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Ward, Wilfrid Philip


British author and Catholic apologist; b. Ware, Hertfordshire, England, Jan. 2, 1856; d. London, April 9, 1916. Ward's father, William George ward, was one of the leaders of the the oxford movement. Wilfrid attended Ushaw College, Durham, and the Gregorian University in Rome before being appointed lecturer in philosophy (1890) at Ushaw and a member of the royal commission on Irish university education (1901). In 1906 he was named editor of the dublin review, which thereafter carried influential discussions of Catholic ideas and national events. Ward visited the U.S. in 1913 and 1915 to deliver the Lowell lectures in Boston, and to tour the country lecturing on Cardinal John Henry Newman, Cardinal Herbert Vaughn, and Alfred Tennyson. Ward was buried on the Isle of Wight, where his family had long been landed gentry. His widow was Josephine Mary Hope-Scott, whom he had married in 1887.

Ward was equally noted for his biographical studies and his interpretations of contemporary British Catholicism. Among his works were a two-volume biography of his father, William George Ward and the Oxford Movement (1889) and William George Ward and the Catholic Revival (1893), The Life and Times of Cardinal Wiseman (1897), and Aubrey de Vere (1904). Ward's most important book was his monumental two-volume Life of Newman (1912), a product of seven years' research that helped win wider acceptance of Newman's thought.

In addition to recreating the Oxford Movement in these biographies, Ward exerted a moderating influence in the midst of the contemporary controversy over Modernism. Attributing past rigidity of thought to the "state of siege" that had prevailed in the English church since the Reformation, he argued that it was now possible to incorporate new theories into Scholasticism. Relying heavily on Newman's theory of development, Ward's ideas afforded an alternative to Modernism that proved attractive, even to non-Catholic intellectuals. Ward capitalized upon this and his wide-ranging friendships to found (1896) the Synthetic Society to promote dialogue by Catholics with Anglicans and Nonconformists.

Bibliography: m. ward, The Wilfrid Wards and the Transition (New York 1934). s. leslie, The Dictionary of National Biography From the Earliest Times to 1900 (London 191221) 552553.

[j. l. morrison]

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