Sunday, April 09, 2006

Teilhard and Newman

I was reading the introductin to Teilhard on the British Teilhard Association Page and I noticed that Teilhard was influenced by Newman's Essay on the Development of Doctrine. This is particularly interesting because it seems that two characters in history that I am interested in were linked and Teilhard was interested in Newman too. It may also be interesting to note that Teilhard was a Jesuit and Newman was accused of being involved in a secret Jesuit plot after the Oxford Movement finished. I am fairly sure there was a book published but I can't find any trace of it at the moment.

I am still reading 'Loss and Gain' by Newman occassionally. It is a very refreshing and relaxing read. Newman is widely considered to be one of the finest non-fiction writers. I can't understand why it cannot be acknowledged that some of his fiction was rather good. I quite enjoy escaping to the world of an Oxford undergraduate in the 1830s debating church issues with friends and having quite innocent and light-hearted interactions with girls. He also seems to capture in the following passage that moment when you first realise that no matter how hard you try not everyone is right and somehow or other the only person who can decide who is right or wrong is yourself:

"So Charles went on, painfully perplexed, yet out of this perplexity two convictions came upon him, the first of them painful too; that he could not take for gospel everything that was said, even by authorities of the place and divines of the name; and next, that his former amiable feeling of taking every one for what he was, was a dangerous one, leading with little difficulty to a sufferance of every sort of belief"

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