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Parochial and Plain Sermons Hardcover – October 1, 1997

4.4 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

All eight volumes of Newman's sermons are brought together in this one beautifully printed and bound volume. Newman's sermons are as powerful, fresh and challenging today as when he first gave them. The topics he covers are ones central to Christianity and salvation. Newman once again demonstrates his tremendous understanding of human psychology and the temptations and trials that we encounter as Christians in the world. 191 sermons in total. A magnificent work of timeless inspiration and illumination for every generation of Christian readers.

About the Author

James David Earnest is Professor of English Emeritus, Murray State University, Kentucky. Gerard Tracey, who died in 2003, was formerly Lay Archivist of the Birmingham Oratory. He edited volumes 6, 7, and 8 of The Letters and Diaries of John Henry Newman.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1760 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press; Revised ed. edition (October 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898706386
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898706383
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 2.4 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Thomas R. Rourke on March 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
John Henry Newman's Parochial and Plain Sermons are without a doubt one of the genuine classics of Western spirituality. If you are looking to get your spiritual house in order, buy this book. Newman was that rare genius and saint able to appeal to both the heart and the intellect at the same time. From the very first sermon, entitled, "Holiness, Without Which Man Shall Not See God," the reader is drawn to take seriously the urgency of conversion and spiritual reform. You will walk away from this text wondering how you could have ever done anything other than put God first in your daily life! Moreover, the book appeals to modern man's sense of reason. One of Newman's greatest contributions is to show just how reasonable the act of faith is and how foolish it is to fail to make that act. But more than anything Newman will convince you that with God what matters is doing His will, not just talking about your relationship with Jesus while ignoring the Lord's commands to repent and be converted. This book is guaranteed to help you in your spiritual growth while educating you theologically, no matter where you are on the journey. Eminently readable. These are sermons, not theological treatises. This book is of equal value to non-Catholics as well as Catholics, written as they were in Newman's pre-Catholic, evangelical phase.
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Format: Hardcover
Newman is a consummate rhetorician and compelling author, who, at a century after his death, remains one of the most influential religious authors. Newman wrote so many fine books, but his plain and parochial sermons, while he was still and Anglican, are among the best. This one-volume, completely reset edition, contains nearly 180 sermons. Most of the sermons are designated by their time given in the liturgical year, making it an excellent companion to liturgical lectionaries. One sees the keen mind of Newman operating at his most basic level, that of a parish priest. It's arresting at every fold, and a treasure and resource one will revisit with pleasure.
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Format: Hardcover
In these sermons Newman shows that the ultimate purpose of Church Doctrine is to grow in the spiritual life--to attain unity with God amidst the lures of the world. In addition, the themes he touches on are so contemporary for this day that you'd think he had written them yesterday. Newman demonstrates that the truths of the Christian faith are timeless.
Ignatius Press has given a great gift to the United States by putting 8 volumes of Newman's sermons together in one volume. It is a beautifully bound volume that will stand the years of reading and rereading it will get. My only criticism is the small size of the font used. However, if it was any bigger the number of sermons would shrink considerably.
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Format: Hardcover
The great Oxford historian Owen Chadwick wrote in his short biography of Newman that the Parochial and Plain Sermons form as a whole one of the great works of moral theology ever achieved by an English-speaking Christian. I am not qualified to assess Professor Chadwick's opinion, but I can say that I have personally found these sermons to be pure gold and intensely useful, even today, to one working in parish and scholastic ministry. This collection is a wonderful resource! The sermons provide spiritual wisdom, learning, sound Biblical scholarship, and a penetrating knowledge of historical processes in relation to the Faith. Moreover, these sermons are quintessentially Anglican -- at least in the classical or orthodox sense of this designation. I told an Evangelical friend a few months ago, when he asked for a good sermon source, that I believe Newman's P&P Sermons are the most genuinely Evangelical sermon collection I know of. And I think it goes without saying that the Sermons are also deeply Catholic in the richest, most robust (I mean Patristic) sense of the word. This is a great price for a classic work of orthodox Christian divinity. Buy it and use it!
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Format: Hardcover
Newman is a master with English prose, craftily writing each sentence, paragraph, page, and chapter thoughtfully and eloquently. As a master of prose, if, for no other reason, he deserves wide readership.
But, alas, Newman is first and foremost a theologian. Now this may cast aspersions on him to a larger audience, but at considerable distress to all concerned. He wrote as both an Anglican and a Roman Catholic (most of these sermons were written while he was a priest in the Church of England). Most of the sermons were delivered while he served as priest at Oxford. There he had a demanding audience, who wouldn't sit still for such simple ejaculations, such as, "the Bible says so."
Newman revered Holy Scripture, but he saw it through a prism of manifold colors and applications. It was above all else a book of spiritual perfection, dense and more complex than often acknowledged, and he set forth to elucidate many passages with his incisive prose. Some of these sermons address the Christian liturgical year; others address some spiritual issue of the day or of perennial value. But in any event, his use of scripture is devoutly and reverential, even a tad dogmatic, but never in the evangelical sense. For Newman, the Word was a catalyst to self-discovery and illumination, not some sword to cut believer from infidel.
This book is large, and fortunately will take a good deal of time to read. Each sermon is about four pages, which makes for relatively-short meditations upon ideas catholic and universal. While Scripture forms his benchmark, his methodology is atypically in the English Empiricist school. He doesn't pontificate as though an authority, but examines like a scientist; he's heuristic, and we share in his discoveries.
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