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Apologia Pro Vita Sua

John Henry Newman

Book Overview: 

A religious autobiography of unsurpassed interest, the simple confidential tone of which "revolutionized the popular estimate of its author," establishing the strength and sincerity of the convictions which had led him into the Roman Catholic Church (Wikipedia).

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .If confidence in his position is, (as it is,) a first essential in the leader of a party, this Dr. Pusey possessed pre-eminently. The most remarkable instance of this, was his statement, in one of his subsequent defences of the Movement, when moreover it had advanced a considerable way in the direction of Rome, that among its more hopeful peculiarities was its "stationariness." He made it in good faith; it was his subjective view of it.

Dr. Pusey's influence was felt at once. He saw that there ought to be more sobriety, more gravity, more careful pains, more sense of responsibility in the Tracts and in the whole Movement. It was through him that the character of the Tracts was changed. When he gave to us his Tract on Fasting, he put his initials to it. In 1835 he published his elaborate Treatise on Baptism, which was followed by[Pg 63] other Tracts from different authors, if not of equal learning, yet of equal power and appositeness. The Catenas of Anglican d. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Take a long, slow walk through this masterpiece.

Newman's autobiography is "the only one that bears mentioning in the same sentence with Augustine's Confessions". In this opinion of Father Oakes SJ I do concur. To enter into the Apologia (hereafter APVS) is to draw near to the heart of one of the gre

Given that Vergil's Aeneid and Augustine's Confessions are two of my favourite books, when I heard that Newman’s Apologia Pro Vita Sua was yet another account of a journey to Rome in the same tradition, I had to read it, just to see how this was so. Newman is a man with a penetrating intellect and a

This inflates my page numbers a lot because a lot of the content in this volume is supplementary haha

Very based book, like all Newman.

It has been Fifty-one Years since I first finished this book.

It inspired me to the ultimate zenith of enthusiasm, with its irreproachable integrity!

I was pretty green at twenty:

Nowadays, I’d slog painfully through a tome of this size, but back then, my sympathetic bond with this obscure Victorian c

The word that came to mind while reading Apologia was: plodding. And that's okay. Newman's account of the seismic shift in his thinking that led eventually to reception into the Roman Catholic Church is not a fast read, nor a particularly enjoyable read. It is Newman as a Catholic, re-tracing the st

I suspect I would have been better served reading about Newman than reading him, though his prose is quite lovely (by eighteenth century standards, at least, which are rather low). This is an excellent edition, though.

I finished it, sort of. I finished the main text, not all the appendices and I cannot say I understood all I read. But what I understood stretched me. Currently I am rereading The One Thing Is Three: How the Most Holy Trinity Explains Everything (for the 3rd time I think) by Fr. Michael Gaitley and

John Henry Newman’s Apologia pro Vita Sua is generally considered not only a great work of theology, but also one of the great classics of English literature. Often compared to Augustine’s Confessions, one of the first reviews (included in this Norton Critical Edition) goes so far as to call it “a f

Impressive description of John Newman's way to Rome and his answers to an impertinent critic.

My parents were devout Catholics, but they were always wary of the Pope. For one thing, they disagreed with Pope Paul VI on birth control.

They liked to quote Newman: "I will toast my conscience before I toast the Pope."

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