Newman Review

An e-publication of the National Institute for Newman Studies (NINS) featuring scholarly, original articles on John Henry Newman’s legacy and its relevance for today.


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The Sisters of Mercy
The Sisters of Mercy

The Sisters of Mercy are probably one of the best-known female Catholic congregations, having even entered popular culture; so much so that in 1971 musician and singer Leonard Cohen used their name as a title for one of his songs. Later in 1980 a newly formed rock band also took the name, having been influenced by Cohen’s song. However conflicted anybody might feel about the use of the name in these contexts, it demonstrates the indelible impression that the congregation has made on society in general, in a way that few others have. 

Lawrence Gregory
Lawrence Gregory
May 07, 2024
2 min
From the Oxford Movement to martyrdom in deepest Africa
A Primer on Newman's <em>Idea of a University Defined and Illustrated</em>
Saving the Manning to Kirkman Letters
Saving the Manning to Kirkman Letters

As part of my role with the Catholic Archives Society, I routinely monitor the internet for Catholic archival material being offered for sale and work with relevant repositories to ensure its safe acquisition. In 2023 a bound collection of 19 original manuscript letters from Cardinal Henry Edward Manning to the Rev. Thomas Penyngton Kirkman (1806-1895) appeared for sale -- never previously shared in public. In them Manning discusses his views on philosophy and evolution, his views on Herbert Spencer, and even sketches of his ideas for a solution to Pascal’s Theorem.

The Ordinary “work of the day” and Perfection: Personal Reflections on Lent Inspired by Newman
Digitizing Archives from the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary
Lost Voices of the Catholic Literary Revival
Lost Voices of the Catholic Literary Revival

In the English-speaking world, the Catholic Literary Revival is associated with the work of G. K. Chesterton, Evelyn Waugh, and Graham Greene: novels that chart the solitary figure of a priest or layman in spiritual combat with the world around him. But in fact, the Revival’s most numerous members were women, many of whom have been almost entirely forgotten. When these women are put back in the frame we need to adjust our understanding of the Revival’s nature and scope.

“Like a Slowly Moving Censer”: Learning to Read with Newman
“Like a Slowly Moving Censer”: Learning to Read with Newman

Compared to my usual diet of scholarly articles and books, Newman’s writings stood out for what appeared to me as their meandering character. Unlike most contemporary works, Newman does not state upfront what he is going to say and then take the reader through the motions of a demonstration delivered blow by blow. He begins, instead, with a puzzle, or a question, that he brings before his audience; he unfolds his thinking slowly, almost searchingly, from his initial questions; he also frequently refrains from tying up his argument, leaving whatever he said simply to “air” with the reader.

Critical Notice of <em>Newman in the Story of Philosophy: The Philosophical Legacy of Saint John Henry Newman</em>
Critical Notice of Newman in the Story of Philosophy: The Philosophical Legacy of Saint John Henry Newman

Newman scholars interested in philosophy should take note of Daniel J. Pratt Morris-Chapman’s recent book, Newman in the Story of Philosophy: The Philosophical Legacy of Saint John Henry Newman.  While standard histories of philosophy tend to make no mention of Newman as a philosopher, Pratt Morris-Chapman thinks this is a mistake. This is not only because he takes Newman to have a body of philosophical work that is worthy of our attention, but because he takes Newman’s thought to have played an important role in the development and progress of philosophy in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. 

Revisiting <em>The Spirit of the Oxford Movement</em>, by Christopher Dawson
Revisiting The Spirit of the Oxford Movement, by Christopher Dawson

Richard Dawson did not write “The Complete History of the Oxford Movement.” Instead, he gives us “The Spirit of the Oxford Movement,” a thoroughgoing account of the relationships and friendships between three of the movement’s figureheads: Keble, Froude, and of course, Newman. By focusing on the relationships between the movement’s pioneers, Dawson can argue for the emotional impetus that underlies the mission of the Oxford Movement, a sense that is perhaps best captured by the men’s poetry rather than their Tractarian works.


Newman Today
New and Noteworthy


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