John Henry Newman – Part 1

John Henry Newman (1801 – 1890) was an Anglican Priest and Tutor based in Oxford, England from 1822 – 1841. He was most known for his role as the leader of the Oxford Movement which was an attempt to connect the Church of England to the Church of Rome.  This position is referred to as the Via Media. Newman’s view, based on the Nicene Creed, of a Apostolic and Catholic (universal) church in part led him to purse this course.

As a High Churchman, vs. a Protestant or Evangelical, Newman also emphasized Apostolic succession, ecclesiastical governance and the sacraments.  The opposing parties or those Newman was seeking to connect were the evangelicals in the Church of England and the Church of Rome.

The date attributed to the founding of the Oxford Movement** in July 14, 1833 when Dr. John Keeble preached his sermon entitled “National Apostosy” at Newman’s Church St. Mary’s.

There was also an effort by the High Churchman to return to the Primitive Church. I believe in part by their desire to purify the church.

Upcoming topics regarding Newman:



Nicene Creed

Primitive Church

Monophysites and Eutychians


UK Governments interference with church


Tracts for the Times


Apostolic Succession: The method whereby the ministry of the Christian Church is held to be derived from the apostles by a continuous succession. It has usually been associated with an assertion that the succession has been maintained by a series of bishops. These bishops have been regarded as succeeding the apostles because: (1) they perform the functions of the apostles; (2) their commission goes back to the apostles; (3) they succeed one another in the same sees, the derivation of which may be traced back to the communion of the apostles; and (4) by some writers because through their consecration to the episcopal office they inherit from the apostles the transmission of the Holy Spirit which empowers them for the performance of their work.

 F. L. Cross and Elizabeth A. Livingstone, eds., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford;  New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 91–92.

Oxford Movement: The movement (1833–45) within the C of E, centered at Oxford, which aimed at restoring the *High Church ideals of the 17th cent. Several causes contributed to its growth. The progressive decline of Church life and the spread of ‘Liberalism’ in theology were causing grave misgivings among Churchmen; on the other hand, the works of C. *Lloyd and others, coupled with the Romantic Movement, had led to a new interest in many elements in primitive and medieval Christianity. Among the more immediate causes was the question of Anglican identity raised by the removal of religious tests for state office and by the modification of the confessional state signalled by the Roman *Catholic Relief Act 1829. The anxiety was increased by the passing of the Reform Bill (1832) and the plan to suppress ten Irish bishoprics. The latter proposal evoked from J. *Keble on 14 July 1833 a sermon delivered in the University pulpit at Oxford on ‘*National Apostasy’, which is usually regarded as the beginning of the Movement.

Its chief object was the defence of the C of E as a Divine institution, of the doctrine of the *apostolic succession, and of the BCP as a rule of faith. These aims were realized esp. through the famous *Tracts for the Times, begun by J. H. *Newman in 1833. The Movement, whose acknowledged leaders were Keble, Newman, and E. B. *Pusey, soon gained many articulate and able supporters, among them R. H. *Froude, R. W. *Church, R. I. *Wilberforce, C. *Marriott, and I. *Williams. The liberal party in the University and the bishops, however, soon began to attack it; among its early opponents were T. *Arnold, R. *Whately, and R. D. *Hampden. Within the Movement itself there gradually arose a party which found its inspiration in contemporary RCism rather than in the Church of the early centuries. In 1841 Newman published his famous Tract 90, which was condemned by many bishops, and in 1842 he retired to Littlemore.

After W. G. *Ward’s book, The Ideal of a Christian Church (1844), had been censured by the Convocation of Oxford on 13 Feb. 1845, Ward, F. W. *Faber, and several of their circle were received into the Church of Rome, as was Newman in the autumn of the same year. But the majority remained in the C of E, and their views began to gain ground. In 1850 the *Gorham Case (q.v.) again brought about a number of conversions to RCism, among them being those of H. E. *Manning and R. I. Wilberforce. The Movement, however, continued to spread despite the hostility of the press and of the government, which chose the majority of bishops from the ranks of its opponents. Its influence was exercised esp. in the sphere of worship and ceremonial, which came to play a much larger part in the life of the C of E than in the 18th and early 19th cents. At the same time the dignity and responsibility of the ministry were emphasized, not only in the directly religious but also in the social sphere, the slum settlements being among its most notable achievements. The revival of monastic orders and religious community life (see religious orders) in the C of E was a further expression of the Oxford Movement. As a movement with close associations with a university it made considerable contributions to scholarship. In 1836 Keble, Newman, and Pusey began to edit the *Library of the Fathers, and a few years later the Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology was begun as a corpus of *Caroline theology. The principles of the Movement, esp. its concern for a higher standard of worship, gradually influenced not only all groups within the C of E but even many Nonconformists, and had a decisive effect on the pattern of Church life in Britain and beyond.

 F. L. Cross and Elizabeth A. Livingstone, eds., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford;  New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 1212–1213.

