The Newman Association, Aggiornamento and Post-War Catholicism

  • Clifford Williamson
Part of the Histories of the Sacred and Secular, 1700-2000 book series (HISASE)


From 1945 until the mid-1960s, the Newman Association, the graduate arm of the Federation of University Catholic Student Societies, became the most important focus of Catholic Action amongst the educated laity in the Archdiocese of Glasgow. The Association took its name from Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801–1890), the leader of the Oxford Movement in the Church of England and subsequent convert to Catholicism. Newman championed reform not just within the Church of England but also after his conversion in 1845 within the Catholic Church. Newman’s example was crucial to the self-image and identity of the Association. The development of the Glasgow Circle of the Newman Association highlights both the themes of this work. It reflects the changing character of the Catholic Church in Scotland and in particular puts into sharp focus the period in which concern about the image of the church collided with changing attitudes towards the church by the laity and society in general. The Newman Association, although it has a strong sense of Scottish Catholic identity, was also part of a broader international movement that had a clearly defined role in post-war Catholic culture.


Local Circle Vatican Council Catholic Community Pope John XXIII Catholic Action 
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© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clifford Williamson
    • 1
  1. 1.Bath Spa UniversityBathUK

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