Cover image for Selected sermons, prayers, and devotions
Selected sermons, prayers, and devotions
Newman, John Henry, 1801-1890.
Uniform Title:
Works. Selections. 1999
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Vintage Books, 1999.
Physical Description:
xxxvii, 392 pages ; 21 cm.
Corporate Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BX5133.N4 S352 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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A Vintage Spiritual Classic

In this original selection of his public sermons, private papers, and devotions, Newman's thoughtful belief in the Word of God shines through, as do his teachings on how to be in this world but not of it, and how to reconcile faith and reason.

Devoted to his own religious calling for nearly a century, John Henry Newman is one of the most definitive authorities on Christianity and theology. A cardinal of the Catholic Church, he had a pivotal role in Britian's reembrace of the Catholic Church in the 19th century. In 2010, he was officially canonized by Pope Benedict XVI.

Selected Sermons, Prayers, and Devotions was edited by John F. Thorton and Susan B. Varenne and includes a preface by Peter J. Gomes.

Praise for Selected Sermons, Prayers, and Devotions

"Newman is one of the greatest of all spiritual writers, a master of English prose and an incomparable expositor of the mysteries of God and creation. This wonderful collection captures the heart of his eloquence and warmth. A superb achievement."--Philip Zaleski, editor of The Best Spiritual Writing Series

Author Notes

English clergyman John Henry Newman was born on February 21, 1801. He was educated at Trinity College, University of Oxford. He was the leader of the Oxford movement and cardinal after his conversion to the Roman Catholic Church. In 1822, he received an Oriel College fellowship, which was then the highest distinction of Oxford scholarship, and was appointed a tutor at Oriel. Two years later, he became vicar of St. Mary's, the Anglican church of the University of Oxford, and exerted influence on the religious thought through his sermons.

When Newman resigned his tutorship in 1832, he made a tour of the Mediterranean region and wrote the hymn "Lead Kindly Light." He was also one of the chief contributors to "Tracts for the Times" (1833-1841), writing 29 papers including "Tract 90", which terminated the series. The final tract was met with opposition because of its claim that the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England are aimed primarily at the abuses of Roman Catholicism. Newman retired from Oxford in 1842 to the village of Littlemore. He spent three years in seclusion and resigned his post as vicar of St. Mary's on October 9, 1845. During this time, he wrote a retraction of his criticisms of the Roman Catholic Church and after writing his "Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine," he became a Roman Catholic. The following year, he went to Rome and was ordained a priest and entered the Congregation of the Oratory.

The remainder of Newman's life was spent in the house of the Oratory that he established near Birmingham. He also served as rector of a Roman Catholic university that the bishops of Ireland were trying to establish in Dublin from 1854-1858. While there, he delivered a series of lectures that were later published as "The Idea of a University Defined" (1873), which says the function of a university is the training of the mind instead of the giving of practical information. In 1864, Newman published "Apologia pro Vita Sua (Apology for His Life)" in response to the charge that Roman Catholicism was indifferent to the truth. It is an account of his spiritual development and regarded as both a religious autobiography and English prose. Newman also wrote "An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent" (1870), and the novels "Loss and Gain" (1848), Callista" (1856) and "The Dream of Gerontius" (1865).

Newman was elected an honorary fellow of Trinity College, Oxford, in 1877 and was made cardinal by Pope Leo XIII in 1879. He died on August 11, 1890.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Long celebrated as a spiritual writer and autobiographer, and certainly among the most famous modern converts to Catholicism, Newman is news that has stayed news. Editors Thornton and Varenne have assembled a generous and thoughtful selection of his non-autobiographical writings, including his model sermons and his celebrated narrative poem, "The Dream of Gerontius." Peter Gomes's splendidly written introduction alone is almost worth the price of admission. Highly recommended. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.