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240BOOK REVIEWS with the general remark: "He learned first to think of the nature of spiritual substance, and this was practically all he learned from Neo-Platonism" (p. 67). While Professor Bourke does qualify this in a footnote, most authors would agree that Augustine received much more from PÍotinus than is here conceded. Nor would I consider necessary the concern shown for the place of Angels between man and God in the hierarchy of being (pp. 93; 95; 112; 121). That there is nothing, other than God, above the human soul is plainly admitted by Saint Bonaventare as well as Saint Augustine because both consider the soul and the Angel on a par as images of God and therefore direct subjects of divine action (cf. S. Bonaventare, // Sent., d. 16, a. 2, q. 1, II, 401-402). — Finally, it does not seem accurate terminology to identify (p. 55) the mystical and the supernatural, so as to speak of the supernaturalism of Neo-Platonism, at least if one would use that theological term in its strict and proper sense. Ignatius Brady, O.F.M. Duns Scotus College, Detroit, Michigan. Training in Christianity. By Sôren Kierkegaard. Translated by Walter Lowrie. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1944. Pp. 275. $3.00). For Self-Examination and Judge for Yourselves. By Sôren Kierkegaard. Translated by Walter Lowrie. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1944. Pp. 243. $2.50). In recent years a dozen or more works of Sôren Kierkegaard (18131855 ) (rhymes with "gore") have been translated into English. This current interest in the Protestant theologian of Denmark may be explained by the fact that Kierkegaard sharply rebuked the decadent Christianity of his generation, and the remedy he indicated is thought to be the specific for the evils of our own time. From 1536 to 1852 Lutheranism was the Established Church in Denmark. The initial strength of the Reformation in Denmark had greatly diminished before the middle of the nineteenth century. Although the majority of the people were Protestants, even the faith was being discarded with the good works. Kirkegaard was born at Copenhagen. He studied theology at the University and although he was never ordained a minister, he often preached sermons in church. He wrote a great many articles which appeared in the papers, and various discourses which were published in book form. In his writings Kierkegaard declares over and over again that he has one thesis: "Christianity no longer exists"; hence he has one task: "to reintroduce Christianity into Christendom" (Training in Christianity, p. 39). There is Elenty of Sunday twaddle, he says, about Christianity's priceless truths, ut it is only too evident that Christ, the Sign of Offence and the Object of Faith has become the most romantic of all fabulous figures. Christianity came into the world as the absolute, and to become a Christian, to become contemporary with the absolute, a man must endure sufferings in imitation of the Pattern (Training ... p. 67). BOOK REVIEWS241 In the spring of 1848 Kierkegaard experienced a profound realization of the forgiveness of sin which made him sure that his whole nature was changed (Training ... p. v) . Hence we find him insisting that man must learn by die torments of a contrite heart to enter by the narrow way through the consciousness of sin into Christianity (Training ... p. 72). Just as Christ opposed the established order and the Pharisees took offence, so today the established order takes offence at the individual, because the established order has deified itself and demands that all individuals shall be subject to it in their God-relationship. The established order insisting upon outwardness is devoid of inwardness (Training . . . p. 92-93). And it is by hidden inwardness that the true Christian is characterized — according to the established order (Training ... 210 sq.). Kierkegaard acknowledges that although the errors of the Middle Ages (concerning good works, fasting, etc.) were great, its conception of Christianity (the monastic-ascetic type) was decisively superior to that of the nineteenth century, because the Middle Ages conceived of Christianity with a view to action, life, the transformation of personal existence (For Self-Examination . . .p. 201 sq.). Luther showed it was impossible to merit heaven by good...


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