John Henry Newman Essay Development Doctrine

John Henry Newman Essay Development Doctrine-61
International journal for the Study of the Christian Church, Vol. 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. John Henry Newman (1801–1890) remains one of the best-known and influential English churchmen of the nineteenth century.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.

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I try to relate it in a blog,, with the most recent post here: I had never heard of Cardinal Newman until I got serious about the Catholic question, have you?

‘Navigation for an ocean of interminable scepticism’: the enduring value of John Henry Newman's exploration of the nature of theology and its place in education. Ordained as a priest in the Anglican Church in 1825, he converted to Roman Catholicism, being ordained as a priest and later appointed cardinal.

Many Protestants, particularly those influenced by Mercersburg Theology, believe in doctrinal development and see the Reformation itself as an example of it.

In Philip Schaff's inaugural address as a professor at German Reformed Seminary, he described the Reformation as "the legitimate offspring, the greatest act of the Catholic Church".

This view, mixed in with philosophical currents such as vitalism, immanentism and historicism, was at the heart of the modernist controversy during the papacy of Pius X, and was condemned in the encyclical Pascendi dominici gregis.

Although modernist intellectuals such as George Tyrrell and Alfred Loisy did at times cite the influence of Newman's ideas on their thinking, their goal was not so much to understand the ancient roots of Church doctrine but to make it change meaning, according to their own ideas in the liberal spirit of the times.

The first is that development of doctrine is not itself a doctrine, but a theory, and that there are several such theories.

The theory falls within the vast realm of free judgment.

Newman used the idea of development of doctrine to defend Catholic teaching from attacks by some Anglicans and other Protestants, who saw certain elements in Catholic teaching as corruptions or innovations.

He relied on an extensive study of early Church Fathers in tracing the elaboration or development of doctrine which he argued was in some way implicitly present in the Divine Revelation in Sacred Scripture and Tradition which was present from the beginnings of the Church.


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