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134 BOOK REVIEWS tained a world, and the moral significance of historical study is in repossessing and re-constructing the world we have inherited. The Philosophy of History is an engaging book, and I find myself in sympathy with its fundamental direction. Miller's emphasis on "free act proposing systematic consequences accounts for both the originality of historical undertakings and the limits to this originality. And, in considering the historian, he keeps a balance between creative story-telling and proper fidelity to the past. Two failings mar the book, however. In many instances, I yearned for definitions of fundamental terms like truth, fact, cause, motive, and action. Obviously such terms are forever slippery, but it should be possible to make them clear enough to avoid misunderstanding. The other problem is that many essays in the book make sense only as responses to authors who would disagree with its positions. These opponents are never presented in detail-a weakness which has a bearing on clarity and effectiveness. Frustration with these aspects of The Philosophy of History was what led me initially to look into the other two books, where definitions and contexts are much more in evidence. Professor Miller would almost certainly have brought The Philosophy of History to a similar completion had he lived, and it is regrettable that we no longer have access to his abundant wisdom. La Salle College Philadelphia, Pa. MICHAEL J. KERWIN 1'he Goethezeit and the Metamorphosis of Theology in the .Age of Idealism. By DONALD J. DIETRICH. Las Vegas: Peter D. Lang, 1979. Pp. 261. No price given. Because there are so few studies available in English of Roman Catholic theological ideas and currents in the nineteenth century, this book is a welcome contribution. The author sets for himself the period-roughly the Goethezeit-from the late 1700's to 1848. The author recognizes that this period has more than purely historical interest, and he occasionally points out theological connections with Vatican II and with the theologians of the Council and the postconciliar period. The book begins with the discussion of how Roman Catholicism can enter a period of renewal, a period both stimulated by and in opposition to the Enlightenment. It then goes on to treat people-Hermes, Sailer, Drey, Moehler, Staudenmaier, Kuhn, Hircher, Guenther--within the framework of large theological issues: God and the ways of knowing, BOOK REVIEWS 135 ecclesiology, revelation, and theology and politics. The book contains a wealth of information. The notes are extensive and present new published and unpublished works. Dietrich works at explaining the religious background of the figures and has had to acquaint himself with the highly speculative theological systems of a half-dozen difficult Teutons. Some sections are quite enlightening, for instance, a comparison of Moehler and Staudenmaier on tradition. The book was originally a dissertation and like most dissertations it has its limitations and its exuberances. There is a certain lack of feeling for exactly how the German intellectual world after 1795 differed from the world before it. Dietrich rightly understands that this period was " romantic idealism " and that it not only flowed out of certain aspects of Enlightenment but replaced them. The title has a nice ring to it, but is it really helpful to characterize this period in Catholic theology as having to do with the great philosopher-poet who was very unsympathetic to the new union of romanticism and Roman Catholicism 7 True, the period extends over Goethe's professional lifetime but it does not really represent very much that is derived from him. Sometimes the author seems to wander geographically and chronologically : it is difficult to study both Austrian and German figures in the same book; Hermes is treated before Sailer notwithstanding the fact that intellectually Hermes belongs to a world existing after Sailer (though admittedly he has Kant as his intellectual mentor). I agree with the author's delineation of how romanticism and idealism (with Roman Catholic and Enlightenment roots in the background) form this period. Nevertheless, at times an older interpretative framework intrudes itself, namely one that makes Schleiermacher central. The author tends to identify Schleiermacher with normal romantic theology. (This is precisely what the history of theo...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2473-3725
Print ISSN
0040-6325
Pages
pp. 134-136
Launched on MUSE
2017-05-15
Open Access
No
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