The Oracle of Nature and of Truth

Now that John Henry Cardinal Newman is Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, I suppose everyone has to take him a little more seriously when he says things like the following:

“Do not suppose, that in thus appealing to the ancients, I am throwing back the world two thousand years, and fettering Philosophy with the reasonings of paganism. While the world lasts, will Aristotle’s doctrine on these matters last, for he is the oracle of nature and of truth. While we are men, we cannot help, to a great extent, being Aristotelians, for the great Master does but analyze the thoughts, feelings, views, and opinions of human kind. He has told us the meaning of our own words and ideas, {110} before we were born. In many subject-matters, to think correctly, is to think like Aristotle; and we are his disciples whether we will or no, though we may not know it.”

(From the Newman Reader)

This is a shocking passage indeed. Does he really say that thinking correctly about many things is to think like Aristotle? Is he equating being a man, to a great extent, with being an Aristotelian?

Pardon my dis-ingenuousness!

The truth of the matter is that Newman’s statements are about as an unambiguous endorsement of the philosopher as any devotee of Aristotle could ever hope to get from a high ranking influential member of the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy.

By elevating Newman (who is really a patron saint of liberal education!) to the rank of Blessed, Pope Benedict appears to be continuing his strong emphasis on teaching the modern world to rethink and reevaluate its view about what education is.

 

 

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About marklangley

Academic Dean at The Lyceum (a school he founded in 2003, see theLyceum.org) Mark loves sacred music and Gregorian Chant and singing with his lovely wife, Stephanie, and their twelve children.
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One Response to The Oracle of Nature and of Truth

  1. Pingback: Why Does Christ Say His Yoke Is Easy? | Classical Catholic Education

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