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Full text of "[untitled] The Journal of Religion, (1921-03-01), pages 217-218"

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Many may chide the author for not utilizing the methods and the con- 
cepts of the "new psychology" and thus attempting explanation as well 
as bare description and analysis. No one, however, can give careful 
study to the volume without realizing that, within the limits it sets itself, 
it offers a rarely judicious treatment of the more fundamental aspects 
of the religious life and that, in addition, it presents not a few contribu- 
tions of permanent value. 

Edward L. Schaub 
Northwestern University 


Dr. Enelow, one of the rabbis of Emanuel Temple, New York City, 
has made a notable addition to a small class of comparatively recent 
books by distinguished Jewish authors contributing to the better under- 
standing of Jesus. It ought to be expected that light would come from 
the long line of devout scholars, kinsmen of the great prophets of Israel 
and modernized heirs of the Jewish thought-world in which Jesus lived 
and taught. 

The spirit of the author is finely expressed in the words from the 
closing paragraph: 

Who can compute all that Jesus has meant to humanity? The love he 
has inspired, the solace he has given, the good he has engendered, the hope and 
joy he has kindled — all that is unequalled in human history. 

Yet the author feels that of course no Jew could accept the divinity of 
Jesus; neither does he find in Jesus any realization of the ideas associated 
in the Jewish mind with the Messiah. The Jewish idea of the messianic 
age is "a period of human perfection and peace." "Such a period not 
only failed to commence with Jesus but to this day it has not come." 

One of the best points in the book is its repeated emphasis of the 
"personal element" in Jesus' teaching. Most Jewish teachers "from 
the prophets down" "were interested in principles, in doctrines, in 
ideals," while Jesus spoke from the standpoint of his own religious 
experience. While Moses spoke of the "God of your fathers", Jesus 
always spoke of "his own God, his own Father." "The prophets were 
friends of the poor," "Jesus not only championed the poor, he lived 
their life; he not only pitied sinners but mingled with them." 

In a book of this size the author naturally could not indicate the 
extent to which he had based his conclusions on an intensive critical 

' A Jewish View of Jesus. By H. G. Enelow. New York: Macmillan, 1920. 
181 pages. 


study of the gospels. There are several places where many New Testa- 
ment scholars would question his conclusions. For instance, the oldest 
sources do not seem to warrant his supposition that the same group 
hailed Jesus as a hero upon his arrival in Jerusalem and a few days later 
applauded his crucifixion. 

It is a historical fact that the personality of Jesus has been the 
channel through which a unique abundance of morally redemptive 
power from the unseen world has poured into the Uves of multitudes in 
many nations. Dr. Enelow's book contributes something to the explana- 
tion of this fact, but it is nevertheless chiefly valuable as a fresh challenge 
to Jewish and Christian scholars to prosecute the inquiry still further 
and state the results in terms of modern thought. 

Edward I. Bosworth 
Oberun Graduate School op Reugion 


ReUgions flourish and die; reUgion remains and changes, for religion 
is a fimction of life. As a vital relationship of sympathy and co-operation 
with those cosmic realities in which man feels his life and destiny to be 
involved, religion must grow and change with the developing life of 
man. During the last fifty years there has been a rapid enlargement 
of human vision. The technique and method of science, the evolutionary 
world-view, the social ideal of democracy, the dream of economic freedom, 
the hope of international co-operation — these are the sources of the new 
reUgious ideaUsm. Within the boundaries of the old religious institutions 
and theologies it is no longer possible to embody this new life of the 
spirit. Yet the established reUgions are conservative, resisting change, 
even while Ufe flows on and away from them and this attitude seems 
to the fervent champion of the new vision of life to be a betrayal of 
truth — the great refusal. He finds it difficult to be tolerant of a too 
tenacious past. Three recent publications' attempt to present the new 
meaning of religion, yet with patient appreciation of the past. 

Edward Carpenter reads our human story as a slow development of 
consciousness from the non-self-conscious life of the prehistoric group, 
through the tragic stage of self-consciousness which created our modern 

^ Pagan and Christian Creeds. By Edward Carpenter. New York: Harcourt, 
Brace and Howe, 1920. 319 pages. The Social Evolution of Religion. By George 
Willis Cooke. Boston: The Stratford Press, 1920. xxiv-l-416 pages. $3.50. 
Some Religious Implications of Pragmatism. By Joseph Roy Geiger. Chicago: 
University of Chicago Press, 1919. 54 pages. $0,50.