Saturday, August 25, 2012

Newman In a New Light

From NCR-

Why a new biography of Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman? Perhaps because, as two disparate thinkers, William Golding (Lord of the Flies) and C.S. Lewis, believe, saints are the most interesting and unique kinds of people to read about. Tyrants, as Lewis wrote, are all boringly the same.

Another reason, for Father Juan VĂ©lez, an Opus Dei priest, physician and Newman scholar, is “to highlight Newman’s constant search for religious truth and lasting happiness … to show the spiritual and intellectual path that led Newman from evangelical Protestantism through Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism.” The main source for his work is Newman’s correspondence, from which he quotes extensively.

Newman grew up in a solid Anglican family. After his father’s bank’s failure and his own illness — and a period of what he thought of as rebellion against God, when he read skeptics Thomas Paine, Voltaire and David Hume — he underwent, at age 15, a religious conversion. This took the form of a Calvinist and evangelical devotion to “God as a personal Being, not an abstract truth.”

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