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Callista: A Tale of the Third Century (Annotated) (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

John Henry Newman , Soren Filipski

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Présentation de l'éditeur

In this gripping novel of faith and persecution, Bl. Newman tells the story of Callista, a young pagan woman, loved by a Christian man, who is posed with a choice between denying Christ or professing faith and the highest cost.

Writing as both a convert and a scholar of the early Church, Newman presents his reader with a rich and challenging story, deeply personal and also highly informative in its representation of early Christian life amid pagan society, in its divine raptures and earthly pains.

This edition features the original text of Newman’s novel along with additional notes by Søren Filipski (MA, Franciscan University of Steubenville) providing explanations of various terms in Latin, Greek, and other ancient languages that appear throughout the text.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 815 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 279 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0615963935
  • Editeur : Assumption Press (3 juin 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00KRGB15K
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Amazon.com: 3.8 étoiles sur 5  8 commentaires
19 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 CALLISTA OPENS UP ALL OF JOHN HENRY NEWMAN 19 septembre 2002
Par T. Patrick Killough - Publié sur Amazon.com
John Henry Newman's CALLISTA, especially as introduced in this fine year 2000 edition by Alan G. Hill, stands on its own merits as a rollicking good love story, almost gothic in its plague of locusts, demonic possession of the young North African Juba, realistic depiction of mob violence, state torture and intolerance of the rising Christian religion whose adherents refused in the year 250 to worship the persecuting emperor Decius.
It is the story of a beautiful 17-year old Greek orphan who finds work as an artisan in Roman Africa, mainly fashioning statues and other adornments of various pagan cults. The evils of third century Roman imperial life depress her. She is tempted by the beauty of Christianity as hinted to her years ago by a Christian slave. Later she is wooed by the Christian Agellius who gives her another slant into his religion--though he fails to persuade Callista to marry him. Finally, Saint Cyprian, bishop of Carthage and the Gospel of Luke which he persuades her to read in a prison where she languishes falsely accused of being a Christian, tip the scales. She is baptized, confirmed and takes the Eucharist in one ceremony in prison. Shortly thereafter she is brutally martyred. The story stands on its own feet. It is a great read independently of any external impact or uses.
But CALLISTA is also, in my opinion, the most illuminating first book which any serious or prospective student of ALL the works of John Henry Newman should read (or now re-read). For CALLISTA opens the door to Newman's spiritual autobiography of conversion, APOLOGIA PRO VITA SUA. It also adumbrates DEVELOPMENT OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE, RISE AND PROGRESS OF UNIVERSITIES, his sermons and Newman's many musings on the echo of God's voice definitively heard in conscience. And what CALLISTA does not lead into, Newman's earlier novel LOSS AND GAIN most certainly does lead into: ARIANS OF THE FOURTH CENTURY, THE IDEA OF A UNIVERSITY, A GRAMMAR OF ASSENT and literally every serious thing the great Cardinal ever penned. Fortunately, the best edition of LOSS AND GAIN is by Alan G. Hill who gives us the best CALLISTA as well.
CALLISTA, perhaps the greatest of "Christian Romances," indeed deserves to be read both internally for itself and also externally as a first step into the huge ocean of Newman's essays, poems (e.g. "Lead Kindly Light"), sermons, histories, satires, educational theory, philosophy, theology and more than 20,000 letters. CALLISTA, set in Africa, paradoxically invites readers to step into the almost as little known spiritual world of 19th Century England, one of the most creative times and places the world has yet known.
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Interesting Novel 21 février 2013
Par Bob Scharf - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
As a non-Catholic, I hesitated reading this novel, considering that it was written “from a Catholic point of view”. I had heard of Cardinal Newman and his conversion to Catholicism, but never got around to reading any of his writings. So I was curious.

It took a while to get used to his style. Like most Victorian writers, he favors long compound sentences which are often encrusted with Latin phrases and obscure classical references. Even with Google searches, I sometimes had to guess what he was getting at (for example, one of his characters ‘smells like Idalium’ must mean that he smells like roses).

I did learn a few things. I didn’t realize before that the persecution of Christians under Decius was on the heels of the millennial celebration of the founding of Rome and was undertaken to strengthen loyalty to the Empire when it was under attack from the Germanic tribes on its northern border.

I also didn’t know that the followers of Tertullian constituted a separate sect, apart from the Montanists to which I thought he belonged later in his life.

The characters were all interesting, Callista, especially, who insisted right up until the 11th hour that she wasn’t a Christian. She then had to be baptized, confirmed and given the Eucharist all within a short period of time before she could be properly martyred.

The highlight of the book was the first encounter she had with the priest Caecilius and the verbal sparring they had over the existence and nature of Hell, with Caecilius espousing a very modern interpretation.

As sad and moving as the description of her martyrdom was, sadder was the thought that in less than 200 years after these events when Christianity became the state religion of the Empire, they would begin persecuting pagans and other heretic Christians with even more ferocity.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Callista: A Tale of the Third Century, by John Henry Cardinal Newman 16 août 2013
Par Don Mulcare - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
First published in 1855, Newman's novel remains fresh. It foundation is a comparison of hereditary Christians to converts and those who seek happiness in the comforts of the material world to those who can be satisfied only by union with God.

