The cardinal temptation of collection development librarians, I'm discovering, is to buy books based on one's own interests rather than the needs of the library. I would love to get this study of Newman, but I doubt controversies in Victorian Anglicanism have that much relevance to a small Baptist institution...
Turner, Frank M. John Henry Newman: The Challenge to Evangelical Religion. Yale.
Expository Times: “Weighty and impressive…will be welcomed by historians and a wider general readership with an interest in the life of John Henry Newman…well researched and scholarly…an eminently readable and informative book, which provide[s] detailed and considered insight into John Henry Newman. It help[s] situate Newman and provide a wider framework of understanding and interpretation.” Church History: “detailed, meticulously researched…Even if one believes that Turner’s interpretation of Newman’s career at Oxford makes the future cardinal too calculating and perhaps even Machiavellian in his responses and strategies, this book will require many to take a new look at the complicated events of those years. No one writing about them will be able to avoid addressing Turner’s reinterpretation….Whilte Turner cites many of [his own] observations as ‘speculative and tendentious,’ they appear throughout the book.” Journal of Church and State: “Turner’s revisionist approach is intriguing, yet his psychological explanations of Newman’s religious journey as a search for authority and affection are not entirely convincing. Neither is the contention concerning Newman’s intellectual impact having moved England away from a Protestant mentality. Even so, the author presents valuable insight into Newman’s work before his conversion to Catholicism.” First Things: “overlong…empty speculations….an exasperating book.” Commonweal: “Turner’s great contribution is to see the young Newman in context…The most controversial and most problematic aspect of Turner’s portrait of Newman is certainly his psychological conjectures about his subject…and Turner’s hand is less sure here than it is in his situating of Newman within the context of party controversy.” Library Journal: “Persuasive, documented research…This provocative text is recommended for academic and large libraries.” National Review: “beautiful writing…a rare revival of profound cynicism toward Newman’s project…of [Catholic] culture the magisterial Turner seems at times quaintly innocent….Tuner lacks an ear for the wretched polemics hurled at Newman. He also lacks facts…What could have been a challenging exercise in revisionism becomes a curiosity when Turner joins the louche company of psychobiographers…” Publishers Weekly: “unlikely to sway Newman devotees and those promoting his cause for sainthood, but it is absorbing nonetheless and certainly will attract readers with a bent for revisionism.” Choice: “For an introduction to Newman, undergraduates would be best off with a standard work like Ian Ker’s John Henry Newman: A Biography. Optional.”