Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Latest Saint

TLS July 30 2010

from Bernard Manzo's Commentary piece on John Henry Newman, "The test of literature":

The Apologia has, in many ways, determined how the writings and the life of Newman have been interpreted--not least for those prepared to see him as a saint. It portrayed the "living intelligence", showing the gradual movement of the mind towards certain beliefs, and how that movement was felt and experienced. Newman declared that he had a "preference of the Persona to the Abstract" as a mode of explanation. He saw ethos and doctrine as correlative, and when examining a body of thought, he sought always to discern the spirit that animated it. He saw acts of thought as personal acts, reflecting the "moral temperament" of the thinker, and he considered "paper logic" to be a crude representation of the living mind, doubting whether acts of faith could be fully analysed: "no analysis is subtle and delicate enough to represent adequately the state of mind under which we believe, or the subjects of belief as they are presented to our thoughts". To represent this activity of mind, Newman turned to fiction....

No comments: