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Newman to Converts: An Existential Ecclesiology (15002)

Newman to Converts: An Existential Ecclesiology (15002)

SKU: 15002
  • Strange as this may appear, the instructions Newman gave in letters to prospective converts have not yet formed the subject of a thorough inquiry. This in spite of some salient facts: thirty or so such persons were involved over several decades; the total length of those instructions would amount to six to seven hundred pages if printed together; and, finally, the material has been in print for now over a quarter of a century. If one considers the wealth of publications on Newman during that time, the neglect of the topic may be far from unintentional. Surely, in an age of an ecumenism often heedless of basic and unchangeable parameters, Newman’s insistence on the grievous sin of staying in schism, to say nothing of the sin of plain heresies, can hardly be attractive. In an age of dubious innovations in Catholic ecclesiology, very uncomfortable should appear to its practitioners Newman’s emphasis on such "conservative" notions as the obviousness of the four Notes of the Church, let alone of a Church which, in his eyes, was the One True Fold of salvation. What he stressed to prospective converts constitutes the pylons of a truly existential ecclesiology, simply because for Newman, both in his own case and in the case of others, the duty of belonging to that One True Fold was the matter of a choice between eternal life and death, the most existential choice available to man.
        This book is a theological blockbuster. According to the Catholic Herald (London) Jaki’s book opens a Pandora box. It surely shakes to its foundations much of the recent literature on Newman.
        The One True Fold: Newman and His Converts, a booklet that deals briefly with the same argument can be found in the Booklets page.
        Three books by John Beaumont who deal with conversions to Catholicism can be found in the Various page.

    By Fr. Stanley L. Jaki

    ISBN 1-892548-18-6  •  xii + 529 pages  •  softcover

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