Brother Berry’s Reading Suggestions

Reading suggestions by Brother Lewis Berry

  • If you’re keen to start reading Newman in print, try a selection of his works, like Ian Ker’s ‘John Henry Newman: Selected Sermons’.

  • If you want to delve straight in (online, go to, then ‘Works’) go straight to the Parochial and Plain Sermons. Why not start with Newman’s powerful sermon ‘The Cross of Christ the Measure of the World’ (Volume 6, Sermon 7), or the immensely original and interesting ‘Unreal words’ (Volume 5, Sermon 3).

  • If you’re interested in the relationship between faith and science, have a look at ‘The Philosophical Temper, First Enjoined by the Gospel’, Newman’s first ‘University Sermon’, from 1826.

  • It’s worth reading the striking beginning of Newman’s Essay on the ‘Development of Christian Doctrine’ (1845) – on the history of the Christian faith.

  • From Newman’s Catholic period, you’d make a good start looking at his classic ‘Apologia pro Vita Sua‘ (1864) – the story of his conversion. Start at the beginning – or look at Chapter five, which begins with one of Newman’s most famous passages.

  • Among the few Catholic sermons which Newman wrote down, two important and challenging ones are ‘The Infidelity of the Future’ (1873), on Christianity and the modern world, and ‘The Mental Sufferings of Our Lord in his Passion’ (1855).

  • Or to learn why Newman believes that Conscience leads to the teaching of the Catholic Church, look at ‘Dispositions for Faith’ (1856).

  • Don’t miss the Biglietto Speech – which he gave after being elected Cardinal (1879). It deals with what Newman calls his great enemy: ‘religious liberalism’.

  • Many of Newman’s beautiful prayers are included in his ‘Meditations and Devotions‘.

  • Want to try reading one of Newman’s novels? They are ‘Loss and Gain’ (1848) and ‘Callista’ (1855).

  • Finally, there’s the ‘Dream of Gerontius’, Newman’s poem about the human soul after death, which was later set to music by Elgar.

For more hints, look at any of the biographies of Newman listed above, which will lead you into the rest of his works.