An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine

An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine

by John Henry Newman
     
 

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John Henry Newman (1801–1890) remains one of the best-known and influential English churchmen of the nineteenth century. Ordained as a priest in the Anglican Church in 1825, he converted to Roman Catholicism, being ordained as a priest and later appointed cardinal. His works include Grammar of Assent (1870) and Apologia Pro Vita Sua (1865–1866) as well

Overview

John Henry Newman (1801–1890) remains one of the best-known and influential English churchmen of the nineteenth century. Ordained as a priest in the Anglican Church in 1825, he converted to Roman Catholicism, being ordained as a priest and later appointed cardinal. His works include Grammar of Assent (1870) and Apologia Pro Vita Sua (1865–1866) as well as this Essay (1845), written in the midst of his own religious transformation. He discusses his theory of the development of Christian dogma: 'from the nature of the human mind, time is necessary for the full comprehension and perfection of great ideas … the longer time and deeper thought for their full elucidation'. By showing how fidelity to timeless truths coexisted in Christianity together with deeper and more developed understanding over time, Newman provides a helpful personal and theological apology for the teaching and practice of Catholicism against its detractors.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781108021463
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
11/04/2010
Series:
Cambridge Library Collection - Religion Series
Pages:
476
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.20(d)

Read an Excerpt


CHAPTER I. ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF IDEAS. SECTION I. ON THE PROCESS OF DEVELOPMENT IN IDEAS. It is the characteristic of our minds to be ever engaged in passing judgment on the things which come before us. No sooner do we apprehend than we judge: we allow nothing to stand by itself: we compare, contrast, abstract, generalize, connect, adjust, classify: and we view all our knowledge in the associations with which these processes have invested it. Of the judgments thus made, which become aspects in our minds of the things which meet us, some are mere opinions which come and go, or which remain with us only till an accident displaces them, whatever be the influence which they exercise meanwhile. Others are firmly fixed in our minds, with or without good reason, and have a hold upon us, whether they relate to matters of fact, or to principles of conduct, or are views of life and the world, or are prejudices, imaginations, or convictions. Many of them attach to one and the same object, which is thus variously viewed, not only by various minds, but by the same. They sometimes lie in such near relation, that each implies the others; some are only not inconsistent with each other, in that they have a common origin : some, as being actually incompatible with each other, are, one or other, falsely associated in our minds with their object, and in any case they may be nothing more than ideas, which we mistake for things. Thus Judaism is an idea which once was objective, and Gnosticism is an idea which was never so. Both of them have various aspects : those of Judaism were such as monotheism, a certain ethical discipline, a ministration of divine vengeance, a preparation forChristianity: those of the Gnostic idea are such as the doctrine of two principles. that of emanatio...

Meet the Author

John Henry Newman (1801-90) was a Roman Catholic cardinal and one of the founders of the Oxford Movement. His other works include 'Via Media', 'An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent', and 'Apologia Pro Vita Sua'.

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