Project Gutenberg’s Apologia Pro Vita Sua, by John Henry Cardinal Newman This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no. The Project Gutenberg EBook of Apologia pro Vita Sua, by John Henry Newman This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no. Table Of Contents. Apologia Pro Vita Sua – John Henry Newman Edited with an Introduction by Ian Ker. Abbreviations Introduction Select Bibliography.

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The Tradition of Self-Interpretationwhich Yale University Genry originally published inappears in the Victorian Web with the kind permission of the author. Landow scanned the text, converted it to html, and added links.

Apologia Pro Vita Sua (A Defense of One’s Life)

The lovely images of a leaf that separate the sections of this chapter come from the print version. Numbers in brackets indicate page breaks in the print edition and apologja allow users of VW to cite or locate the original page numbers. Citations to Praeterita will give volume, chapter, and section numbers of Praeterita rather than page numbers in the Works. Citations to volume and page number in other works in the Library Edition take the following form: Where possible, bibliographical information appears in the form of in-text citations, which refer to the bibliography at the end of this column.

Superscript numbers link only to documents containing substantial bibliographical information and commentary; the numbers do not form a complete sequence. Clicking on footnote numbers brings you to the note in the left column; hitting the back button returns you to your place in the text.

John Henry Cardinal Newman, Apologia pro vita suaed. Norton,p. Citations will be to this text, which is based upon the edition that includes all of Newman’s emendations. In newan this chapter, I have also consulted Martin J.

Svaglic’s definitive edition Oxford: Clarendon Press, and benefited frequently from the help his and DeLaura’s notes have provided. The original title, Apologia pro vita suawas restored inalong with a subtitle adapted from the edition. Being a History of his Religious Opinions.

On epic allusions and Aristotle’s Poeticssee Colby, pp. A Classic Reconsidereded. Vincent Ferrer Blehl and Francis X. Harcourt, Brace, and World,pp. The evidence for these non-autobiographical approaches depends upon what the work includes or what Newman’s other works suggest—e. While providing illuminating commentary on the Apologiasuch approaches imply chat work is better treated in generic categories other than that of autobiography. Avrom Fleishman’s recent Figures of Autobiography has begun to correct this generic misconception by reminding us of the classic autobiographical topoi that the Apologia invokes, but it does not examine systematically either the English or Augustinian traditions that inform rhe work.

Henry Tristram New York: Sheed and Ward,p. Newman wrote this memoir in the third person for his colleagues, particularly Ambrose St. John, to use after his death: Doddridge’s chapter titles outline the same process of conversion that Newman describes: Scott, The Force of Truthp.

Newman’s “Apologia pro vita sua”: The Dilemma of the Catholic Autobiographer

The autobiography was published originally in England in John Newton New York: Robert Carter,I, 87— As Scott tells it, he acquired his evangelical doctrines by reading the Anglican divines, bur complemented his theological reading with an intense study of the Scriprures, in which he had “ransacked the Bible” the unfortunate verb is his “to bring as much Scripture evidence for my direction as possible. Press,p.

Cockshur suggests that the primary difference between Catholic and Protestant autobiographies lies in their presentation of conversion: The Protestant view tends to telescope several stages of Catholic experience into a unique, momentary action. More important for the English aucobiographer, I think, is the choice of a hermeneutic mode. Durham observes, Newman frequently uses the motif of return to vkta Mother Church to express his sense of exile, and on one occasion, he associates this motif with Abraham’s archetypal journey “The Spiritual Family in Newman’s Apologia ,” Thought56 [, — But this association is a limited and local one, subsumed into a maternal pattern which is alien to the English spiritual autobiography.

Penguin Books,p. As Chadwick explains, the controversy had both political and doctrinal causes, and in the matter of politics, the Roman Newmam was far more powerful than the African. In the end, Rome achieved a significant victory but one, sadly, that separated congregations within the African church and created an antagonism against Rome that exists to the present day among Armenian, Coptic, and Ethiopian Christians. This section of the Apologia does narrate, as Newman insists; but the sequence of events that it narrates concerns his jogn, during the Long Vacation ofot the method of interpretation that led to his conversion in That discovery now determines the form of his autobiography.


On these occasions, Newman says that he determined to be guided “not by imaginaition, but by my reason”: Here is another parallel with Thomas Scott, who gave priority to reason and denied the influence of “impulses, impressions, visions, dreams, or revelations.

I use here DeLaura’s translation of Augustine’s “Quapropter securus iudicar orbisterrarum, bonos non essequise dividuntaborbe terrarum, inquacumque parre orbis terrarum” see his edition of the Apologiap. According to Wiseman, the question is “essentially one of fact rather than of right; that is to say, the very circumstances of one particular Church being out of the aggregation of other Churches, constituted these judges over the other, and left no room for questioning the justice of the condemnation.

Augustine has a golden sentence on this subject, which should be an axiom in theology. Weintraub’s argument appears throughout The Value of the Individual: Self and Circumstance in Autobiographybut see esp.

See also the limited number of English translations of the Confessions listed in the British Museum General Catalogue of Printed Books for the years prior toas well as the evidence of Howard Helsinger ” Credence and Credibility: The forms of autobiography that Spengemann describes as intrinsic to the Confessions do not influence the autobiographers he discusses in any direct sense; indeed, these forms function primarily as a means of organizing his johhn discussion, and one can find “historical,” “philosophical,” and “poetic” elements in many of the autobiographies that he identifies as representing only one form.

