Dafydd Mills Daniel on BBC Radio 3: John Henry Newman and the Oxford Movement

Dr Dafydd Daniel

Dafydd Mills Daniel discusses John Henry Newman and the Oxford Movement on BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking.

In the programme, ‘Saint John Henry Newman’, Dafydd, explores Newman’s opposition to Enlightenment rationalism, and his part in the Oxford Movement, prior to his conversion to Roman Catholicism. 

It is available as a BBC Arts & Ideas podcast here. 

A conservative movement within the Church of England, the Oxford Movement was started by Newman, and two other prominent Oxford academics, while they were all fellows of Oriel College: John Keble, Professor of Poetry (after whom Keble College, Oxford is named) and Edward Pusey, Professor of Hebrew (after whom Pusey House in Oxford is named). 

Members of the Oxford Movement (also known as ‘Tractarians’) gave their views on the relationship between the state and the Church of England, and their understanding of Christian faith, through a series of Tracts for the Times, started by Newman in 1833. 

Dafydd examines Newman’s and the Oxford Movement’s wider context within developments in 19th century philosophy and theology, and religious controversies – not least, repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts: laws which restricted religious freedom in England until 1828/29, and which were aimed, not just at Roman Catholics, but any group regarded as ‘extremist’ at the time, including non-Anglican Protestants and atheists. 

Dafydd also discusses Newman’s novel theory of conscience – a topic he has written about in his new book, Conscience and the Age of Reason (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020), and an earlier book: SCM Ethics and Moral Philosophy (SCM Press, 2007). 

Dafydd appeared alongside, Catherine Pepinster, former editor of the Tablet; Tim Stanley, columnist for the Daily Telegraph; and Dr Kate Kennedy, Oxford Centre for Life-Writing Associate Director. 

The programme was produced by Ruth Watts, and presented by Rana Mitter, Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China at Oxford.