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Newman's Approach to Knowledge is the fruit of several years of patient research. It probably represents the most extensive and in-depth analysis of Newman's philosophy, and in particular of his theory of knowledge, that has been published in the last forty years. In his appraisal Dr Richardson has taken special care to let Newman speak for himself in order to avoid forcing him into some pre-determined mould. This highlights Newman's original insights with greater clarity: such as his emphasis on the unity of man, his designation of Informal Inference as our way of knowing reality in its individuality and the Illative Sense as that aspect of our intellect that enables us to be certain. Newman now appears in some respects as a latent forerunner of what later became the Phenomenology Movement. Although the Venerable John Henry Newman rightly enjoys universal acclamation as an outstanding theologian and literary genius of the nineteenth century his philosophical thought has been somewhat overlooked. This, in part, has been due to the dearth of serious published research in this area.
Dr Richardson has produced just such a book and shows beyond doubt the importance of Newman's contribution to contemporary philosophy. This work will certainly promote greater interest in Newman's philosophy and to furthering his cause for recognition as one of the more significant philosophers of the nineteenth century. Laurence Richardson began his university career at London University where he received a B.Sc. in Mathematics. He later undertook ecclesiastical studies in Rome at an institute that subsequently became the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. After proceeding to the University of Navarre in Spain he completed a doctorate in Theology on the ecclesiology of Newman followed by a MA in Philosophy on the thought of Newman. Ordained to the priesthood in 1970 to serve in the Prelature of Opus Dei, he has since carried out varied pastoral work both at home and abroad, while teaching philosophy and theology at several levels. For the past six years he has been on the faculty of the University of the Holy Land where he has been teaching courses both in philosophy and systematic theology.