The Arians of the Fourth Century

Front Cover
Gracewing, 2001 - Religion - 510 pages
The Arians of the Fourth Century was a revolutionary contribution to church history, challenging many of the assumptions of earlier Anglican scholars. John Henry Newman's account of the great struggle over Christian doctrine in the fourth century shows the first signs of his later views on development. It was also in many ways a "tract for the times" -- a warning to the Anglican Church of the 1830s of the dangers of state interference in religious debate and of the need for theologically educated leadership.

This book is taken from Newman's 1871 revision of the text. It contains some additional material and a fuller apparatus of references. This present edition also includes an introduction and notes which attempt to put the work into its context in the nineteenth century Church, but also to explain how scholarship has altered our view of the subject matter. The Arians of the Fourth Century remains a startlingly original essay on the methods of intellectual history within the Christian church, and a powerful statement by Newman of a vision of the church that is not yet fully in tune with Roman Catholic teaching, yet is also at odds with much of the traditional theology of the Church of England.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LudieGrace - LibraryThing

For its insights into shifts in historical method in the nineteenth century, it's pretty interesting. I concede that Newman has his charms! Read full review


The Schools of the Sophists
The Church of Alexandria

18 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2001)

English clergyman John Henry Newman was born on February 21, 1801. He was educated at Trinity College, University of Oxford. He was the leader of the Oxford movement and cardinal after his conversion to the Roman Catholic Church. In 1822, he received an Oriel College fellowship, which was then the highest distinction of Oxford scholarship, and was appointed a tutor at Oriel. Two years later, he became vicar of St. Mary's, the Anglican church of the University of Oxford, and exerted influence on the religious thought through his sermons. When Newman resigned his tutorship in 1832, he made a tour of the Mediterranean region and wrote the hymn "Lead Kindly Light." He was also one of the chief contributors to "Tracts for the Times" (1833-1841), writing 29 papers including "Tract 90", which terminated the series. The final tract was met with opposition because of its claim that the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England are aimed primarily at the abuses of Roman Catholicism. Newman retired from Oxford in 1842 to the village of Littlemore. He spent three years in seclusion and resigned his post as vicar of St. Mary's on October 9, 1845. During this time, he wrote a retraction of his criticisms of the Roman Catholic Church and after writing his "Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine," he became a Roman Catholic. The following year, he went to Rome and was ordained a priest and entered the Congregation of the Oratory. The remainder of Newman's life was spent in the house of the Oratory that he established near Birmingham. He also served as rector of a Roman Catholic university that the bishops of Ireland were trying to establish in Dublin from 1854-1858. While there, he delivered a series of lectures that were later published as "The Idea of a University Defined" (1873), which says the function of a university is the training of the mind instead of the giving of practical information. In 1864, Newman published "Apologia pro Vita Sua (Apology for His Life)" in response to the charge that Roman Catholicism was indifferent to the truth. It is an account of his spiritual development and regarded as both a religious autobiography and English prose. Newman also wrote "An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent" (1870), and the novels "Loss and Gain" (1848), Callista" (1856) and "The Dream of Gerontius" (1865). Newman was elected an honorary fellow of Trinity College, Oxford, in 1877 and was made cardinal by Pope Leo XIII in 1879. He died on August 11, 1890.

Rowan Williams is Archbishop of Wales.