Synopses & Reviews
John Henry Newman (1801-90) described writing this account of his religious development as 'one of the most terrible trials that I have had'. Having inspired and led the Oxford or Tractarian Movement before he abandoned Anglicanism for the Church of Rome, Newman regularly found himself the target of virulent anti-Catholic prejudice in Victorian England. The Apologia was his autobiographical response to a public attack by the novelist Charles Kingsley on his personal integrity. With it he not only convinced a suspicious public of the sincerity of his beliefs, but he also produced a literary masterpiece which has often been compared with St Augustine's Confessions. The Apologia, which ends with a brilliant defence of Catholicism, was a turning-point in English cultural history, successfully challenging the dominant tradition of 'no Popery'. For Newman personally the work was a 'mental child-bearing' as he recounted the dramatic story of a conversion which rocked the Church of England to its foundations and which was to have profound consequences for the Roman Catholic Church.
This is a new edition of Newman's autobiography - one of the major spiritual autobiographies in English and a central Victorian text. This edition includes the collateral material concerning the debate between Charles Kingsley and Newman which provoked the writing of the apologia.
John Henry Newman, one of the towering figures of the early Victorian Church of England, caused shock and outrage in equal measure when he announced his espousal of Roman Catholicism in 1845. His Apologia, written nearly twenty years later in response to a scurrilous public attack by Charles Kingsley, is a superbly crafted response to those who criticized his actions and questioned his motives, and traces his spiritual development since boyhood, his close involvement in the high church Tractarian Movement and his agonizing decision to reject the church he had been born into. Ostensibly an autobiography and a speech for the defence, the Apologia transcends self-justification to explore the very nature of Christianity and its place in the modern age.
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John Henry Newman's conversion to Roman Catholicism rocked the Church of England to its foundation and escalated the spread of virulent anti-catholicism in Victorian England. A rigorous examination of his own religious development, enlivened by touches of satire and sometimes invective, Apologia pro Vita Sua is a spiritual autobiography of great power.
Table of Contents
Edited with an Introduction by Ian Ker
APOLOGIA PRO VITA SUA