Duquesne University will be playing a national role in the study of the life and thought of Blessed John Henry Newman, in conjunction with the National Institute for Newman Studies.
The recent agreement between the University and the Institute, along with funding from that organization, has established the Chair for Newman Studies and the Director of the National Institute for Newman Studies in affiliation with Duquesne University (NINSDU), a five-year, renewable position. The holder of the chair will teach courses offered through the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts.
“John Henry Newman is one of the giants within Catholic intellectual tradition and one of the great teachers of the Church,” said Dean Christopher Duncan of the McAnulty College. “Bringing his work and work about him in a more intentional way to Duquesne University and our students will enhance our ability to explore a rich tradition of which he is a part. The University and the College in particular are grateful to work with such a fine organization as the Institute.”
After a national search, which is being headed by Dr. Gerard Magill, Vernon F. Gallagher Chair for the Integration of Science, Theology, Philosophy and Law at Duquesne, a chair is expected to be selected by July 1.
The Rev. Drew Morgan, C.O., Ph.D., the present director of the National Institute for Newman Studies, and Catharine M. Ryan, both graduates of Duquesne, co-founded the Institute. Since its inception in 2002, the Institute has developed the most extensive Newman library in North America. It has hosted over 40 Newman scholars from countries as diverse as Vietnam, Nigeria, France, Poland and Mexico. These researchers have used the Newman Research Library resources, including the extensive digital collection, The Newman Knowledge Kiosk. They have published work in the Institute’s academic, peer-reviewed periodical, The Newman Studies Journal, contributing to the development of Newman Studies worldwide.
“While the Institute has strong relationships with Catholic institutions, such as The University of St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto, Saint Mary’s of Moraga, California, and Boston College, it has reached a point in its growth where a concrete partnership with a Catholic university has become essential for it to solidify its stature among leading participants in the Academy,” Morgan said. “Duquesne provides entrance into such a prestigious arena.”
Newman (1801–1890), who converted to Catholicism, rose to the rank of cardinal and authored a body of profoundly influential theological and spiritual writings that have inspired Catholic reformers in areas such as ecumenism, engagement with the world and the role of education. He is also widely known as the composer of the hymn Lead, Kindly Light and for his autobiography Apologia Pro Vita Sua.
Newman Centers, which minster to Catholic students on the campuses of non-Catholic universities, are named in his honor. Pope Benedict beatified Newman in September 2010, an act that conferred the title of “Blessed” on him and is an official recognition of advancement to the third stage in a four-stage canonization process.
The National Institute for Newman Studies, which was founded by the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, the religious community to which Newman belonged, will maintain ownership of the National Institute for Newman Studies, and the institute’s offices and resources will remain in their current location at the Gailliot Center in Oakland.