Fleishman’s book jenry more trustworthy as literary history, but it should be nored that the “figures” Fleishman associates with Augustine are, with two interesting exceptions, common types readily available to autobiographers from the Bible itself and in particular from St.

Paul’s account of conversion. The two exceptions, which Fleishman describes initially but does not mention in his chapter on Newman, are uniquely Augustinian: Significantly, both appear in Newman’s account of apoligia conversion, the first in an allusion to the Dick Whittington legend 98—99the second in the crisis state 12 1—22 I describe below.

On the rhetorical effects henryy by Newman’s use of nostalgia here, see David J. DeLaura’s essays, ssua Allegory of Life: What DeLaura identifies in the latter essay as the “almost maternal or conjugal emotions” associated with St.

John 23I read below as a submerged elegy to Newman’s mother. Newman’s sya, Alfred Tennyson once said, in writing the “elegiacs” that henty become In Memoriamthat the saddest words he knew were those of Catullus, “Prater Ave arque Vale,” because they were so final.

Newman’s stance, of course, is thoroughly Christian, lacking the pagan sense of absolute finality. But in his substitution of the elegiac object, Henrry expresses both Christian reconciliation and an unspeakable loss. So at vkta Shumaker suggests when he writes of vifa gradual evolution during the nineteenth century from i. See Shumaker’s English Autobiographyesp. This passage and others like it call into question Spengemann’s reading of books I—IX, which argues gita the Confessions treats oro only as an illustration of doctrinal pronouncements pfo a hejry of exegesis, “never as something of interest or value in itself” p.

It also calls into question his more general theory that the three parts of the Confessions I-IX, X-XII, and XIII are discontinuous, “the narrative mode and theological ideas of each succeeding part invalidat[ing], or at least qualifying], the assumptions behind the structure and doctrine of each preceding part” p. A The Confessions of Saint Augustine.

The Puritan Origins of the Self. A Legacy, or Widow’s Mite. Sheed and Ward, The Value of the Individual: Self and Circumstance in Autobiography. The autobiography of Issac Williams.

Kingsley,” with a brief summary of the events that had occasioned rhe work. In his original response to Kingsley, published serially from 21 April to heenry JuneNewman had begun by confronting the charges against him, referring directly to the accusation that he had denied truth to be a virtue for its own sake and refuting as well the implicit charge that he had acted with deceit during his years as viha Anglican priest. In his revision, however, he chose to omit specific details of rhe controversy and emphasize instead his intellectual and spiritual development.


I am not expounding Catholic doctrine” The alteration of the title, moreover, from the original Apologia pro vita sua to the History of My Religious Opinions suggests an attempt to make the work’s intention as a Spiritual autobiography clear, the combination of “history” and “religious opinions” signaling two fundamental elements of the genre. This assumption may be stated explicitly, as in Robert A.

Colby’s comment that the Apologia is generically a “fusion of theological disputation, epic, and biography” or in Martin A. Svaglic’s that the work, lacking details of Newman’s sha life, student activities, and intellectual interests, is thus neither “the autobiography of Newman from to ,” nor ‘even a spiritual autobiography of those years except in a limited sense.

The circumstances under which the Apologia was published certainly add to the suspicion that the work is not an autobiography in the usual sense: Yet despite the generic misconceptions of its readers, and despite the circumstantial evidence of publication, the Apolngia is a classic example of the spiritual autobiography—indeed, the culminating English example. Newman’s motivation for composing the work, and hence his rationale tor handling his materials, are characteristic of autobiography as a genre; as he states in the preface, lie intends not only to “draw out, as vitx as may be, the history of my mind,” but also to “give the true key to my whole life” More important, the works to which Newman responds consciously as he shapes his personal history are models of the spiritual autobiography in not one tradition, but two: Newman’s goal as autobiographer is to negotiate successfully between these two traditions.

And he uses the conventions of both to shape his argument, as well as to define the specific problem he faced as a Catholic autobiographer writing within an Xpologia generic tradition that was inseparable from its Protestant theological origins and that imposed its conventions upon his process of self-composition and self-interpretation.

Newman was familiar with this tradition of spiritual autobiography, particularly in its evangelical manifestations. In the opening pages of the Apologiahe refers to Thomas Hendy as “the writer who made a deeper impression on my mind than any other, and the man to whom humanly speaking I almost owe my soul,” and he cites Scott’s autobiography.

The Force of Truthnot simply as apllogia book he possessed, but as a book he “had been possessed of” since his boyhood Moreoverin an autobiographical memoir written in to supplement the Apologiaand thus to supply the details of his evangelical phase at Oxford, Newman refers specifically to Scott’s The Force of TruthBeveridge’s Private Thoughtsand Doddridge’s The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul as crucial influences.

These seminal works of English evangelical thought, he notes, “had sheltered and protected him in his most dangerous years” and “brought him on in habits of devotion till the hemry came when he was to dedicate himself to the Christian ministry. If Newman was familiar with the standard works of English Protestant spiritual autobiography, he also knew intimately the pattern of conversion they represented. His description of the stages in the process—’conviction of sin, terror, despair, news of the free and full salvation, apprehension ofChrisc, sense of pardon, assurance of salvation, joy and peace, and so on to final perseverance”—reads like an outline for a classic spiritual autobiography.

Indeed, it might have been taken directly from Philip Jlhn The Rise and Progress which, although not an autobiographical work per se, attempts to describe the stages in a Christian’s journey from vitx to salvation. Although Newman was familiar with this tradition of spiritual autobiography, he was not experimentally knowledgeable to use an evangelical phrase of the intense, often violent process of conversion it described.