Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Newman: His Life and Spirituality

Louis Bouyer. New York: Meridian Books, Inc. 1960 (1)

Why Read It? John Henry Newman converted from Anglicanism to Catholicism. At the time, his change rocked the world of religion. He interpreted Catholicism both to protestants and to Catholics. Opposed to “liberals” who believed that man can do anything without the help of God. Believed that God was everywhere and involved in our daily lives.

He believed that every person’s righteousness was merged with Christ’s. Felt that the writings of the Christian Fathers would purify the Catholic Church. Supported the laity to be consulted by the Pope. Did not see the infallibility of the Pope as any reason to stop people from thinking for themselves. Disagreed that education in college should be to train specialists. Believed that education should be to develop culture, which produced, not specialists, but men and women.

Spent a good deal of his life discouraged. Claimed he was not ambitious, but felt that he was not accorded recognition for what he had done. His hopes for acceptance of what he had done and his ideas were continually dashed. He worked for God, but his life was lived under a cloud of discouragement and bickering with colleagues and opponents, a kind of “office politics.”

Author’s judgment: The greatest theologians of all time were Augustine, Aquinas and Newman.

Next Blog: Sample Quotes.

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