Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publication Title

John Henry Newman and the Crisis of Modernity


This book blends historical, theological, and philosophical inquiries into what “modernity” means with the aim of showing how Newman can analyze, critique, and explain fruitful ways forward within a diverse range of subjects. First, it surveys historical and theological topics such as how Newman understood “modernity,” the sensus fidelium, the role of doubt and modern views of reason; Newman’s university ideal; and a return to the saint for much-needed anthropological insights. Second, the volume shows how Newman’s thought can be insightfully applied to key issues within church and society: the need to redefine “American” Catholicism, the challenge of secularization, the role of Christian joy, revelation and religious diversity, progress traps and the ecological crisis, and overcoming post-modern individualism. Throughout each chapter, contributors consistently bring Newman’s original and penetrating thought to bear upon critical themes in theological anthropology, ecclesiology, comparative theology, and spirituality. The volume shows how Newman’s thought can be extended and enriched by dialogue with contemporary thinkers such as Charles Taylor, Pope Francis, and Bruno Latour. In brief, the contributors demonstrate how Newman can help frame contemporary self-understandings and various theological and social imaginaries in the light of faith.

Publisher Name

Lexington Books




ISBN: 978-1-9787-0210-3


Pages 105-118, "Dealing with the Fragmentation of Knowledge: The Complex Grounds for Faith in Newman, Adorno, and Later" in John Henry Newman and the Crisis of Modernity edited by Brian W. Hughes and Danielle Nussberger, November 2018, reproduced by permission of Rowman & Littlefield,