Newman and Life in the Spirit. Theological Reflections on Spirituality for Today

By Cook, Michael L. | Theological Studies, June 2015 | Go to article overview

Newman and Life in the Spirit. Theological Reflections on Spirituality for Today


Cook, Michael L., Theological Studies


Newman and Life in the Spirit. Theological Reflections on Spirituality for Today. Edited by John R. Connolly and Brian W. Hughes. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2014. Pp. xi + 236. $35.

"Today the Catholic Church needs a personal approach to Christian spirituality wedded to social concern" (5). The rationale for this book is the enduring significance of Newman's spirituality for Christian living today. Newman never wrote a treatise specifically on the topic of spirituality. So the authors have gathered his insights scattered throughout his works under various themes: (1) his "four conversions" as "a process both gradual and careful" (20); (2) the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as "the foundation of Newman's spirituality" (43); (3) historical consciousness in the development of doctrine; (4) sympathy; (5) the power of imagination in real assent that leads to action; (6) incarnational spirituality marked by Christ's presence; (7) Mary as "the model of faithful reception of the divine Word" (131, emphasis original); (8) the transition from "other-worldly" to "this-worldly" holiness (134); (9) the power of "personal influence" in the communion of saints, especially, for Newman, Philip Neri (171); (10) oratorian spirituality embodied in the early church's disciplina arcani, the mystical adoration of the Trinity (194). …

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