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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/89

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Reviews. 67

king, or the sanctity of and veneration for human victims, Hke the Meriah, who are neither priests nor kings — remains for a closer examination by other inquirers.

An exposition of savage theories of a future Hfe, including a keen analysis of the Egyptian, the Hindu, and the Pythagorean doctrines of Transmigration, paves the way for an account of the Mysteries, to which are dedicated two of the most interesting and valuable chapters of the book. For collecting and piecing together the scattered notices which half-reveal and half-conceal the subjects, and for pouring over them the unifying and vivifying flood of anthropological learning, few indeed are so well fitted as Dr. Jevons. And he has given us what we might expect : the first fairly complete and trustworthy account of a movement without which, historically speaking, the spread of Christianity would have been impossible. What he has not given us, because it was not within the scope of his work, but what is of prime importance for the student of religions, is the relations of the Mysteries to Chris- tianity. Dr. Anrich's work is useful ; but there is yet much to be done before the obscure and difficult questions of these relations can be held to be satisfactorily answered.

Into the psychological arguments and theological conclusion of the final chapter it does not become us to enter here. One observa- tion of a general character may be made in bringing to an end this very inadequate notice. The inextricable involution of the pro- blems of religion and civilisation becomes more and more apparent the more we inquire into the past of our race. Dr. Jevons has, of course, recognised this, as every trained anthropologist must, and has been enabled by means of religion to account for important steps in the long progress of humanity. Nor has the converse influence of social and political causes upon religion escaped him. We wish he had made even larger use of considerations quite detached from religion, as religion is apprehended in modern and civilised Hfe. His argument, for example, on the disintegration of totemism would, it seems to us, have been greatly strengthened by considering the influence of mother-right in those communities where, though the kinship is reckoned through females, the father is the head of the family, and a true patriarchate is in course of evolution, or perchance in decay. Moreover, a most important inquiry, and one affecting the very foundations of his system, is, What preceded the recognition by primitive man of kinship, and how did that recognition come about ?

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