Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Late Modern European -- the Convert Cardinals. John Henry Newman and Henry Edward Manning by David Newsome

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Late Modern European -- the Convert Cardinals. John Henry Newman and Henry Edward Manning by David Newsome

Article excerpt

The Convert Cardinals. John Henry Newman and Henry Edward Manning. By David Newsome. (London: John Murray. 199. Pp. xii, 418.)

The Convert Cardinals is a fascinating and admirable double biographical study. David Newsome has previously distinguished himself in the biographical genre with studies of the Wilberforces and of A. C. Benson. But the formidable goal of treating both Newman and Manning, both long-lived giant-figures of great achievements, In the same volume makes Newsome's success here all the more remarkable. He undertook this study in part because the reputations of the two English cardinals have for many been "finalized" and polarized for over a century. It is an indictment of the disciples of both men that Newsome was compelled to write an introductory chapter of twenty-one pages to establish the validity of sketches that are neither abuse nor panegyric. Some Newmanians in recent decades have made objective, balanced scholarship difficult with their insistence on almost unqualified adulation and protectiveness and reliance almost exclusively on Newman's own words and self-judgments.

David Newsome is neither a Newmanian, nor a Manningite, nor a Roman Catholic, but a balanced admirer and critic of both Newman and Manning. And he uses many other sources than these two men for his characterizations and judgments. They are nicely placed in their historical contexts, which the reader is surprised to find are often very similar.

This joint study is broadly and humanistically oriented, with discussion of such diverse topics as personalities, marriage and celibacy, Evangelical backgrounds, conversations, preaching, asceticism, ecumenism, social Christianity, poetry, etc. …

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