According to St. John Henry Newman, the human person is "his own centre . . . he has a depth within him unfathomable, an infinite abyss of existence."
Today’s episode centers around John Henry Newman and what can be called his personalistic thought. In other words, his reverence and appreciation for the human person in all its depth, richness, interiority, and openness onto the world and other persons.
In the introduction to his 1969 study of the philosophical thought of John Henry Newman, Edward Sillem had the following to say:
"As far as philosophy is concerned he was no Augustine, Aquinas nor Scotus in stature. His real work lay in other fields. But he stands at the threshold of the new age as a Christian Socrates, the pioneer of a new philosophy of the individual Person and Personal Life."
Later Sillem adds,
"It is not Newman alone who stands revealed in the great vision he imparts to his readers; Newman only seems to be revealing himself so as to reveal the reader to himself."
My guests today are Jules and Katie van Schaijik, who met as undergrads at Franciscan University of Steubenville in the mid-eighties. From there they went on to study philosophy at the International Academy of Philosophy in Liechtenstein, focusing especially on the personalism of John Paul II, Dietrich von Hildebrand, and John Henry Newman. They left formal academia in 2005, but their interest in personalism and their desire to bring its insights into contact with the wider culture has continued. They have a website called the Personalist Project where you can learn more. They have five children and (so far) five grandchildren.