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Newman’s Anglican Georgic

Parochial Sermons

Victor J. Lams

Far from being a random collection, the six volumes of Anglican sermons that John Henry Newman published between 1834 and 1842 were selected and thematically arranged to create a unified literary structure, one with the form and function of a prose georgic. Like the classical exemplars composed by Hesiod, Lucretius, and Virgil, Newman’s Anglican Georgic offers moral reflections on human conduct in light of human possibility and addresses the existence, intervention, and benign or hostile will of the gods. As this book shows, Newman is equally concerned to embolden his audience for the practice of authentic Christianity and to warn them against the age’s schismatic preference for private religious emotion over revealed doctrine.