Apologia Pro Beata Maria Virgine: John Henry Newman’s Defence of the Virgin Mary in Catholic Doctrine and Piety


Andrews, Robert M., Catholic Institute of Sydney


PhD (Murdoch University)

With a foreword by Professor Austin Cooper, Catholic Theological College, Melbourne,AUS

Precis: This work fills a gap in the current scholarly literature on Newman’s Mariology by examining the apologetic aspects of Newman’s main Marian texts. Though there is some literature on Newman’s Mariology this work is the first to examine all the key texts and develop a scholarly argument for their importance especially in the matter of Patristic roots and devotions in the church as a whole and the Anglosphere in particular.

Apologia Pro Beata Maria Virgine: John Henry Newman’s Defence of the Virgin Mary in Catholic Doctrine and Piety represents a discussion of a theme within Newman’s Mariology: namely, his apologetic defence of the place of the Virgin Mary in Catholic doctrine and piety. Newman is not instinctively known as a Marian theologian or apologist, but as a number of recent scholars have argued, he should. This book shows how Newman possessed a highly developed Marian apologetic—one that grew out of his Anglican background and that developed into his life as a Catholic priest. Based solidly upon Scripture and the Church Fathers, his thought on the place of the Virgin Mary in the life and faith of Catholicism was, like much of his theology, ahead of its time and frequently out of step with the nineteenth-century Catholic milieu he lived within. This study of Newman’s defence of Catholic Mariology and its place in Catholic piety is achieved through an examination of some of Newman’s Anglican sermons, his Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (1845), some of his private correspondence and, finally, his Letter to Pusey (1866). From a discussion of these texts this book argues that Newman’s Mariology was unique in its day and has proved prophetic in directing the future direction of Catholic Mariology. For Newman, the Virgin Mary—rightly understood in her biblical and patristic context—was ‘our pattern of faith’, a model for theological reflection and development.

Church History, Anglican theology mid 19th c, Catholic theology 19th c,Mariology, historical theology, Anglo-Catholicism, Apologetics, John Henry Newman, Faith and Devotion in Catholic thought
Release Date: 
November 30, 2016
Cloth: 978-1-68053-009-4
Trim Size: 

1727 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 507
Washington, DC 20036