Getting Aquainted with John Henry Newman

It goes without saying that the opportunity to personally beatify Cardinal John Henry Newman was a major enticement for the pontiff’s journeying to England at this particular time. What follows is a brief selection of links to get better acquainted with the Cardinal (more of which can be found here).

Introductions

Articles and Commentary

  • Who was John Henry Newman? – An Interview with Father Carleton Jones, O.P. The Dominican Province of St. Joseph. August 25, 2010. (Father Carleton Jones, O.P., wrote his Doctoral Dissertation on Newman while studying at the Angelicum University in Rome. Fr. Jones is also a graduate of Yale University. After fourteen years in the ministry of the Protestant Episcopal Church, Father Jones became a Roman Catholic in 1982, entered the Dominican Order, and was ordained in 1987).
  • Feast day for Cardinal Newman has ecumenical implications, by John Thavis (Catholic News Service):

    When Pope Benedict XVI beatifies Cardinal John Henry Newman in mid-September, he’ll announce the new blessed’s feast day as Oct. 9 — not the date of his death, which is typical for feast days, but the date of Cardinal Newman’s passage from Anglicanism into the Catholic Church.

  • Cardinal Newman: The Victorian celebrity intellectual who brought Benedict to Britain, by Christopher Howse. The Telegraph September 11, 2010.
  • Beyond the Beatification of Cardinal Newman , by C. John McCloskey III. Wall Street Journal September 10, 2010:

    Newman died in 1890 popularly considered a saint. Over a century later, the Church is vindicating this judgment of the people of the U.K. and the whole English-speaking world. Pope Benedict’s decision to preside over Newman’s beatification reflects his love and respect for a fellow theologian whose work he has studied from his seminary days, and whose influence on the Second Vatican Council made him perhaps the most influential theologian on the council, even though it was meeting more than 70 years after his death.

  • Conrad Black (National Review) on Honoring Cardinal Newman: “… in the 120 years since his death, Newman has carried the British colors in his spheres of endeavor with a brilliance, panache, and durability that has put him in, or close to, the company of history’s most distinguished Englishmen, the exalted realm of Shakespeare and Churchill.” September 7, 2010.
  • Newman on “the danger of accomplishments” Aaron Pidel, SJ (Whosoever Desires) blogs on a single sermon that Newman preached—while still an Anglican—on the Feast of St. Luke: “The Danger of Accomplishments.” (“It might be aptly retitled today, ‘The Danger of Higher Education.'”) September 4, 2010.
  • What could a soon-to-be-beatified 19th century English cardinal and Catholic convert possibly have to say to people living in modern Australia? – Father Rod Strange has the answer. Catholic Leader August 22, 2010.
  • Newmania! – Joseph A. Komonchak (Commonweal): “as a preparation for the beatification of John Henry Newman in September, I might send in from time to time favorite excerpts from his writings, in the hope also of attracting new readers to the man who saved my intellectual soul when I was in college.”
  • James Martin asks “Whose saint is Cardinal Newman?” Boston Globe May 7, 2009:

    Admired by conservatives and liberals, cradle Catholics and converts, as well as anti-clericalists and gays, Cardinal John Henry Newman is destined to be a popular but controverted saint. Who is the “real” Newman? It’s a bit like the popular quest for the “historical Jesus.” Which one you find depends a great deal on which one you’re searching for.

  • Cardinal Newman: Doctor of the Church? – Father Ian Ker on the Priest’s Cause, Teachings Zenit News. October 22, 2008.
  • Cardinal John Henry Newman Faithfully Celibate Oxford Professor Ian Ker Responds to Media Rumors. Zenit News. September 4, 2008. An article by Ian Ker, an Oxford University professor, regarding rumors circulating in the British press about Cardinal John Henry Newman. The article by the Newman scholar appeared Sept. 3 in L’Osservatore Romano.
John Henry Newman: His Inner Life

Father Zeno O.F.M. Cap. (Author). Ignatius Press; Second edition (January 2010)

This book is a culmination of Father Zeno’s life work. With the cooperation of the Oratorian Fathers, he was given full access to all of Newman’s letters, diaries, and complete published and unpublished sermons. From all this he has drawn together the interior struggles Newman faced from childhood until his death. Zeno allows Newman to speak through his work and writings, an exceedingly rich source. This is a landmark work considered one of the best spiritual biographies of John Henry Newman ever written.

Purchase in the USA | Purchase in the UK

John Henry Newman: A Biography

By Ian Ker. Oxford University Press, USA; Reissue edition (August 2009)

This full-length life of John Henry Newman is the first comprehensive biography of both the man and the thinker and writer. It draws extensively on material from Newman’s letters and papers. Newman’s character is revealed in its complexity and contrasts: the legendary sadness and sensitivity are placed in their proper perspective by being set against his no less striking qualities of exuberance, humour, and toughness.

This book attempts to do justice to the fullness of Newman’s achievement and genius: the Victorian ‘prophet’ or ‘sage’, who ranks among the major English prose writers; the dominating religious figure of the nineteenth century, who can now be recognised as the forerunner of the Second Vatican Council and the modern ecumenical movement; and finally, the universal Christian thinker, whose significance transcends his culture and time.

Purchase in the USA | Purchase in the UK

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