XI Foreword “Liberalism” is a multivalent word being used in various ways. Some educators might strongly advocate for liberal education or liberal stud- ies. Some politicians might treasure liberalism as the corner-stone of their political agendas, institutions or ideals. Some ethicists might criticize liberalism as an ideology threatening the values they endeav- our to safeguard. Some government officials, especially some of those in Mainland China, might consider liberalism as some sort of spiritual pollution challenging the Communist regime. Some Christians might despise liberalism as a theological heresy. John Henry Newman (1801-1890) is famous for his polemic against liberalism on the one hand and his advocacy for liberal educa- tion on the other. The obvious questions one might ask are: Is there any contradiction involved? What did he meant by “liberal” and “lib- eralism”? What is his basic position - liberal, anti-liberal or post- liberal, and in what sense – political, educational or theological? Ambrose Mong’s book attempts to address these questions through meticulous analysis of the historical context of nineteenth century Britain and Newman’s involvement of controversies related to liberal- ism. On top of these, this book also aims at exploring the significance of Newman’s work for the contemporary world. Since Christianity continues to struggle with the issues related to liberalism, one has to ask the question if Newman’s position formed in the nineteenth century remains relevant to the contemporary post- liberal or post-modern context. Through making references to the relevant positions of Alasdair MacIntyre, Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) and...
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