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HUMANITIES 413 society (the implicit claim in allusions to Tiirkerei demands explicit justification), partly because of specific worries. Was not a feeling that the threat was diffused a precondition, not a result, of 'persising'? Miller's assertions about the social decline of the sleeved chiton and ependytes are not explicitly demonstrated by detailed discussion. The Odeion was 'a monument whose referent (Achaemenid hypostyle halls) gave it meaning and purpose'-but Miller's exposition does not pin down that meaning and purpose. (Exactly who was to be impressed, and how, by a hypostyle hall over 36oo square metres in area with a roof deviating from both Achaemenid and Greek models and a merely contingent connection with music making?) A sharper expository distinction should have been drawn between fashion and the historian's use of fashion to get at the collective psyche. In short, Miller's book is the start of an important debate. (CHRISTOPHER TUPLIN) Paul Gooch. Reflections on Jesus and Socrates: Word and Silence Yale University Press 1996. xii, 308. us$40.00 No normal person can live reflectively without making some decision about Jesus' life-changing command, 'Follow me!' No one can be called educated who has not thoughtfully responded to Socrates' famous assertion that the unexamined life is not worth living. What links Jesus and Socrates in our imagination is much more than a comparison of their lives and doctrines. It is the recognition that each one calls us to a life both difficult and pure, together with the nagging suspicion that it may not be the same life. Quod vitae sectabor iter?- what path shall I follow in life?- is surely the question that one would expect to dominate any comparative treatment of these two figures. Therein lies a disappointment in reading Paul Gooch's in other ways admirablebook. However acute the comparisons, however telling the contrasts, Socrates and Jesus live parallel lives in these pages, their separate claims upon us neither fully distinguished nor reconciled. The chief merit of this book lies in the unconventional similarities and differences to which Gooch points. He is right, for instance, to emphasize the religious character of Socrates' life and mission. His picture of Socrates as an archetypal religious martyr is novel and convincing. The title of chapter: 3, 'Word and Silence,' also serves as the subtitle of the book, and this chapter contains some of what is best in it. The author is able to show that Jesus, whom StJohn calls 'the Word,' is actually marked by silence- particularly, but not exclusively, in death- while it is Socrates who uses words to master both life and death. Gooch then reveals how the meaning of Socratic eloquence is akin to the meaning of Jesus' silence, both reflecting an unconditional obedience to a divine imperative. 414 LEITERS IN CANADA 1997 In subsequent chapters Gooch probingly examines his subjects' attitudes to prayer, love, body, death, and afterlife. His discussion of what he calls 'indirection'- Socrates' elenctic questioning and Jesus' parables- is full of judicious observations. Readers who wish to extend their own reflections on these figures will find many helpful pointers in Gooch's essay. One help they will not find is footnotes, an abstention which the author says was forced upon him by the very 'measurelessness' of the literature dealing with both figures. This now fashionable approach to writing philosophy has its benefits- it lightens the writer's scholarly load. But it makes correspondingly greater demands upon his style. Without them he must labour from cover to cover just to say things well, refusing the help of others who may have said them better. That burden is increased in Gooch's case by his subject- figures whose luminous profundity puts even the best writing in the shade. I found not a single typographical error from cover to cover of this wellproduced book. There are, however, stylistic flaws that more vigilant editors could easily have corrected. A pervasive tone of avuncular condescension mars the book. 'Think a little more about that,' we are told. We are instructed about what to 'take seriously,' what to 'stay with,' what to 'ignore/ where to 'begin,' and when to 'lookback.' Differently irritating are the innumerable prospective...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 413-414
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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