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date: 17 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Although the extent of his role has been contested, Newman has been generally regarded as the leader of the so-called Oxford or Tractarian Movement. Some of his former followers and disciples who did not follow him to Rome in 1845, sensitive to what they regarded as the damage his conversion did to the Movement’s cause, retrospectively downplayed his central contribution. Newman’s Apologia (1864) has been criticized for both enshrining and encouraging a tendency among some of his followers to view its history through his eyes. Newman, however, never meant his Apologia to be a standard account of the history of the Movement but only of his personal religious biography. This chapter examines and analyses Newman’s unique place within the history of the Oxford Movement, through the Tracts for the Times and his other ‘Tractarian’ publications. It shows his abandonment of his theory of the ‘Via Media’, the reaction to Tract 90, and his articulation of a doctrine of development all paved the way for the denouement of 1845. Newman’s secession, however, did not mark the final end of the Oxford Movement but only the culmination of a phase in its longer history.

Keywords: Apologia pro vita sua, Apostolical succession, Caroline Divines, Evangelicalism, Oriel College, Tracts for the Times, via media

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