John Henry Newman: John Henry Newman, Selected Sermons
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John Henry Newman, the most seminal of modern Catholic theologians, is often called "the Father of the Second Vatican Council," the teachings of which he anticipated in so many ways, especially in his ecclesiology, with its emphasis on the role of the laity, but also in his theory of the development doctrine, his ecumenism, and his concern for the renewal of Catholicism in the modern world.
Without that so-called ressourcement or return to the Scriptures and the Fathers, which has characterized so much of the most invigorating Catholic theology of the 20th century, the reforms of Vatican II would hardly have been possible. Similarly, Newman's though owes its originality paradoxically to his returning to the past to recover and revitalize those forgotten truths of Christianity, which he found preeminently in early Greek Fathers.
It is this profoundly Biblical and Patristic theology that lies at the heart of Newman's spirituality, which is to be found above all in that great classic of Christian spirituality, his Parochial and Plain Sermons, preached from the pulpit of the university church of St. Mary the Virgin, Oxford, and from which the most of the selections in this volume are taken.