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humanities 247 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 tor. But the fact is that they have frequently been polarized, and opposed to each other. Taylor=s second chapter focuses on melancholy and James=s >religion of the twice-born,= the religion of >sick souls, who must be twice-born in order to be happy.= Acquainted with evil, some people (Tolstoy and Bunyan, for example) go through hell and, in Taylor=s words, >come out the other side.= In contrast to the >sick souls,= James invokes the cheerful >healthy-minded,= for whom (I quote James), >the way of the sick soul seems unmanly and diseased. With their grubbing in rat-holes instead of living in the light; with their manufacture of fears, and preoccupation with every unwholesome kind of misery, there is something almost obscene about these children of wrath and cravers of a second birth.= Prompted by Taylor=s vigorous little book, a series of lectures delivered in 2000 at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, I turn again to James. Buddhism and Christianity >are essentially religions of deliverance: the man must die to an unreal life before he can be born into the real life.= Is James=s >real life= related to Taylor=s idea of >authentic= life? Jesus says to Nicodemus, >except a man be born again [gennethe anothen, literally >born from above=], he cannot see the kingdom of God= (John 3:3). Nicodemus doesn=t get is; so Jesus says, >Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit [pneumatos], he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.= >People go on feeling a sense of unease at the world of unbelief,= Taylor writes: >some sense that something big, something important has been left out, some level of profound desire has been ignored, some greater reality outside us has been closed off.= If by a leap of faith someone does establish a >collective connecton= to >some greater reality,= can he or she be >authentic=? By >the culture of authenticity= Taylor means >the understanding of life tht emerged with the Romantic expressivism of the late eighteenth century, that each of us has his or her won way of realizing one=s own humanity, and that it is important to find and live out one=s own, as against surrendering to conformity with a model imposed from outside, by society, or the previous generation, or religious or political authority.= William James stands on the threshold, >the flip-over point= between belief and unbelief. Taylor regards him as >our great philosopher of the cusp. He tells us more than anyone else about what it=s like to stand in that open space and feel the winds pulling you now here, now there. He describes a crucial site of modernity. (LINDA MUNK) David Beasley. McKee Rankin and the Heyday of the American Theater Wilfrid Laurier University Press. xvii, 520. $39.95 To be a prominent man-of-the-theatre in America between the Civil War and the First World War was to be at both the heart and the margins of a burgeoning public culture. The life of Canadian-born McKee Rankin, 248 letters in canada 2002 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 matinee idol, character actor, director, playwright, entrepreneur, provides a fascinating model of this duality. Born in 1844 on a border, near Windsor, Ontario, facing Detroit, while his father was in England promoting a Wild West show, Rankin straddled geographical, national, and ethnic borders as well as turning points in social and political history. Part Shawnee, Rankin played not only ethnic roles (Native, Irish, Arab, Jewish, Chinese) in burlesque houses and vaudeville but also romantic leads in Westerns such as his principal vehicle, The Danites. Rankin turned to theatre instead of enlisting in the Union Army in 1863. Three years later he ran into the actor John Wilkes Booth shortly before Booth assassinated President Lincoln in a theatre. After the murder Rankin became possessed of Booth=s wardrobe. David Beasley=s biography presents the intense, if self-sabotaging, Rankin in copiously detailed terms. Yet despite lists of nearly every performance, and legal and financial imbroglio, and speculations...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 247-249
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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