- “The Definite Service to which Blessed John Henry was Called Involved Applying His Keen Intellect and His Prolific Pen to many of the Most Pressing ‘Subjects of the Day’”
- Newman Studies Journal
- The Catholic University of America Press
- Volume 8, Number 2, Fall 2011
- pp. 3-4
- View Citation
- Additional Information
EDITORIAL PREFACE 3 “ThE dEfiNiTE SErviCE TO whiCh BlESSEd JOhN hENry waS CallEd iNvOlvEd applyiNg hiS kEEN iNTEllECT aNd hiS prOlifiC pEN TO maNy Of ThE mOST prESSiNg ‘SuBJECTS Of ThE day’.” BENEDICT XVI The photograph on the front cover of this issue of Newman Studies Journal was taken at the mass of beatification of John Henry Newman, at Cofton Park, Rednal, Birmingham, on 19 September 2010; in his homily at that mass, Pope Benedict XVI pointed out: The definite service to which Blessed John Henry was called involved applying his keen intellect and his prolific pen to many of the most pressing ‘subjects of the day.’ His insights into the relationship between faith and reason,into the vital place of revealed religion in civilized society, and into the need for a broadlybased and wide–ranging approach to education were not only of profound importance for Victorian England, but continue today to inspire and enlighten many all over the world.1 This excerpt from the pope’s homily highlights three areas where Newman’s scholarly insights and practical wisdom are still very relevant today: the relationship between faith and reason, the importance of revealed religion in contemporary society, and the need for a wholistic education that not only provides students with the best contemporary scientific knowledge but also furnishes them with a spiritual basis for a virtuous life. These three aspects of Blessed John Henry Newman’s thought might well serve as guidelines for Newman Studies Journal:to examine the relationship between faith and reason, to explore ways in which revelation can be proclaimed in the contemporary world, and to foster educational endeavors that seek both academic excellence and spiritual vitality. In different but definite ways, the essays in this issue reflect these three dimensions. CONTENTS In this issue’s initial essay,Ono Ekeh revisits Newman’s narrative of the final days of his fellow Oratorian, Ambrose St. John (1815–1875); in addition to providing a historical vignette of Newman’s life as an Oratorian, this essay is an excellent illustration of Newman’s cardinalatial motto—«cor ad cor loquitur»—“heart speaks to heart”—in showing his pastoral concern and human compassion for a close friend. 1 Excerpt from the homily of Pope Benedict XVI at the Mass of Beatification of Blessed John Henry Newman; available at: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/homilies/2010/documents/ hf_ben-xvi_hom_20100919_beatif-newman_en.html. NEWMAN STUDIES JOURNAL 4 The following essay by Edward Jeremy Miller then explores the meaning of alma mater, first in Newman’s inaugural university sermon, where he insisted that a university must be a mother to its students and then in his first annual report to the Irish bishops, where he emphasized that the students’ resident life must provide a sense of community and a love for their alma mater. Stephen Kelly’s essay raises the question of whether Newman should be classified as an “historian”: if Newman cared very little for modern methods of academic research, nonetheless his historical investigation heavily relied upon original sources and historical criticism; in any case, he never conceived of himself purely and simply as an historian, rather he always studied history from a religious perspective. A specific example of Newman’s use of history is then provided by Andrew Denton’s essay, which examines how Nicholas Wiseman’s article on Augustine’s securus judicat orbis terrarium prompted Newman to examine his position in the Church of England—an example of the past speaking to the present. Ryan Vilbig’s essay examines Newman’s view of the “Darwin Theory”—an antecedent to the ongoing dialogue between religion and science: unlike many Victorian theologians and ecclesiastics, who attacked Darwin’s theory of evolution, Newman considered the theory of evolution compatible with Christianity. Danielle Nussberger’s essay then analyzes three dimensions of Newman’s well-known ability as a skilled communicator of Christian faith: first, the communicator’s personal faith; second, the doctrinal content of faith, personal involvement as an essential aspect of faith, and the reasonableness of faith; and third, the audience’s active involvement in the process of faith-transmission. Not surprisingly, Newman’s beatification has prompted a surge in publications related to his...