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242BOOK REVIEWS what use there is in having an absolute requirement, seeing that no one fulfils it, that the absolute has become the impractical, the foolish, hence they invert the situation, seek the fault in the requirement and become themselves the requirers, requiring that the requirement be changed (SelfExamination . . . 168). To reintroduce Christianity into Christendom, Kierkegaard says that imitation (of Christ) must be introduced. The extreme form would not be readily accepted, so the mildest way to introduce it is so that it exerts pressure to bring doubt to silence and administer a little justice upon existences. Only he may advance doubts whose life bears the impress of imitation, or whose life has got so far out that there could be a question of his becoming a Christian (5elf-Examination ... 205) . Thus it seems blind faith is to stifle the doubts and disputes of interpretation, and some undetermined form of suffering and humiliation (not to be considered a good work!) is to bring about a contemporaneousness with the absolute, an imitation of the life of Christ. All of this is fundamentally the appeal: "Zurück zu Luther!" In the doctrine of the absolute there is an echo of Hegel, although Kierkegaard disagreed with the Hegelian synthesis which subordinated faith to reason in the highest development of the absolute. Fr. Philotheus Bonner classes Kierkegaard among the "wisdom philosophers" because his main interest is centered in man and his concrete relations to God, man, and the universe. His method is a reiterated pursuit of the same topic each time from a different angle; the method of digression and unceasing circulation around the one idea ("The Spirit of Franciscan Philosophy," in: Franciscan Studies, 1942, pp. 225-226). Some passages of Kierkegaard are beautiful and inspiring. Much of his own life is reflected in his discourses which disclose a soul struggling to find God. In his effort to recall Christians to a deeper and a more sincere Christianity, Sören Kierkegaard gave expression to a message that Protestant theologians are trying to bring before their own church members, a generation of Christians in need of the challenging assertion of the Danish writer: "It is in likeness to Christ's life here upon earth that I along with every Christian must strive to construct my life." Basil Heiser, O.F.M. Conv. Our Lady of Carey Seminary, Carey, Ohio. Vladimir Solovyev's Lectures on Godmanhood. Translated with an Introduction by Peter P. Zouboff. (New York: International University Press, 1944. Pp. 233. $3.75.) Vladimir Solovyev, Russian philosopher, theologian, mystic and poet, was born January 16, 1853, in Moscow and died August 31, 1900. Until his conversion to the Roman Catholic Church, he worked enthusiastically for the reunion of the Western with the Eastern Church. He has been styled the Newman of Russian. Solovyev's writings were collected by his friends and followers and BOOK REVIEWS243 published in one complete edition: nine volumes of philosophic and théologie works, three volumes of correspondence, one volume of poetry. The twelve Lectures on Godmanhood were given in St. Petersburg. They were so popular that the large hall in the university was always crowded. He published them in 1878. Mr. Zouboff has translated these lectures into English. He prefaced the text with three chapters of Introduction. In the first chapter he gives a short life of Solovyev. He still leans to the non-Catholic opinion that Solovyev died in communion with the Orthodox church, even though it is historically certain that he became a Catholic on Feb. 18, 1896 — just fifty years ago, by the way. That he received the last Sacraments from an Orthodox priest is due to the fact that a Roman priest could not be had. It is lawful in such circumstances to receive from a duly ordained Orthodox priest. Solovyev died four years after his conversion. That he did become a Catholic is important. In fairness to him, editions of his works should contain footnotes evaluating the doctrines incompatible with his later Catholic faith. In the second chapter Mr. Zouboff treats the background of Solovyev's ideas, namely, Slavophilism. Solovyev, until his conversion, was a pronounced pan-Slav; however, he was always an opponent of...


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