Dr. Christopher Blum, Thomas More College’s Professor of Humanities and Academic Dean, is featured in the most recent issue of Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture. In his paper entitled “The Historian and His Tools in the Workshop of Wisdom”, Dr. Blum turns to the writings of Blessed Cardinal Newman to help establish the proper role of history in Catholic intellectual life. He observes that the medieval university had no place for the craft of the historian.
Newman is well suited to act as guide in such an inquiry, argues Blum, both because of his fidelity to the Catholic intellectual tradition and because of the important role his understanding of the development of Christian doctrine played in his own conversion and theological development. Why, then, did Newman assign historical studies to a subordinate role in his writings about liberal education? Blum points to the importance of Aristotle in Newman’s understanding of philosophy and education, and then suggests that the historian is important especially through the development of right judgment.