Avery Dulles S.J. - review of Newman's Challenge
From First Things – Briefly Noted 26 – October 2000
By Stanley L. Jaki.
Eerdmans. 323 pp. $20.
author, a Benedictine priest well known for his work in the philosophy of
science, here gathers up thirteen previously published essays on Newman with a
new chapter to introduce them. Quoting selectively from Newman’s works (especially
his Letters and Diaries), Jaki portrays Newman as an intransigent
supernaturalist, adamantly opposed to dissent and ecumenism. Although Jaki is
knowledgeable and on some points informative, his depiction of Newman is skewed
by his desire to make him a weapon against “new” theologians, Protestant and
Catholic alike, and even an adversary of Vatican II. While Jaki has every right
to criticize liberal theologians, his tone is too dismissive. Newman, by
contrast, was extremely careful to be fair to his opponents, to understand
their point of view, and to enter into their difficulties and answer them