John Henry Newman on Truth and Its Counterfeits
A Guide for Our Times
The introduction offers a survey of Newman's life and works and each of the subsequent four chapters addresses one significant aspect of Christianity that is not only contested or rejected by secular unbelief, but also has a counterfeit for which not only Christians, but even Catholics have fallen. The counterfeit of conscience is the "conscience" of the sovereign subject (Ch. 1); the counterfeit of faith is the "faith" of one who does not submit to the living authority through which God communicates but rather adheres to the principle of private judgment in matters of revealed religion(Ch.2); the counterfeit of doctrinal development is twofold: (i) paying lip service to development while only selectively accepting its consequences on the grounds of a specious antiquarianism and (ii) invoking development theory to justify all sorts of contemporary changes according to the present Zeitgeist (Ch. 3). Finally, the counterfeit of the university are all those "universities" whose end is not to educate and thereby to perfect the intellect, but rather to feed more efficiently the empire of desire that is informed by the techno-consumerism of today (Ch. 4). The book concludes with an epilogue on Hütter's journey to Catholicism.
About the Author
"Reinhard Hütter believes that we must fight today the same enemy that St. John Henry Newman fought in the nineteenth century, namely, the liberalism that proposes counterfeit versions of central Christian doctrines. Relying on Newman himself and a number of other figures from the Catholic tradition, he exposes the deeply misleading accounts of conscience, doctrinal development, and the nature of the university that hold sway in the contemporary academy and sometimes in the Church itself. This intelligent book makes for satisfying and bracing reading."—Bishop Robert Barron, auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles and author of The Priority of Christ: Toward a Postliberal Catholicism
"A remarkable tour de force, impressively documented, on Newman's 'counterfeits,' yes, and on Aquinas and Newman face to face on conscience, faith, doctrine, and the university, topped with a compelling narrative of the author's seven-year 'quintessentially Newmanian' journey from Lutheranism to Catholicism. The principle of private judgement and its concomitant, the unfettered 'sovereign subject' of the present age, is the culprit common to all of the counterfeits."—Mary Katherine Tillman, author of John Henry Newman: Man of Letters
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