by J. DEREK HOLMES
A Newman Treasury selected and edited by Charles Frederick Harrold (Sheldon Press £6) It was. of course, C. E. Harrold who originally coined the phrase, so often repeated later: "Of the making of hooks about Newman there is no end".
Harrold was an American Episcopalian whose irenic and sympathetic study of Newman was published in 1945. His earlier "Newman Treasury" first appeared
during the last war in 1943 a fact vividly reflected in the moving dedication to those French and German Newmanites "who. through suffering or in martyrdom. have felt the iron heel of the Antichrist of our time".
Harrold's aim was to present a selection which would enable his readers to understand some of the chief themes in Newman's work the development of religious doctrine, the problem of belief and of education in a secular world, and also to present a considerable number of -shorter passages which might tempt his readers to "browse" and reflect.
In all cases. literary quality as well as content was to he "the touchstone of selection". There is no doubt that in his aim and within
the limitations which Harrold set himself. he was very successful. In some ways. Harrold's approach remains relevant to the contemporary world which still needs that sense of the supreme reality of God and the human soul, that emphasis on the freedom and dignity of the human mind for which, as Harrold argues, Newman stood.
But in other ways, this selection or Newman's writings seems curiously "dated". Harrold himself was quite well aware at the time that no anthology could possibly satisfy all his readers. but his own interests and approach imposed further limitations on his selection.
No one would ever wish to undervalue the significance of Harrold's introductory essay, "Towards the Understanding of Newman", or of his most helpful introductions to various selections.
If Harrold had been writing today, he would roi have underestimated, iis he did for example, the importance ea historical and scientific criticism in the Jevelopment of
N e man's theological methodology.
But the publisher's claim that Newman was "the most prestigious religious writer and the most original religious thinker the English-speaking world has ever produced" might have been better illustrated by a different selection and an introduction which incorporated at least some of the findings or more recent research.