Newman Forum



Newman's Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine:

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A speculative inquiry and argument about how development, as a principle, can be properly applied as a hermeneutic for the study of Christian doctrine.  Development legitmately exists and has occurred both with respect to the apprehensions of Christian belief and in terms of how these apprehensions are to be expressed.  Newman tackled these issues approximately from 1841 to 1845 when attempting to determine if the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church can be properly regarded as an aberration or as a faithful presentation of authentic Christian belief. 

His conclusions were greeted with consernation by some Catholics and Protestants in his day although, in time, his thesis about the propriety of development within doctrine has come to be widely accepted.  In the kind of language which Newman uses, the truth of a religious teaching is best revealed if it penetrates the minds of believers in such a way as to effect a transformation from within–a transformation relating to persons and a transformation which also reveals an unsuspected depth of meaning (beyond what had been previously accepted or known).  The legitimacy of development then acts to create an exigence for a critical philosophy of history which can be employed as an explanatory theorem within theology in order to develop a theology which is more comprehensive and more in keeping with the nature and mission of Catholic theology. Below please find the weekly notes and podcasts from past seminars.

Date Notes Podcast
October 28, 2009 Notes Podcast
October 14, 2009 Notes Podcast
September 30, 2009 Questions Podcast
September 16, 2009 Notes Podcast
September 2, 2009 Notes Podcast
June 17, 2009 Notes  
June 3 , 2009 Notes Podcast
May 7, 2009 Notes Podcast
April 22, 2009 Notes Podcast
April 1, 2009   Podcast

Please read the following paper by Dr. Neil Ormerod, who will give a lecture on May 2, 2009 for The Lonergan Institute. This paper was prepared for a public lecture Neil gave at Newman College, a Jesuit College located at Melbourne University in Australia. Click here to read the text in MS Word format.


Newman's Apologia Pro Vita Sua:

This group met weekly from January – March, 2009, to discuss Apologia Pro Vita Sua, the sincere autobiographical account of John Henry Newman's religious and spiritual journey.

The full text of this work is available online. Below please find the weekly notes and podcasts from past seminars.

Date Notes Podcast
March 11, 2009 Notes Podcast
March 4, 2009 Notes Podcast
February 25, 2009 Notes Video Podcast
February 18, 2009 Notes Podcast
February 11, 2009 Notes Podcast
February 4 , 2009 Notes Podcast
January 28, 2009 Notes Podcast
January 21, 2009