DOI: https://doi.org/10.15581/006.10.1.123-221

Veinte años decisivos en la vida de John Henry Newman: 1826-1845

 -José Morales


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Resumen

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The article describes Newman's intellectual and religious odyssey from 1826 until October of 1845; from the abandonment of his initial liberalism and evangelism to his entrance into the Catholic Church.

It constitutes a long, arduous period during which Newman set up what he was to call "the question" between the Anglican and the Catholic Churches. Newman's "question", involving his own personal search for religious truth, rested on the apparent dilemma of whether to concede priority to the "Church" (Roman-Catholic) , or if one's principal concern should be for doctrinal purity, this latter being a primary concern in the Anglican way. Newman would ultimately conclude that the dilemma did not really exist and that to achieve and maintain Christian doctrinal purity it was necessary to revere the authority of the "existing Church".

This is an historical-doctrinal investigation. It is not precisely a biography of Newman during those twenty decisive years. It does not, for example, touch on many points of family ancl academic life relevant to his life at Oxford and the Tractarian Movement which are only brought up when considered as being influential on Newman's religious and spiritual development leading to his conversion.

All available sources were made use of in an attempt not only to narrate the course of his conversion but also to throw light on it. The acknowledged insufficicient documentary value of Apologia Pro Vita Sua (1864), which for reasons of literary genre, among others, does not describe all of the aspects of a story so rich in events, required the author to search through other relevant material. The author drew on Newman's correspondence edited by Anne Mozley in 1893 and later by Ch. S. Dessain from 1966-1977, as well as all works published by Newman prior to 1845 and writings of a later date which contain retrospective considerations of special interest to the theme.

The investigation clarifies events which occurred prior to the Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine and Signals the appearance of Newman's first explicit ideas relevant to this area of his thought. The article points out material for study in Newman concerning the question of dialogue between churches, as he conceived it at various times.

The study, as a whole, allows for an understanding of the spiritual and intellectual "iter" of a consistent man, who obeying a demanding interior command, honorably did what he found necessary after a long process of study and meditation. In 1845 Newman finally found the one, true Church. For his good Anglican friends, he had simply been transplanted to another part of the vineyard.

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