29 November 2009

Dr Sheridan Gilley addresses the Newman Society

Last Tuesday, Dr Sheridan Gilley, Emeritus Reader of Theology at the University of Durham, addressed the society on "Newman and the Crises of Capitalism". We are extremely grateful to Dr Gilley as a long standing contributor to the society, this being the seventh time he has visited us. Dinner with the speaker was attended by committee members and by the Fr John, Fr Roger and Fr Simon of the Catholic chaplaincy amongst others.

Although Newman may not at first hand have much to contribute to our understanding of modern economic theory and its impact on society, Dr Gilley drew our attention to Newman's attacks on the character of Sir Robert Peel. Peel, Prime Minister of Britain briefly in 1834 and during 1841-46, can be seen as one of the greatest implementers of a free market capitalist policy during the 19th Century. The liberal Toryism of the heirs of Pitt was marked by its growing belief in the free market as shown by Hutchinson (the chap who died being hit by a train) and others at the Board of Trade. It is this programme that Peel is seen to have implemented.

Newman's basic attack against Peel lies in what he saw as the overly simplistic understanding of human nature by the free market policies that Peel was introducing. Dr Gilley made much of Newman's distrust of an unregulated market as a force against humanity and the integrity of the person. Perhaps such misgivings have been shown right by recent events. In all, the lecture proved to be an interesting contribution to a relevant topic as the apparent failure of fluctuations of the free market.

26 November 2009

The Newman Revisted

Its amazing to see from a google book search just how many times the Newman Society is mentioned in print.  Most famously the society appears twice in Evelyn Waugh's novel Brideshead Revisited.  Here's a list of just a few more titles:
- Squires in the slums: settlements and missions in late-Victorian Britain
- Monsignor Ronald Knox, fellow of Trinity College, Oxford
- The Old Palace: a history of the Oxford University Catholic chaplaincy
- A medley of memories: fifty years' recollections of a Benedictine monk
- The life of Evelyn Waugh: a critical biography
- Oxford in the twenties: recollections of five friends
Click here for the full list.

25 November 2009

Some interesting events

Oxford always has 'too much' going on.  We've been asked to spread the word about a number of events, all of which look very interesting:

Talk by Fr Timothy Curtis: "The Orthodox Worldview"

Wednesday 25th November:
6 pm - Vespers (in the church on Canterbury Rd.)
7 pm – Talk and Dinner (St. Gregory’s House - across the yard to the left of the church)

Fr Timothy Curtis, from the University of Northampton, will be giving a talk about the Orthodox worldview, how it leads us to the beliefs we hold, and how it differs from other, non-Orthodox worldviews. This talk is especially suitable to invite your non-Orthodox friends to who might be curious about your faith. The more people of different backgrounds in attendance, the more potential for a very interesting discussion!

Rt Hon Greg Clark MP - "Rethinking Enterprise And Climate Change"
Blackfriars, Friday 27th November, 1pm
Greg Clark was formerly Head of the Conservative Research Department and a leading international consultant. He holds the Phd from LSE and is a rising star in David Cameron's Conservative Party. Today he is on the Conservative frontbench as Shadow Secretary of State For Climate Change And Enterprise
RSVP Leah Mansfield on lascasas@bfriars.ox.ac.uk Tickets are free.

Discussion panel on the 'News from Rome'
University Church, Monday 30th November, at 4.45pm.

The pannel will discuss the implication of Pope Benedict's recent Apostolic Constitution allowing the establishment of Anglican Ordinariates within the Catholic Church.
  • Chairman: Canon Brian Mountford, Vicar of the University Church
  • The Revd Dr Myra Blyth, Fellow and Tutor in Pastoral Studies and College Chaplain, Regent’s Park College
  • The Right Revd Andrew Burnham, Bishop of Ebbsfleet
  • Canon Dr Judith Maltby Chaplain and Fellow of Corpus Christ College, Reader in Church History
  • Fr Ladislas Orsy SJ D’Arcy Lecturer, Canon Lawyer, Peritus at the Council
  • Fr Felix Stephens OSB Master, St Benet’s Hall
Questions will be welcomed. Anyone wishing to raise a particular issue, or to make a brief statement, is welcome to send an e-mail beforehand to: john.paton@chch.ox.ac.uk.

23 November 2009

Follow-up on termly Mass

People may like to read the reports appearing about our termly Mass on the Hermenutic of Constinuity and What does the prayer really say. James Bradley, who put up photographs of the Mass on his flickr account, got over 1000 hits on his Newman page today!

21 November 2009

Termly Mass and Dinner MT09

The Abbot of Downside, The Rt. Rev. Dom Aidan Bellenger OSB, visited the society yesterday to celebrate its termly Mass. The Mass took place in Corpus Christi (College!) and we were treated to a wonderful rendition of Haydn's Little Organ Mass, complete with strings. James Bradley has put up some photographs on flickr, a few of which can be seen below. Click here for the rest.

Following Mass the termly black-tie dinner was held in Pembroke. The Abbot is a Cambridge man and in his after-dinner speech he humorously reminded members not to forget that both Cambridge and Cardinal Manning (who was famously hostile to Newman) are very important.  Emeric Monfront then paid tribute to the President, Jocky McLean, who has organised a wonderful term.

New Officers

Hubert MacGreevy (Peter's) is to be next term’s President. James Jordan Jalili (Hilda's) and Tim Sherwin (Merton) have been co-opted as Junior Officers.

Termly General Meeting

The Termly General Meeting for Michaelmas Term 2009 will be held after Dr. Sheridan Gilley's talk on Tuesday 24th November.  The Society's Constitution contains full details about the function of the TGM.  Any members wishing to propose items for the agenda should contact the President: newman@herald.ox.ac.uk.

19 November 2009

Change of time for Thomas More Lecture

The Thomas More Lecture at which Bishop John Arnold and Evan Harris MP will debate the place of religion in the British 'constitution' will now take place at 8.30pm on Monday 30th November, and not 5pm, as previously advertised.

12 November 2009

Deacon Jack Sullivan visits Oxford

Deacon Jack Sullivan, who was cured of a debilitating spinal condition through the intercession of Cardinal Newman, is currently visiting Oxford.  The Vatican's recognition of this miracle on 3rd July 2009 has paved the way for Newman's beatification, which is expected to take place in Birmingham next year.  The press has suggested that the beatification ceremony may coincide with the anticipated visit of the Holy Father to England.

Tonight Mr. Sullivan attended a dinner held in his honour at Newman's former college, Trinity College.  The dinner was hosted by the college's President, Sir Ivor Roberts, and was held in the presence of HRH Princess Michael of Kent, who spoke of her admiration for Cardinal Newman.
Tomorrow, Mr. Sullivan will visit Oriel College, the college at which Newman held his Fellowship.  On Saturday he will preach at the Oxford Oratory.

11 November 2009

Thomas More Lectures - Press Release

The Society has put out a Press Release for the forthcomign debate between Bishop John Arnold and Evan Harris MP.  The debate, which is part of the 2009 series of Thomas More Lectures, will examine the role of religion in public life.

10 November 2009

Growing Up in the Catholic Church

Fr Roger Dawson SJ, Assistant Chaplain to Oxford University, recently spoke to the society on the subject of 'Growing Up in the Catholic Church'. In his talk Fr. Roger drew on his experience as a pscychologist to examine the challanges and possibilities involved in living as a young Catholic today. 

Click here for a transcript of the talk.