Oxford University Newman Society

Oxford University Newman Society

Oxford University Newman Society

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For Newman Centers around North America see Newman Centre.

The Oxford University Newman Society (est. 1878) is Oxford University's oldest Roman Catholic organisation, named as a tribute to Cardinal Newman, who advanced the cause of Catholicism at Oxford both as an Anglican striving to recover Anglicanism's Catholic roots and subsequently as a convert to Catholicism. It exists to promote Catholic faith and culture within the University, and has served as the model for Catholic student societies throughout the English-speaking world.


Foundation: 1878-96

Founded as the Catholic Club in 1878, it was not until 1888 that the club was renamed the Newman Society. At the time, the renaming of the society was not uncontroversial; Lord Acton, whose son Dick was amongst those involved in the changing of the name, counselled him to be careful. Owen Chadwick describes his letter of advice thus:

<blockquote> felt it to be awkward. On one side was the pride of Trinity College in Newman as one of its eminent graduates; and of Oriel too, connected as it was ‘with the period of his fame’. But on the other side Newman still had enemies in Oxford and they no small men – Max Müller ‘probably’ his worst, but perhaps Jowett also, and then several secular minds. advice to Dick on this matter was ‘Do nothing too conspicuously.’

Meetings of the society originally took place at the parish church of St......
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