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"An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine" from John Henry Newman. Important figure in the religious history of England in the 19th century (1801-1890).
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About 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'.
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...
Table of Contents
Advertisement; Introduction; 1. On the development of ideas; 2. On the development of Christian ideas, antecedently considered; 3. On the nature of the argument in behalf of the existing developments of Christianity; 4. Illustrations of the argument in behalf of the existing developments of Christianity; 5. Illustrations continued; 6. Illustrations continued; 7. Illustrations continued; 8. Illustrations concluded.