Many of these works addressed not only prominent issues of the day, but also the phenomenon of religious conversion.
His autobiographical Apologia pro Vita Sua, which first appeared as a series of letters and pamphlets in early 1864, was drafted in response to accusations made against him by the well-known Anglican clergyman Charles Kingsley.
Among the many essays Newman wrote as a member of the Oxford Movement, “Tract 90,” the last and most controversial of the Tracts for the Times, consists of his “Remarks on Certain Passages in the Thirty-Nine Articles” and suggests that the views propounded in these fundamental Anglican principles were more nearly Catholic than Protestant.
In a series of satirical letters later collected and published as The Tamworth Reading Room (1841), Newman argued against the secular belief that knowledge and learning might displace religion as the arbiter of morality in society.
Representative of Newman's late theoretical work, his treatise on the psychology of religious belief, An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent offers a more systematic approach to the ideas adumbrated in his Oxford University Sermons on the relation of faith and reason.
Critical Reception Newman's insight into human psychology—his ability to anticipate many of the doubts and contentions of his audience in matters of faith and logic—enabled him to defend Christian orthodoxy against the prevailing liberalism and skepticism of his day with an eloquence that has been admired by numerous commentators.John Henry Newman 1801-1890 English theologian, historian, essayist, autobiographer, novelist, editor, and poet.The following entry presents criticism of Newman's works from 1959 to 1997.As the decade progressed, however, Newman became increasingly disillusioned with the Anglican Church.He left Oxford early in 1842, retiring to a parish in the nearby town of Littlemore.The Apologia, which has prompted frequent comparisons to St.Augustine's Confessions, epitomizes the argumentative skill, psychological acuity, and rhetorical brilliance that distinguish many of the author's finest writings—among them An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (1845), Discourses on the Scope and Nature of University Education (1852), and An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent (1870).His acclaimed Discourses on the Scope and Nature of University Education championed theology as an important branch of human knowledge and an essential part of a university's curriculum, while providing what is considered a seminal vindication of the liberal arts ideal of knowledge “as its own end.” Principal among his spiritual works, Newman's highly regarded Apologia pro Vita Sua contains an impassioned defense of his conversion from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism.Like the Apologia, Newman's imaginative works are largely drawn from his own personal experience.Newman was ordained a deacon in the Anglican Church in the year 1824 and was appointed to its priesthood the following year. Together Newman and these men—disturbed at what they perceived as liberal compromises and increasing governmental influence within the Church of England—initiated the Oxford Movement.Newman's contribution to a series of Tracts for the Times, published during an eight-year period beginning in 1833, forcefully expressed the concerns of the group.