John Henry Newman Additional Biography


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Bouyer, Louis. Newman, His Life and Spirituality. Translated by J. L. May. New York: Meridian Books, 1965. Detailed biography illuminating the complex psychology of its subject. Excellent analysis of Newman’s motives for his conversion, his belief in the importance of the laity, and his insistence on the need for intellectual inquiry for all Catholics. Makes extensive use of Newman’s diaries and letters.

Edgecombe, Rodney S. Two Poets of the Oxford Movement: John Keble and John Henry Newman. Madison, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1996. This book offers a history and criticism of Keble and Newman. Included are a bibliography and an index.

Goslee, David. Romanticism and the Anglican Newman. Athens: Ohio University Press, 1995. Studies the influence of the Romantic movement on Newman’s conceptualization of religion and on his writings.

Hollis, Christopher. Newman and the Modern World. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1968. Biographical sketch that examines Newman’s ideas and contributions to religion as they affected his contemporaries and the subsequent actions and pronouncements of the Roman Catholic Church. Good source of information about both the major events of Newman’s life and the impact his writings have had on changes brought about by the Second Vatican Council.


(The entire section is 482 words.)


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

ph_0111205207-Newman.jpg John Henry Newman Published by Salem Press, Inc.

John Henry Newman, who was to be the outstanding figure in nineteenth century English theology, was born in London on February 21, 1801, the oldest son of John Newman, a banker. After private schooling at Ealing, young Newman entered Trinity College, Oxford University, in 1817. Before this time, however, he had felt, at age fifteen, a strong call to a religious vocation. This force was so great that he changed from a course in law to the study of divinity in 1820.

Graduated in 1820, he was made a fellow of Oriel College the next year. By 1831 Newman was made select preacher before the college, having been ordained an Anglican deacon in 1824 and having met his influential friends John Keble, Edward Rosey, and R. H. Froude. While returning from a visit to Italy in 1832 with Froude, he wrote his most famous hymn, “Lead, Kindly Light.” In July, 1833, he heard John Keble preach his famous sermon on the weaknesses of English government in matters of religion. Profoundly moved by this strong appeal, he and several others prepared and published a series of theological tracts called Tracts for the Times. These publications marked the real beginning of the Oxford Movement, later called Tractarianism from the name of the series. Newman and his friends wanted a more secure and rigorous basis of doctrine for the Church of England; they believed that the church had fallen from the high ideals and disciplines of the past, and they advocated a return to the more authoritative faith of previous eras, stressing the Church of England’s affinities with the Roman Catholic faith.

In 1836 Newman became editor of British Critic and was able to exert considerable influence in his praise of the “middle life” of the Anglican faith as opposed to the extremes of other...

(The entire section is 733 words.)


(Survey of World Philosophers)

Article abstract: A leading figure in the Oxford Movement, which brought religious issues to the forefront of the Victorian consciousness, Newman, after his conversion to Catholicism, became the leading Catholic figure in Great Britain, writing eloquently about religion and education and influencing the course of theological and administrative practices within the Catholic Church in Great Britain and throughout the world.

Early Life

The eldest of six children, John Henry Newman grew up in a close-knit family and was educated at Dr. Nicolas’s school at Ealing. At age fifteen, shortly before he matriculated at Oxford, Newman underwent a period of extreme mental crisis, which he later...

(The entire section is 2456 words.)