Change and Identity : Protestant English Interpretations of John Henry Newman's Secession, 1845–1864

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


This dissertation argues that the English Protestant interpretations between 1845 and 1864 of John Henry Newman’s secession were related to the notions which formed part of the British national identity. It demonstrates how various writers modelled their interpretations of Newman’s secession on the beliefs of British anti-Catholicism. By understanding the British national identity as a common culture it also tries to give some new perspectives on the nature of public discourse in nineteenth-century society. In chapters III to V a wide range of sources – newspapers, periodicals, pamphlets, sermons and novels – are analysed. Chapter III establishes how the initial interpretations of Newman’s secession – often in the form of different imageries – were related to the notions of British anti-Catholicism. This chapter includes a complete survey of newspaper articles on Newman’s secession published in the last months of 1845. Chapter IV discusses the continuation of these interpretations in the 1850s and early years of the 1860s. Chapter V tries to demonstrate how the Apologia and the more liberal climate of the 1860s altered the interpretations of Newman’s change of religious allegiance. All three chapters analyse both ‘main-stream’ and alternative interpretations – in this case mostly put forward by philosophical radicals and different groups of High churchmen. Finally, chapter VI places Newman’s secession in a European context. It also discusses the interconnections between ‘theology’ and national identity in nineteenth-century public discourse.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Centre for Theology and Religious Studies
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date2002 Mar 4
ISBN (Print)91-89515-05-6
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 2002-03-04
Time: 10:15
Place: Kungshuset, LUND

External reviewer(s)

Name: McLeod, Hugh
Title: Professor
Affiliation: University of Birmingham, UK


Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Religious Studies


  • Kristna kyrkans historia
  • History of the Christian church
  • Anglo-Catholicism
  • Evangelicalism
  • anti-Catholicism
  • Roman Catholic Church
  • Church of England
  • John Henry Newman
  • communication
  • national identity
  • interpretation
  • Change of religious affiliation
  • England
  • Nineteenth century
  • Non-Christian religions
  • Världsreligioner (ej kristendom)


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