Open main menu

Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/192

This page needs to be proofread.

1 68 Reviews.

observed either directly in relation to agriculture or in honour of agricultural divinities.

We regret that we have no space for more than tliis meagre outline of an argument conducted with much skill, and, in its main lines, with success. It is well worth the close attention of all who are interested in the problems offered by the long and still obscure history of civilisation. The book is not in the market ; but the author, who puts forward his argument at present in a tentative form, is anxious for criticism and assistance by fellow- workers, and he will be glad to communicate with any such who will address him through Mr. Max Schmidt, bookseller, of Liibeck.

Origines Judaic.^. An Inquiry into Heathen Faiths as affecting the birth and growth of judaism. by W. F. Cobb. London : A. D. Innes & Co., 1895.

Dr. Cobb's main thesis is stated in the fourth chapter, which deals with the evolution of the religious idea. He claims that the belief lying at the base of the heathen religions known to us is not fetishism, nor monotheism, but menotheism. Menotheism he explains as "that belief which sees One Eternal Spirit dwelling behind phenomena and manifesting Himself through them. It differs from Fetishism as the universal differs from the particular ; it differs from Polytheism as unity differs from multeity ; it differs from Henotheism in that it excludes the existence of any potential rivals ; it differs from Monotheism because it has not the marks of clear-cut personality and transcendental existence which are denoted by the higher term ; and, lastly, it differs from Pantheism because it does not blur the dividing line between the personality of the God that is worshipped and that of his worshipper, as Pantheism necessarily does " (p. 84). He has no difficulty in what he describes as "the bold step of summarily rejecting the doctrine which has become so popular lately in England under the teaching especially of Max Miiller." The step is not in fact so bold as Dr. Cobb seems to think ; since the doctrine in question, founded exclusively on the consideration of Aryan philology and Aryan traditions and litera- ture, has been completely riddled by Mr. Andrew Lang's criticisms, and is now afenerallv nhnndoned as untenable. Dr. Cobb dis-