Newman warmly and vividly details a story of death and new life in and about the Roman colony of Sicca Veneria in North Africa, circa 250 AD. As tour guide, he portrays the delicate shades of fields ripe with grain, rose gardens, vineyards, olive groves and orchards set against "the fantastic forms of the Numidian Mountains." He escorts his readers through the hidden door to the wonderfully cool catacombs to share in the liturgy. He and his readers shop the market stalls of the forum. As barrister, he details the legalistic implications of the multiple forms of Roman marriage and then explains process of the provincial courts along with their dreadful incarceration pits and their means of torture and execution. Mercifully, Newman also offers a peep at the beatific vision. The Cardinal adds a touch of the authenticity with the frequent use of contemporary Latin phrases, such as the infamous: "Christianos ad leones!" (Christians to the lions.)

As the story begins, the Christians had not seen a major persecution in fifty years. Worshipers of the Roman and local gods had come to tolerate, and even marry Christians. Bishops, priests and deacons grew more concerned with their business interests than their flocks. Their sheep strayed as they cooled in spiritual ardor. Christianity drifted toward extinction, as many idol worshippers hoped. Some thought a persecution would finish them off. Others remembered that previous persecutions had actually won converts to Christianity.

Then Rome celebrated its millennium with spectacles and sacrifices to honor the very gods that made Rome the ruler of the world. Decius, the emperor, decreed that the entire world should congratulate Rome through the worship of Jove and swear by the genius of the emperor. Decius promised that atheists (i. e. Christians) who refused to so swear would suffer a painful death. The onset of a persecution drew near.

In Sicca, the avuncular Jucundus, an innovative, prosperous but aging purveyor of idols, lived only for the moment with no thought to the hereafter. Unfortunately, his aspirations for a glorious legacy depended upon his nephews, Agellius and Juba. Agellius, widely known as a baptized Christian, avoided contact with the residents of Sicca, especially during their religious celebrations. Juba, his brother would bend his knee neither to god nor man. His unpredictable behavior annoyed his uncle as much as did the stubbornness of Agellius.

Jucundus desperately hoped that Agellius might forsake Christianity if he married Callista, an artisan in his employ. Jucundus suggested to Callista's brother, Aristo that he urge her to accept Agellius. Aristo advised his sister: "I say he's a fellow too well off to be despised as a lover." Agellius needed no urging to approach Callista. Knowing that she admired Christianity he hoped this predisposition would lead her to accept him and that she would convert to the worship of the true God. Instead, Callista responded, "You have stood in the way of Him, ready to speak for yourself, using Him as a means to an end."

Callista remembered Chione, a slave and a Christian who "spoke as if a Christian's first thoughts were good will toward others; as if his state were of such blessedness, that his dearest heart's wish was to bring others into it." Callista has seen no such blessedness in Agellius. Chione had cared for nothing, Agellius wanted Callista for himself. Shortly before Chione died she dreamed of a beautiful Lady who pledged to lead Chione to her Son, Jesus. Chione died joyfully, freed of her slavery and the bonds of earth as the Lady welcomed her into the beatific vision. Callista thought Agellius a cold Christian more interested in laws and restrictions. If anything he damaged what faith Callista still had.

On this low note the real troubles begin. Newman spares no detail in his descriptions of a locust plague, famine, riots; the brutal murder of Christians by the mob; the Roman legion's methods of crowd control, as well as Callista's arrest as a suspected Christian. She denied that she was a Christian, but refused to offer incense to Jove and swear by the genius of the emperor. Jucundus and Aristo used their influence to postpone Callista's execution. They claimed that she must be out of her mind. The respite allowed a visit from a mysterious stranger.

Caecilius, a Christian priest had met Callista shortly before her capture. Their conversation stoked the embers of her faith. He trusted her with a scroll: The Gospel According to Saint Luke. Callista paid it no heed until her imprisonment. By the time Caecilius visited Callista in her cell, she was a Christian in all but baptism. Caecilius baptized her, conferred confirmation and fed her with the Eucharist. Before her ordeal, she dreamed of the radiant face of Chione. It gradually morphed into the visage of the Lady that had welcomed Chione and then changed again into that of her Son. Callista had found the love and meaning she sought all her life. She too, would soon enjoy freedom.

As Newman relate through his story materialism twists the ethics of those who see nothing beyond this life. Those might seek Christ but freely reject the foolishness of Christianity because they know too many cold Christians rather than the likes of Chione and the new Callista. I highly recommend this book to all who seek to deepen their faith so that they may more freely articulate the true joy of Christianity to others.

You may find "Callista" at: Amazon.com (at no cost to Kindle users) or at:


(© 2013 Donald J. Mulcare)
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 More accessible edition 17 février 2014
Par California Smith - Publié sur Amazon.com
Cardinal Newman opens a fascinating world where the passions of thought and faith compete in the exotic setting, now extinct, of Roman North Africa. Once adjusted to the Victorian prose (an adjustment well worth it for the almost Shakespearean feel), the characters are as real as any in modern cinema. The ending is heartbreaking... This edition has the advantage of modern typesetting and display.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Callista - Tale of the 3rd Century 23 avril 2012
Par A. R. Laugier - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
An interesting look at fiction of the beginning of Christianity. Having been written by Cardinal Newman made it even more interesting as I was not aware the good Cardinal had delved into fiction. The story showed the difficulties of Christians surrounded by a pagan society 1,700 years ago.
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