Through his writings, traces the spiritual journey of one the most beloved and influential Catholic voices of the modern era.
John Henry Newman (1801-1890) is among a handful of religious figures of the nineteenth century whose influence today remains broad and ongoing. As a leading Anglican churchman, Newman created a stir when he entered the Roman Catholic Church in 1845 and was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest. Newman’s critical mind and openness to the modern world put him at odds with the starkly conservative spirit of the church in his day, and he endured carping criticism throughout his life.
Newman wrote about the development of doctrine and the function of a Catholic university, and he championed the rights of conscience, the role of the laity, and the role of intuition along with reason in the life of faith. Though ahead of his time in many ways, he was named a cardinal by Pope Leo XIII, and his influence helped shape the church of the twentieth century, so much so that Pope Paul VI called Vatican II “Newman’s Council.” In 2010 he was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI.
The writings selected here trace Newman’s spiritual journey in tandem with the principal events of his life, offering a unique glimpse into the life and thought of one of Catholicism’s true giants.
Rev. John T. Ford, CSC, is professor of theology and religious studies at the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. He is the editor-inchief of Newman Studies Journal, and has served as president of the North American Academy of Ecumenists and the Faith and Order Commission of the National Council of Churches.