Newman Studies Journal

Volume 13, Issue 2, Fall 2016

John F. Crosby
Pages 24-39

The Personalism of John Henry Newman as Interpreted Through the Personalism of Karol Wojtyla

I use concepts of Karol Wojtyla’s personalism, especially the concept of subjectivity, to explain Newman’s personalism. There is a “turn to the subject” in Wojtyla, and there is a similar “turn to the subject” in Newman; and they explain each other. Thus Newman’s distinction between the theological intellect and the religious imagination, and his particular concern with the latter, is shown to be an expression of his personalism. I try not only to throw new light on Newman’s personalism, but also to explain why his personalism, as Wojtyla’s, has been mistaken for subjectivism. I show that there is in Newman, as in Wojtyla, a unity of subjectivity and objectivity that secures his thought against subjectivism.