Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Tillman, Mary Katherine. John Henry Newman: Man of Letters

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Tillman, Mary Katherine. John Henry Newman: Man of Letters

Article excerpt

TILLMAN, Mary Katherine. John Henry Newman: Man of Letters. Marquette Studies in Philosophy. Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 2015. 353 pp. Paper, $29.00--In this book, Mary Katherine Tillman brings together twenty essays that she has written over a period of thirty years on Newman's life and works. Several have been published previously in academic journals such as Communio and the Newman Studies Journal. A professor emerita in the Program of Liberal Studies at the University of Notre Dame, Tillman is both a Newman authority and enthusiast. In her preface, she notes that the book "celebrates the breadth of Blessed John Henry Newman's thought" and his "extraordinarily energetic mind and his tender sympathetic heart, suffused as they were by the kindly light and grace of God."

Newman is well known for his interest in the Church Fathers. It was Newman's study of the controversies that roiled the early Church that led him to conclude that Rome had constantly been the defender of orthodox Christianity. As he became more convinced of Rome's claims, he gradually and reluctantly concluded that the arguments he and other leaders of the Oxford movement had made for Anglicanism were untenable. Tillman includes an informative article on this subject that she coauthored with another eminent Newman scholar, Marvin O'Connell.

She devotes much more time, however, to tracing Newman's classical interests. In an essay on Newman's Mediterranean tour of 1832-33, Tillman notes that he took with him Homer's Odyssey, Virgil, and Thucydides, and was profoundly moved by reading them, remarking that the "sights and works of antiquity all spoke to him of God. …

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