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BOOK REVIEW _________________________________________________________ BOOK REVIEW The ‘Making of Men’. The Idea and reality of Newman’s university in Oxford and Dublin. By Paul Shrimpton. Leominster, UK: Gracewing, 2015. Pages: 587.Softcover, £25. ISBN: 9780852448243 JUAN R. VÉLEZ _________________________________________________________ The ‘Making of Men’ is, as the full title reads, a thorough study of the idea and reality behind Newman’s work in founding the Catholic University of Ireland during the years 1851–1858. The author, Dr. Paul Shrimpton, a teacher at Magdalen College School, Oxford, and a specialist in the history of education, is also the author of A Catholic Eton? Newman’s Oratory School.1 In the introduction, Shrimpton contends that Newman’s Idea of a University is incomplete. He posits that it is important to examine Newman’s theory and practice together, to use all the available sources and fill out the vision contained in the Idea by extending it into the pastoral dimension, and to see how that vision was translated into a reality by its originator, first at Oxford (long before the Idea was written) and later in Dublin.2 Over the course of the book, Shrimpton explains how Newman conceived that the university should form or educate men rather than simply instructing them, and how he actually set about implementing this notion in Dublin. After a foreword by Ian Ker and an introductory chapter, the book consists of eight chapters and some appendices, including short biographical notes regarding promoters and staff of the university as well as students. Chapter One is a biographical sketch of Newman. Chapter Two deals with the call to found the Catholic University and the Dublin lectures that formed the basis for The Idea. These are followed by Chapter Three, which treats Newman’s lesser-known yet equally important University Sketches and his educational via media: Newman sought to combine the tutorial or collegiate 1 Also published by Gracewing in 2005. 2 Paul Shrimpton, “Introduction”, in The ‘Making of Men’. The Idea and reality of Newman’s university in Oxford and Dublin, (Leominster, UK: Gracewing, 2015), xxx. Hereafter cited: The Making. Fr. Juan R. Vélez is a priest of the Prelature of Opus Dei who resides in Chicago. 107 NEWMAN STUDIES JOURNAL system of Oxford and Cambridge with the professorial system of other universities.3 Chapters Four through Six are about the opening of the University (1854) and its first four years, during which Newman was the rector. These chapters are of particular value because they outline Newman’s thought with regard to organization of the studies, lodging, and spiritual care of the students. Chapter Five describes the three collegiate residences that Newman organized, their mission and statutes, and Newman’s service as dean of St. Mary’s, one of these residences. Owing to his reputation, Newman was able to attract eight residents to St. Mary’s; they were mostly from abroad and of high social standing. Shrimpton offers many details of Newman’s running of the house and his correspondence with student parents, since Newman believed a university acts in loco parentis. He gave the students considerable freedom, wishing to avoid both excessive regulations and the opposite extreme—their absence.4 Peter le Page Renouf, Aubrey de Vere, and Robert Ornsby, who were tutors and lecturers recruited by Newman, witnessed his concern for students and teachers. Realizing that so much of education occurs in a collegiate setting, Newman would have wanted a residential university. However, the lack of students could be attributed to the inability of families to pay for residences, especially since the university was located in a large city where students could live with their families. This led Newman to devise different nonresidential arrangements for students, most of these requiring students to be attached during the day to one of the collegiate residences. Chapter Seven recounts “the change and decay” of the university after Newman resigned the rectorship. As enrollment did not grow for more than a few years, the collegiate houses eventually closed; despite many attempts, the University was unable to obtain a royal charter that would provide it with a necessary government endowment and allow it to grant degrees. Eventually the little that was left...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2153-6945
Print ISSN
1547-9080
Pages
pp. 107-111
Launched on MUSE
2020-01-22
Open Access
No
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