Vatican II - Voice of The Church
Vatican II - Voice of The Church

The Rediscovery of Newman: An Oxford Symposium

John Coulson and A. M. Allchin (editors) with contributions by the Archbishop of Canterbury and Bishop B. C. Butler

The significance, of this symposium lies not merely in the scholarship and eminence of its contributors, but also in the fact that the scholars concerned are from several different Christian traditions. The clear implication of the book is that common endeavour by Catholic, Anglican and Protestant writers to relate their individual traditions to a common source such as Newman is one of the most important routes to future unity.

The conference itself was held in Oxford - indeed in Newman's own college - Oriel. But this is not some random collection of papers turned into a book. It is that rare achievement; a symposium carefully designed from the start to be published in book form, each contributor being made aware of the work of the others, and each being allowed to modify his work in the light of discussion during the conference. The result is a remarkably satisfying and complete work.



John Coulson and A. M. Allchin

Part 1

  1. The significance of Newman today
    A. M. Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury

Part 2

The sources of Newman's power

  1. The evangelical sources of Newman's power
    David Newsome, Fellow and Senior Tutor of Emmanuel College, Cambridge
  2. The rediscovery of the Fathers in the seventeenth-century Anglican tradition
    Thomas M. Parker, Fellow and Chaplain of University College, Oxford
  3. The theological vision of the Oxford Movement
    A. M. Allchin, Librarian of Pusey House, Oxford
  4. Newman and the empiricist tradition
    J. M. Cameron, Master of Rutherford College and Professor of Philosophy, University of Kent
  5.  A note on Newman's historical method
    J. D. Holmes, St Edmund's House, Cambridge
  6. The biblical basis of Newman's ecumenical theology
    C. S. Dessain, of the Birmingham Oratory
  7. Newman on the church - his final view, its origins and influence
    John son, Downside Centre of Religious Studies

Part 3

The development of Newman's influence

  1. Newman's influence in France
    B. D. Dupuy, OP, Le Saulchoir, Paris
  2. Newman's influence in Germany
    Werner Becker, of the Leipzig Oratory
  3.  Newman in the Low Countries: a note
    A. J. Boekraad, MHM, St Bonifatius Missiehuis, Hoorn, Netherlands
  4. Newman through nonconformist eyes
    Gordon Rupp, Principal of Wesley House, Cambridge; and formerly Professor of Ecclesiastical History, University of Manchester
  5.  Note on the Free Church attitude to Newman
    H. Cunliffe-Jones, Professor of History of Doctrine, University of Manchester; and formerly Associate Principal o the Northern Congregational College, Manchester
  6. Newman's influence in England
    H. Francis Davis, Recognised Lecturer in the Department of Theology, University of Birmingham

Part 4

  1. Newman and the Second Vatican Council
    B. C. Butler, OSB, Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster; and formerly Abbot of Downside
  2. The Newman Symposium



The first Oxford Newman Symposium was held at Oriel College from the evening of Monday, 28 March, to the afternoon of Friday, 1 April 1966. The conference was sponsored by a Committee consisting of the Rev F. W. Dillistone, Fellow and Chaplain of Oriel College, Mgr H. F. Davis, Recognised Lecturer in the Department of Theology of the University of Birmingham, Father C. S. Dessain of the Birmingham Oratory, David Newsome, Fellow and Senior Tutor of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, Miss Meriol Trevor, David Forrester of Keble College, Oxford, and the organisers, the Rev A. M. Allchin, Pusey House, Oxford, and John Coulson, Downside Centre for Religious Studies. The conference was in a large measure the direct result of the third International Newman Conference held in Luxembourg at Whitsun 1964, which had been attended by a number of members of the sponsoring committee[1]. After that meeting, it had been felt that it was time to organise a similar conference in England, which would do something to explore the distinctive English contribution to Newman studies, to open up new lines of communication between those concerned with Newman in this country and those at work in this field in Europe and America, and to suggest the need for a more systematic inclusion of Newman studies in the regular teaching programmes of British universities. In the words of the Abbé Nicholas Theis, promoter of the Newman Conferences in Luxembourg, it was time 'to bring Newman home'.


[1] For the Luxembourg conferences see the note by Father Boekraad, 'Newman in the Low Countries', p. 193.

The Newman Symposium


The Most Revd Dr A. M. Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury

The Right Revd Dom B. C. Butler OSB, Abbot of Downside (now Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster)

The Revd A. M. Allchin, Pusey House, Oxford

The Revd Dr W. Becker, of the Leipzig Oratory

Professor J. M. Cameron, Leeds University (now of the University of Kent)

Mr John Coulson, Downside Centre of Religious Studies

The Very Revd Mgr H. F. Davis, Birmingham University

The Revd C. S. Dessain, of the Birmingham Oratory

The Revd B. D. Dupuy OP, Le Saulchoir, Paris

Mr David Newsome, Emmanuel College, Cambridge

The Revd Dr T. M. Parker, University College, Oxford

The Revd Professor E. G. Rupp, Manchester University (now President-elect of the Methodist Conference)