“In religion all roads have their obstacles” Cover Image
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“In religion all roads have their obstacles”
“In religion all roads have their obstacles”

"Loss and Gain" by John Henry Newman as a Conversion Narrative

Author(s): Grażyna Bystydzieńska
Subject(s): Theoretical Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, Studies of Literature, Philology, History of Art, British Literature
Published by: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Keywords: conversion; Oxford; Roman Catholic Church; Church of England; dialogue; Bildungsroman
Summary/Abstract: Newman’s first novel "Loss and Gain. The Story of a Convert" (1848) possesses some autobiographical elements. In this article the specific character of both conversions – of Newman and of Charles Reding, the protagonist of his novel – are discussed. Both conversions were the result of a rational, intellectual endeavour, although the emotional and irrational issues were frequently decisive. Oxford as the centre of the Oxford Movement was the setting of both conversions, which in both cases meant that the converts had to leave Oxford. "Loss and Gain" is also a response to the popular and numerous anti-Catholic arguments of the time, concerning, for instance, the Real Presence, the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the saints and their relics, celibacy of the clergy, but also to the revival of Gothic architecture and Gregorian music in the liturgy of the Church of England. The article also discusses the poetics this spiritual Bildungsroman and its dialogical structure.

  • Page Range: 41-51
  • Page Count: 11
  • Publication Year: 2021
  • Language: English