Cardinal Newman's Importance and Influence

John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890) was a (if not the) leading figure in the Church of England prior to his conversion to Catholicism in 1845; a scholar at Oxford who possessed brilliant speaking and writing abilities. His Parochial and Plain Sermons (1834-42), are considered by many the best sermons in the English language, and had "a profound influence on the religious life not only of Oxford but of the whole country" (1). He was one of the prime movers of the Oxford, or Tractarian Movement, and author of twenty-four Tracts for the Times, both of which sought to defend a view of Anglicanism which was intermediate between Catholicism and Protestantism (but much closer to the former).

His Essay On The Development Of Christian Doctrine (1845), written immediately before his conversion, is considered the seminal work on the subject (generally speaking, "development" is deemed "corruption" by Protestants), while his autobiography, Apologia Pro Vita Sua (1864), is a model work on conversion. A Grammar Of Assent (1870) is his remarkable study on religious knowledge and certainty. Newman was made a Cardinal in 1877. We will now cite some non-Catholic estimates of Newman's influence, ability and importance:

Not surprisingly, Catholic writers agree with these appraisals:

FOOTNOTES

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Copyright 1991 by Dave Armstrong. All rights reserved.