2. Biographical Sketch 29
29 Chapter 2 Biographical Sketch In the course of his long life, John Henry Newman had had many con- versions, and he changed his mind at least five times: from an adoles- cent fling with atheism, to evangelical and Calvinistic Anglicanism, liberalism at Oxford, High Church Tractarianism and finally to Roman Catholicism. Little wonder that he says, ‘In a higher world it is other- wise, but here below to live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often’.1 However, it seems that his attitude towards liberalism remained constant throughout his entire life. We will trace his early upbringing and the influence of Oxford that shaped his understanding of liberalism. Early Life Newman lived a long life spanning almost the entire nineteenth cen- tury. He was born on 21 February 1801, in the City of London, and died at Edgbaston, Birmingham, on 11 August 1890. His father was John Newman and his mother Jemima Fourdrinier of French Hugue- not stock, which accounts for his religious training in the form of modified Calvinism received from his mother. As a child he was brought up to take delight in Bible reading although he formed no re- ligious conviction until he was fifteen when he underwent a ‘conver- 1 An Essay on the Development of the Christian Doctrine, http://www.newmanreader.org/works/. development/index.html, 41. 30 sion’, and from the works of Calvinistic writers, he gained definite dogmatic ideas. Newman matriculated at Trinity College, Oxford, on December 1816. Working too hard for his...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.