The Aesthetic of St John Henry Newman
Cardinal St John Henry Newman is acknowledged as one of the foremost intellectual figures of the nineteenth century. A prolific writer who published more than forty major works, he is well known as a theologian, philosopher, educational theorist and poet. Less well known is his deep interest in other branches of the arts - music, architecture, sculpture and painting - and how they influenced and informed his thinking. In this significant new book, published to mark Newman's canonization, Fr Guy Nicholls, examines in detail for the first time the aesthetic that inspired the saint. He looks at Newman's own compositions and the music of the great composers that influenced him; at the churches that Newman built, their furnishing and decoration, and the European and British architecture which he used as points of reference; at painting and the natural landscape that played an important part in Newman's intellectual development. Newman saw beauty in all its forms as leading us to its perfect fullness in God, drawing humanity towards its own destiny of the beatific vision of God's infinite perfections and an eternal share in God's glory. This book celebrates St John Henry Newman's use and understanding of art, architecture and music in his priestly apostolate, and helps us appreciate the full significance of the great English saint.