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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 Ordinary “work of the day” and Perfection: Personal Reflections on Lent Inspired by Newman
Newman Today
The Ordinary “work of the day” and Perfection: Personal Reflections on Lent Inspired by Newman

For many, it is easier to be caught up in the academic, fiscal, or calendar years than the liturgical year that indicates the ultimate frame of our lives. In my case, this is especially true during Lent.  This year, I came across a pithy meditation of Newman’s, “A Short Road to Perfection”, which I hope can reframe the way I understand Lent and discipleship more generally.

Christopher Cimorelli
Christopher Cimorelli
February 27, 2024
9 min
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, the Guide of Conscience for Ratzinger
Newman, the Guide of Conscience for Ratzinger

When the Pope beatified Newman in 2010, he traveled to the United Kingdom to honor the “saintly Englishman” from whom he had learned numerous invaluable lessons. In his sermon for the occasion, the Pope exclaimed, “in Blessed John Henry, that tradition of gentle scholarship, deep human wisdom and profound love for the Lord has borne rich fruit.” It is in this scholarly yet prayerful pursuit of the truth that Ratzinger found a fellow friend in Newman. 

Pugin’s Illustrations of Newman’s <em>Lives of the English Saints</em>
Pugin’s Illustrations of Newman’s Lives of the English Saints

Two major pieces of literature on Augustus Welby Pugin (1812–1852), the renowned Gothic Revivalist and Catholic convert who designed Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, six cathedrals, and more, state, in summary fashion, that Pugin illustrated St John Henry Newman’s Live of the English Saints. The late Professor Margaret Belcher, however, provided a great deal of detail on this subject in the second volume of her The Collected Letters of A.W.N. Pugin, published in 2003. This essay republishes, for the first time since 1914, all eleven of Pugin’s illustrations and does so for the first time ever in a single document.

Preserving the Foundations of Faith: Reading Matthew Levering’s <em>Newman on Doctrinal Corruption</em>
Sermons of a Saint: Newman’s Transformative Words

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