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70 automne | 2009
John Henry Newman

The 70th issue of the Cahiers victoriens et édouardiens is devoted to John Henry Newman and the variety of its contents is deliberate. The distinguished Newman scholars who took part in this issue intend to depict a large picture of Newman’s life and thought through many of his works. Three papers out of ten focus specifically on Newman’s achievement as a preacher. In ‘Newman the Preacher’, Paul Chavasse interprets the greatness of Newman’s preaching as the result of a subtle blend of dogma, ethics, spirituality and an exceptional psychological acumen. Edward J. Ondrako studies Newman’s university preaching style by paying attention to several key moments of his life and defines its theological aim which he portrays as a ‘theology of the heart’ (‘The Intellectual and Developmental Character of Cardinal Newman’s University Preaching Style’). Lastly, C. J. T. Talar concentrates on Henri Bremond’s reading of Newman’s sermons. In his paper entitled ‘Henri Bremond: preaching Newman the Preacher’, he shows how the French historian and literary critic explains what he perceives as a tension in Newman between religious experience and external authority and how he deals with it making of Newman an existential thinker in the process. Among the other pieces in this issue, Jacqueline Clais-Girard’s paper, ‘Newman’s Letters’, concentrates on Newman’s correspondence at a time when the last volume of Letters and Diaries was published by Oxford University Press. For his part, Padraic Conway pays attention to Newman’s then (2008) unpublished ‘Dublin Diary’, which was written while the future Cardinal had to cope with complications regarding the creation of an Irish Catholic University. It was composed between November 1853 and March 1856 and it makes it possible to reconsider this episode which has sometimes been too superficially interpreted as merely resulting from a quarrel between Archbishop Paul Cullen and Newman himself. Keith Beaumont studies the satirical and polemical aspect of Newman’s writings, which may obviously, but in part only, be explained by the particular characteristics of Newman’s life (the many struggles he had to come up against), but which may also be seen as having a real psychological, even spiritual, function in his works. In ‘Newman the Novelist’, Michel Durand looks into Newman’s two novels – Loss and Gain (1848) and Callista (1856) – in order to survey their autobiographical and religious elements, while Terrence Merrigan (‘The Imagination in the Life and Thought of John Henry Newman’) offers to investigate the idea of ‘imagination’ in Newman’s thinking and its key role in all forms of beliefs, especially religious belief. Bertrand Lentsch provides a rhetorical analysis of the Apologia (‘One Man’s Meat is Another Man’s Poison’: the Rhetoric of Dissent in John Henry Cardinal Newman’s Apologia Pro Vita Sua (1864)) and, Robert C. Christie enquires into the essence of Newman’s ecclesiology which he perceives in his personalism identified with the concept of affectivity (‘Echoes from Home: the Personalist Ground of Newman’s Ecclesiology. Affection as the Key to Newman’s Intellectual Discernment on the Issue of the Church’). The volume ends with a comprehensive chronology of Newman’s life written by Keith Beaumont.

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