Newman's Apologia Pro Vita Sua

Author: Newman, John Henry (1801-1890)

John Henry Newman was converted to Christianity at age 15 and developed views close to Calvinism in his early life. He was ordained an Anglican priest after attending Oxford, and became the leader of the Oxford Movement, a push to return to Catholic roots in Anglicism. After much debate, he resigned from the Church of England and later converted to Catholicism, where he was appointed Cardinal. This interesting turn of events and roller-coaster of emotion is related in Newman's autobiography, Apologia Pro Vita Sua ("a defense of one's life"). He was prompted to write the book after what he felt to be unfair accusations were levied against him. It is, indeed, a spiritual autobiography, detailing Newman's religious opinions over the course of his life. The Cardinal's story is regarded on the same level as St. Augustine's Confessions, and almost any reader will develop empathy for Newman's zealous apologetics followed by periods of confusion. Coupled with his eloquent prose and well-formed logic, Newman's testimony is an inspiring read that, in the words of one reviewer, "explains all, apologizes for nothing."

Abby Zwart
CCEL Staff Writer





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