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For further discussion of Newman's life and career, see NCLC, Volume 38.A prominent nineteenth-century religious figure, Newman is best known for his spiritual autobiography Apologia pro Vita Sua (1865), a work hailed as a masterpiece of English prose.
Following another decade of prolific literary activity, Newman was honored by both Oxford University and the Roman Catholic Church.
In 1877, he was elected the first honorary fellow of Trinity College; two years later Pope Leo XIII appointed him a cardinal.
Newman was ordained a deacon in the Anglican Church in the year 1824 and was appointed to its priesthood the following year. Together Newman and these men—disturbed at what they perceived as liberal compromises and increasing governmental influence within the Church of England—initiated the Oxford Movement.
Newman's contribution to a series of Tracts for the Times, published during an eight-year period beginning in 1833, forcefully expressed the concerns of the group.
Representative of Newman's late theoretical work, his treatise on the psychology of religious belief, An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent offers a more systematic approach to the ideas adumbrated in his Oxford University Sermons on the relation of faith and reason.
Critical Reception Newman's insight into human psychology—his ability to anticipate many of the doubts and contentions of his audience in matters of faith and logic—enabled him to defend Christian orthodoxy against the prevailing liberalism and skepticism of his day with an eloquence that has been admired by numerous commentators.
Other areas of specific interest to contemporary commentators have included his status as a religious convert, his role as a satirist and rhetorician, and the enduring significance of his thoughts on higher education.
Cardinal Walter Brandmüller’s Talk at the Symposium ‘Catholic Church: Where Rre You Heading?
In 1822, Newman was awarded a fellowship at Oxford's Oriel College. Mary's he delivered what are considered his most memorable and influential sermons, some of which were published later in the collection Sermons, Chiefly on the Theory of Religious Belief, Preached Before the University of Oxford (1843).
There he met the prominent English logician and theologian Richard Whately who influenced Newman's gradual acceptance of Anglican dogma. Among his associates during these years were Richard Hurrell Froude and John Keble.