National Institute for Newman Studies Hires New Senior Research Fellow
The Board of Trustees is delighted to announce that Shaun Blanchard will join the NINS team as a Senior Research Fellow in July 2021. He comes to us from Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he served as Assistant Professor of Theology. A Chapel Hill, NC, native, his postgraduate degrees are from Oxford (MSt) and Marquette (PhD) Universities. Shaun's research lies at the intersection of theology and history and explores the relationship between Catholicism and the Enlightenment, Vatican II, and the history of reform and doctrinal development from the eighteenth century to the present. He noted, "I draw my theological inspiration from Lodovico Muratori in the eighteenth century, Newman in the nineteenth, and Yves Congar and Josef Ratzinger in the twentieth. Newman in particular is fascinating to me because of his pioneering work on doctrinal development, his loyalty to the papacy while resisting ultramontane excesses, and his historical location between Trent and Vatican II."
Dr. Blanchard's first monograph, The Synod of Pistoia and Vatican II: Jansenism and the Struggle for Catholic Reform (Oxford University Press, 2019), examines a failed eighteenth-century reform movement that anticipated Vatican II. With his Doktorvater, Ulrich Lehner, Shaun is currently co-editing an anthology of Catholic Enlightenment sources in translation (forthcoming with CUA Press, 2021) and is co-authoring a book on Vatican II with Stephen Bullivant for OUP's Very Short Introduction series. At NINS Shaun will compose a monograph on ecclesiology in the English-speaking world, which reinterprets Newman and his age in light of the ecclesiological questions and controversies of the late Enlightenment, for example among the "Cisalpine" British Catholics and their opponents. The book will take an international approach, examining, in addition to Newman, figures like John Carroll in America, Arthur O'Leary in Ireland, Alexander Geddes in Scotland, and John Lingard in England.
Christopher Cimorelli, the Director of NINS, stated, "We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Blanchard to our team. His scholarship is of the highest quality, and his historical expertise will benefit the work and mission of NINS as he carries out an important new research project."
In his role as NINS trustee, Professor Kenneth Parker, Chair of the Catholic Studies Department and Ryan Endowed Chair for Newman Studies at Duquesne University, observed, "The Trustees of NINS are grateful that Dr. Blanchard has agreed to apply his talents to advance NINS's mission to promote the life, work, and influence of Saint John Henry Newman. Shaun's initial research project as Senior Research Fellow will seek to do for Newman's ecclesiological vision what Owen Chadwick did for Newman's work on doctrinal development in From Bossuet to Newman (1957)."
On a personal note, Shaun stated: "I am very excited about joining the dynamic team at NINS, and about experiencing everything the great city of Pittsburgh has to offer. As a lifelong North Carolina fan, I look forward to watching the Tar Heels every time they come to town to play Pitt. My dad, in his old age, has become a fanatical Pittsburgh Pirates fan and has been making every effort to convert me, so maybe he will finally succeed."