Newman Studies Journal

Volume 7, Issue 2, Fall 2010

Alexander Miller
Pages 41-54

The Reasonableness of Faith and Assent in Newman’s Parochial and Plain Sermons and Grammar of Assent

Among the most overlooked sources for studying Newman’s epistemology are his sermons, particularly his Parochial and Plain Sermons. This essay compares Newman’s sermon “Religious Faith Rational” (1829) and his discussion of “Simple Assent” in his Grammar of Assent (1870), both of which defend faith or assent in daily life; this comparison reveals both a strong influence of the sermons on the Grammar and a shift in Newman’s understanding of the term “faith.”