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NEWMAN STUDIES JOURNAL 100 possessed a moral or doctrinal significance. He was hard on the liberal Protestants he had left, but hard too on the Catholics he had joined when he found them too pleased with themselves or too ready to ignore the intellectual challenges of their times. Some bishops, struggling to master the difficulties of incorporating hordes of Irish and German immigrants into the fabric of American life without endangering their faith, considered Brownson a nuisance and worse. But in retrospect it remains clear that Brownson, along with Isaac Hecker—another convert with whom, ultimately and perhaps inevitably, he quarreled—provided during the mid-19th century an absolutely necessary stage in the intellectual maturation of American Catholicism. For readers of this journal Brownson’s relations with Newman may be of special interest. Newman’s Essay on Development appeared a year after Brownson’s conversion, and, in his newfound zeal, he attacked it savagely in the Quarterly as surrender to the wicked tenets of evolution. Newman did not deign to reply to a critic he dismissed as “a half-converted Yankee.” But a few years later, anxious to promote the Catholic University of Ireland in Dublin as a center of learning for the English-speaking world, Newman as rector invited Brownson to join the faculty. The latter declined, which was perhaps just as well. Sometime after that, Brownson read Loss and Gain and wrote a handsome apology to Newman for the tone,if not for the substance, of his earlier attacks. “This is all very pleasant,” Newman observed. Professor Carey does not treat this matter in detail, but he does quote, with some irony, the famous line from Development as it applied to Brownson:“Here below, to live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.” Professor Carey has written a model of intellectual biography. If he is not overly concerned with Brownson’s personal life,he has grasped the issues and controversies that preoccupied that great man, who left as his testament nearly 30 volumes of pungent, incisive, and, in many instances, continuingly relevant commentary. The publisher’s “Library of Religious Biography” does not employ footnotes or endnotes, but a perusal of the 12-page bibliographical essay, with which Professor Carey concludes his masterful book, demonstrates that no one knows as much about this subject as he does. Marvin O’Connell University of Notre Dame JOHN KEBLE, SERMONS FOR THE CHRISTIAN YEAR MARIA POGGI JOHNSON, ED. John Keble, Sermons for the Christian Year. By John Keble. Selected and introduced by Maria Poggi Johnson. Grand Rapids, MI:William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2004. Pages xi + 208. Paper, $23.00, ISBN 0-8028-2299-1. It is readily acknowledged that not only the words,but also the tone of one person’s description of another serve to manifest the mark that the individual has made. If 101 so, then one quickly recognizes that both Newman’s words and tone show his devotion and gratitude to John Keble. Following his appointment as a fellow of Oriel College,Newman recalled meeting Keble:“‘I bore [the congratulations] till Keble took my hand, and then felt so abashed and unworthy of the honour done me, that I seemed desirous of quite sinking into the ground.’ [For] His had been the first name which I had heard spoken of,with reverence rather than admiration,when I came up to Oxford”(Apologia,17). Newman was also grateful to Keble for introducing him to the sacramental system and to the importance of probability as a path to religious certainty. Many descriptions of the Oxford movement rely on Newman’s own identification of Keble’s July 14, 1833,Assize Sermon as the start of the movement. Less known by general audiences, but familiar to Newman enthusiasts, is the tender reconciliation of Keble and Newman after many years without contact. For these reasons and more not listed, we can be grateful for an opportunity to come to know the religious sensibility of the man who had such an influence on Newman’s religious mind and heart. This selection of Keble’s sermons amply illustrates the resonance of these two thinkers and preachers. Maria Poggi Johnson has...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2153-6945
Print ISSN
1547-9080
Pages
pp. 100-103
Launched on MUSE
2020-01-22
Open Access
No
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