John Henry Newman, one of the towering figures of the early Victorian Church of England, caused shock and outrage in equal measure when he announced his espousal of Roman Catholicism in 1845. His Apologia, written nearly twenty years later in response to a scurrilous public attack by Charles Kingsley, is a superbly crafted response to those who criticized his actions and questioned his motives, and traces his spiritual development since boyhood, his close involvement in the high church Tractarian Movement and his agonizing decision to reject the church he had been born into. Ostensibly an autobiography and a speech for the defence, the Apologia transcends self-justification to explore the very nature of Christianity and its place in the modern age.
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