St. John Newman by name . . . and his books.
Everybody has their favourite Newman book. I love the wickedly satirical Loss and Gain with its portrait of 1840s Oxford … and his Development of Christian Doctrine. His sermon about the Second Spring still gets the tears pricking behind my eyes. And his Grammar of Assent seems to me to anticipate the insights towards which some philosophers of the first half of the twentieth century so laboriously trudged.
And his analysis of the Syllabus Errorum meticulously, ‘surgically’, analyses the magisterial status of that document and of every paragraph within it. Rarely read now, it is a superb example of S John Henry’s fierce conviction of the necessity of obedience towards the Successor of S Peter, combined with a cold and almost rationalist approach to exercises of the papal magisterium.
And Newman was a pastor; witness the care he took…
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