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An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent


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Can we trust theological conclusions, even if we do not fully comprehend them? Can we believe in God, though no evidence can be substantially provided for His existence? Every Christian struggles with these basic questions of belief. The modern world continues to shut out what cannot be proven as fact and faith is increasingly an unwanted and unmerited partner in a scientific world. During the height of English empiricism, John Henry Newman fought for the legitimacy and necessity of faith as a major component to the human intellect. Often called Newman's seminal work, Grammar of Assent was written over the course of twenty years as Newman, himself, grappled with the these foundational questions of Christian apologetics.

  • Extensive studies on Church history from an author burdened for the Church of Jesus Christ
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The quality of his literary style is so successful that it succeeds in escaping definition. The quality of his logic is that of a long but passionate patience, which waits until he has fixed all corners of an iron trap. But the quality of his moral comment on the age remains what I have said: a protest of the rationality of religion as against the increasing irrationality of mere Victorian comfort and compromise.

G. K. Chesterton

The philosophical and theological thought and the spirituality of Cardinal Newman, so deeply rooted in and enriched by Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Fathers, still retain their particular originality and value.

—Pope John Paul II

Newman placed the key in our hand to build historical thought into theology, or much more, he taught us to think historically in theology and so to recognize the identity of faith in all developments.

—Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI)

  • Title: An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent
  • Author: John Henry Newman
  • Publisher: Gilbert and Rivington
  • Publication Date: 1870
  • Pages: 485

John Henry Newman (February 21, 1801–August 11, 1890), also referred to as Cardinal Newman and Blessed John Henry Newman, was an important figure in the religious history of England in the nineteenth century. He was known nationally by the mid-1830s. Originally an evangelical Oxford academic and priest in the Church of England, Newman was a leader in the Oxford Movement. This influential grouping of Anglicans wished to return the Church of England to many Catholic beliefs and forms of worship traditional in the medieval times to restore ritual expression. In 1845 Newman left the Church of England and was received into the Roman Catholic Church where he was eventually granted the rank of cardinal by Pope Leo XIII. He was instrumental in the founding of the Catholic University of Ireland, which evolved into University College, Dublin, today, the largest university in Ireland. Newman’s beatification was officially proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI on September 19, 2010 during his visit to the United Kingdom. His canonisation is dependent on the documentation of additional miracles. Newman was also a literary figure of note: his major writings including his autobiography Apologia Pro Vita Sua (1865–1866), the Grammar of Assent (1870), and the poem The Dream of Gerontius (1865), which was set to music in 1900 by Edward Elgar as an oratorio. He wrote the popular hymns “Lead, Kindly Light” and “Praise to the Holiest in the Height” (taken from Gerontius).


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Digital list price: $12.49
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