As the decade progressed, however, Newman became increasingly disillusioned with the Anglican Church.
He left Oxford early in 1842, retiring to a parish in the nearby town of Littlemore.
His two novels, Loss and Gain (1848) and Callista: A Sketch of the Third Century (1856), are essentially fictionalizations of Catholic doctrine and practice that reveal the author's sympathetic understanding of the arduous process of religious conversion.
Similarly, his dramatic monologue The Dream of Gerontius (1866) details another sort of spiritual journey: its protagonist, paralleling Newman's own movement toward the Roman Catholic church, proceeds from death through judgment and purgatory before entering the eternal bliss of life in heaven.
Newman was ordained a deacon in the Anglican Church in the year 1824 and was appointed to its priesthood the following year. Together Newman and these men—disturbed at what they perceived as liberal compromises and increasing governmental influence within the Church of England—initiated the Oxford Movement.
Newman's contribution to a series of Tracts for the Times, published during an eight-year period beginning in 1833, forcefully expressed the concerns of the group.
However, Newman was also drawn to the literature of religious skepticism during these early years, fascinated by the plausibility of arguments refuting Bible accounts and religious dogma.
He entered Trinity College at Oxford in 1817, graduating with a Bachelor's degree before the age of twenty.
For further discussion of Newman's life and career, see NCLC, Volume 38.
A prominent nineteenth-century religious figure, Newman is best known for his spiritual autobiography Apologia pro Vita Sua (1865), a work hailed as a masterpiece of English prose.