Thomas Allies, John Henry Newman and providentialist history
History of European Ideas
248 - 265
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Please cite this item using this persistent URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/11693/21456
This article discusses and evaluates the historiographical workof a leading Oxford convert and Ultramontane, Thomas Allies (1813-1903). An evaluation of Allies by the criteria of the Ultramontane scholarship he endeavoured to practise allows the article to offer an illustration of the difficulty in establishing and maintaining an autonomous Catholic scholarship during the nineteenth century's secularising development of academic activity. It also allows substantial description of the patterns of nineteenth-century Catholic historical thought, noting the strength of its commitment to providentialism and, in particular, its apocalyptic character. An examination of the influences brought to bear on the subject's thought during the formative period of his development as an historian, through his own study and his close friendship with John Henry Newman, indicates the reasons for Allies's ultimate failure either to create a clear and stimulating product of the Ultramontane historical vision or to achieve an academic or popular reputation as an historian. The article argues that an unresolved conflict, between Allies's inclination towards a providentialist historiography consistent with his commit- ment to a Catholic counter-culture and his willingness to accept, under Newman's guidance, contemporary secular historiographical norms, offers substantial explanation of this failure. © 2012 Taylor & Francis.