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read forty books in 2006 (read all 23 entries…)
#19. Apologia Pro Vita Sua

by Saint John Henry Newman

This autobiography isn’t so much the work of apologetics the title seems to promise as the story of a man’s quest for the truth. Newman was a popular leader of the Oxford Movement, a group of high-church Anglicans who emphasised the “catholicity” of the Anglican Church and Anglicanism and the “via media” (middle road) between Catholicism and Protestantism. The more he searched, however, the more he found his church in error and the Catholic Church the true keeper of Apostolic succcession and theological legitimacy. His eventual conversion caused a huge scandal. He was even charged of having secretly infiltrated the Anglican Church to convert its members to Protestantism. He wrote a pain-stakingly thorough (a little too detailed in the longest chapter) account of his story to vindicate himself: even more so, he wrote one of the most-enduring stories of Christian faith in the face of modern pluralism and skepticism.

Please consider reading this book, especially the final chapter.


Excellent book

Although his autobiography was a little bit less persuasive to me than it was to you, I find it a very compelling and honest view of a brilliant man seeking his own understanding of spirituality. I read it as an undergraduate at Georgetown University – many years ago – and was impressed, but did not convert. To me, one’s denomination is less important than the sincerity of one’s inquiry.

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