Paul Cullen, John Henry Newman, and the Catholic University of Ireland, 1845-1865 by Colin Barr
The history of the Catholic University of Ireland has long been overshadowed by the personality and writings of its first rector, John Henry Newman. Newman-an official candidate for sainthood and author of the renowned The Idea of a University-played a vital role in the foundation of the university. But Colin Barr's new study paints a richer portrait of CUI's history by focusing on the university itself and on the influence of Paul Cullen, archbishop of Armagh and then Dublin.Most historians have based their treatments of the Catholic University of Ireland on Newman's own voluminous correspondence and later writings, and have tended to uncritically accept Newman's own understanding of his role in Dublin and his relationship with Cullen. Newman has been cast in the role of a liberal, creative visionary who was frustrated at every turn by the obscurantist, ultramontane Cullen. Barr seeks to reassess Cullen's role in the founding and history of the University by utilizing previously unavailable sources and by relocating the history of the Catholic University in its Irish context.Paul Cullen, John Henry Newman, and the Catholic University of Ireland, 1845-1865 presents a more balanced treatment of both the University and of Newman and Cullen's role in its history. The resulting text is a fascinating story of determination, conflict, and failure.