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93 would define an “Englishman,” perhaps presuming that the reader already knows these. This lack of information could prove disconcerting to a non-British reader. However, the conjecture could be advanced that what Chisnall means by “a very English saint,” is not how he understands Newman’s Englishness in a stereotypical sense,but how Newman was formed over the course of his long life;a formation that he could not escape, as it were. This would be a formation that reached below the surface of what was expected of a middleclass English gentleman, to a depth of connection between Newman and his social environment. Some ready examples might be Newman’s recognition that the Rule of St.Philip Neri would not be useable in an English setting, as it was originally formulated by St. Philip Neri in sixteenthcentury Italy,but would need to be adapted. Intellectually,Newman never left Oxford University,even though it was much later in life that he was able to return to his alma mater to be honored by Trinity College. The Catholic University of Ireland would be modeled to a large extent on Oxford and many of the lay professors would have been educated at the latter, having become either friends with Newman over the years, or educators whose reputation preceded them. Still another example would be that of a comparison between Newman and Frederick Faber, the latter being very Italianate in such matters as, for example, spiritual devotions and ascetical practices. Newman himself, when editing the lives of the saints, preferred that these lives be more objectively historical rather than hagiographical. All of these examples and more can be found in Chisnall’s biography. The one criticism that can be made, and this is obvious as one reads through the book,is that there are many typographical errors and dropped letters. Gracewing will need to do a major editing job to correct these for the next printing. In spite of this, I would recommend Chisnall’s biography of John Henry Cardinal Newman as a great read for beginners and the tried and true disciples of this great man. Edward Enright, O.S.A. Merrimack College North Andover, Massachusetts Cardinal Newman for Today. By Thomas J. Norris. Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 2010. Pages: 230. Paperback: ISBN 978–1–56548–365–1. $18.95. Richard Simpson (1820–1876), an editor of The Rambler, once remarked: “Newman gives us colossal fragments, but he does not usually construct a finished edifice”(62). Among the reasons for Newman’s unfinished constructions was the fact that he usually wrote in response to a “call”—a fulfillment of some ministerial responsibility or a reply to a specific controversial issue.1 In both cases, incompleteness was inevitable: a sermon, for example, is planned to present a particular teaching, not a theological treatise; a polemical essay is designed to target an opponent’s weaknesses without necessarily providing a complete alternative. BOOK REVIEWS 1 John Henry Newman, Autobiographical Writings, edited and with an introduction by Henry Tristram (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1957), 272. NEWMAN STUDIES JOURNAL 94 More fundamentally,however,Newman realized that a summa theologica is,humanly speaking, impossible: Revelation can never be confined to neat and tidy human categories. The best that can be done is to present persuasive portrayals of Divine Reality. This task Newman accomplished extremely well, not only for people of his time, but also for people today. This is also the self-assigned task for Cardinal Newman for Today:“What is his meaning for the third millennium?” (11). After a biographical-thematic introduction, Norris discusses three facets of Newman’s thought: Revelation, Theology, and the Christian Life—characterized by the hyper-clever agrarian labels:“Roots,”“Shoots”and “Fruits.”2 The first of the three chapters in the section—“The Roots: Revelation”— discusses the nature of Revelation, Christ the fullness of Revelation, the role of the Holy Spirit in Revelation, and the importance of dogma in spite of the intrinsically mysterious nature of Revelation. The next chapter—“The Fathers Made Me a Catholic”—discusses Newman’s discovery of, and eventual devotion to, patristic theology, especially in regard to such doctrines as justification and Christology. The third...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2153-6945
Print ISSN
1547-9080
Pages
pp. 93-95
Launched on MUSE
2020-01-22
Open Access
No
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