High Churchmen. A term coined in the late 17th cent. to describe those members of the C of E who emphasized its historical continuity as a branch of the Catholic Church and upheld ‘high’ conceptions of the divine basis of authority in Church and State, of the rights of monarchy and episcopacy, and of the nature of the sacraments. The descent of the school can be traced from the Elizabethan age, when men such as R. *Bancroft and R. *Hooker resisted the attacks of radical *Puritans. In the 17th cent. the tradition was maintained by L. *Andrewes, W. *Laud, and many others. After the *Restoration of *Charles II, the High Church identification of Church and nation received legislative reinforcement, notably from the Act of *Uniformity of 1662 and the *Test Act (1673). The accession, first of William of Orange (1689) and then of the House of Hanover (1714) violated the principle of indefeasible hereditary succession (see divine right of kings) and precipitated the schism of the *Nonjurors, although men such as W. *Law and C. *Leslie continued to work closely with conforming High Churchmen to promote popular piety and to defend the C of E against spreading heterodoxy and toleration of Protestant dissenters. In the early 18th cent. there was strong support for the views of H. *Sacheverell and F. *Atterbury, and writers such as D. *Waterland and C. *Wheatly achieved lasting influence. High Churchmen were instrumental in securing episcopal consecration for S. *Seabury and in resisting the rationalist and democratic impulses of the French Revolution. Later High Churchmen of this school initially shared the concern of the *Oxford Movement at the erosion of the Church’s privileges after 1828, but were soon alienated by what they regarded as its tendency to divisiveness and innovation

 F. L. Cross and Elizabeth A. Livingstone, eds., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford;  New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 771–772.

Anglo-Catholicism. The term ‘Anglo-Catholic’ has sometimes been applied to the C of E as a whole, signifying its claim to be part of the Catholic Church without being Roman Catholic, but it is more commonly used to distinguish that section or party within the Anglican Communion which stems from the *Tractarian Movement of the 1830s; indeed the term in its English form appears to date from 1838 (the Lat. Anglo-Catholicus is found in the 17th cent.). Anglo-Catholics hold a high doctrine of the Church and Sacraments; they attach great importance to the ‘*apostolic succession’, that is, to an episcopal order derived from the apostles; to the historical continuity of the existing C of E with the Church of the earliest centuries; and to the Church’s ultimate independence of the State.

The original Tractarians were concerned with basic doctrines of the Church. They revived *religious communities and various practices of personal discipline (such as the use of auricular *confession and *fasting), largely based on current RC models. They were not much concerned with ritual and ceremonial. But as the movement developed and moved into the parishes, Anglo-Catholics came to be regarded as preoccupied with the externals of worship and so were known as ‘ritualists’. Disturbances occurred and legal actions were taken against them in both the ecclesiastical and civil courts. Nevertheless, despite the initial opposition of nearly all the bishops, and the attempts of Parliament to control *Public Worship, many of the practices originally regarded as Anglo-Catholic (such as the use of *candles or the wearing of *stoles) gradually spread throughout the C of E. The increased frequency of celebrations of the Eucharist owed much to their influence.

In its early days Anglo-Catholicism was conservative both theologically and politically, but in the latter part of the 19th cent. a division arose between those who sought to liberalize its theology by accepting the results of biblical criticism and those who resisted all concessions to modernity: Charles *Gore and the authors of *Lux Mundi (1889) were pioneers in this respect; they were opposed by E. B. *Pusey, H. P. *Liddon, and G. A. *Denison. At the same time Anglo-Catholics who had been influenced by F. D. *Maurice became active in promoting more or less radical and socialist organizations, such as the Guild of St Matthew and the Christian Social Union.

These divisions continued into the 20th cent. and were compounded by differences concerning the revision of the Book of *Common Prayer. The movement seemed to reach its apogee after the First World War when five spectacular Anglo-Catholic Congresses were held in London and elsewhere between 1920 and 1933. Hopes were entertained of converting the whole Anglican Communion which had already been influenced in many (often unacknowledged) ways by the diffusion of Anglo-Catholic ideals. Anglo-Catholicism had already changed the face, though not the character, of Anglicanism. Meanwhile, in *Essays Catholic and Critical (1926) a group of Anglo-Catholic scholars had made a notable attempt to reconcile the findings of modern scholarship with traditional doctrine. Since the 1930s Anglo-Catholics have been less conspicuous as an organized and identifiable party, though the movement has continued to have its adherents and periodically shows signs of revival (notably the Catholic Renewal Conferences at Loughborough in 1978 and 1983). In recent years groups of Anglo-Catholics, prob. by themselves a minority, but sometimes acting in conjunction with *Evangelicals, have opposed schemes for union with the *Free Churches; they have also opposed projects for the ordination of women. In face of this apparently negative attitude, ‘Affirming Catholicism’ (technically an educational charity) was founded in 1990, to provide a forum for the discussion of issues raised by the tension between scholarship and free enquiry on the one hand, and the Catholic tradition within Anglicanism on the other. In some countries where women have been ordained to the priesthood (and episcopate) small numbers of Anglo-Catholics have formed secession Churches (e.g. the ‘Anglican Catholic Church’ in the USA).

 F. L. Cross and Elizabeth A. Livingstone, eds., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford;  New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 69–70.

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