I interpose: 'You are taking a most extraordinary liberty with my name. If I have said this, tell me when and where.'
Mr Kingsley replies: 'You said it, Reverend Sir, in a Sermon which you preached, when a Protestant, as Vicar of St Mary's, and published in 1844; and I could read you a very salutary lecture on the effects which that Sermon had at the time on my own opinion of you.'
I make answer: 'Oh...NOT, it seems, as a Priest speaking of Priests-but let us have the passage.'
Mr Kingsley relaxes: 'Do you know, I like your TONE. From your TONE I rejoice, greatly rejoice, to be able to believe that you did not mean what you said.'
I rejoin: 'MEAN it! I maintain I never SAID it, whether as a Protestant or as a Catholic.'
Mr Kingsley replies: 'I waive that point.'
I object: 'Is it possible! What? waive the main question! I either said it or I didn't. You have made a monstrous charge against me; direct, distinct, public. You are bound to prove it as directly, as distinctly, as publicly-or to own you can't.'
'Well,' says Mr Kingsley, 'if you are quite sure you did not say it, I'll take your word for it; I really will.'
My WORD! I am dumb. Somehow I thought that it was my WORD that happened to be on trial. The WORD of a Professor of lying, that he does not lie!
But Mr Kingsley reassures me: 'We are both gentlemen,' he says: 'I have done as much as one English gentleman can expect from another.'
I begin to see: he thought me a gentleman at the very time he said I taught lying on system...”