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idol, but ultimately proved itself like Frankenstein's famous monster. Bergson and the Pragmatists have helped to clear away the still lingering influences of post-Hegelism, and whatever may be the outcome of these modes of thought, they have at least the merit of being attempts to seek for truth in a way entirely unfettered by previous theory. The latest German cult in this country, prior to the war, was that of Eucken. Eucken's system was, of course, unlike Hegel's but it none the less shares in the same artificiality and in the same domination by a fixed idea. Eucken's obsession is “The Spiritual Life,” a vague term which envelopes human and divine aspects, and is the alpha and the omega of Eucken's philosophy. From a library of somewhat verbose works, only one idea really emerges, “The Spiritual Life,” which serves for everything, and is served by everything. Eucken's views will be obsolete in much less time than it took to dispossess Hegel's influence, but owing to our inveterate hero-worship of German scholarship they attracted great attention and respect in this country at a time when our own thinkers were scantily appreciated. There is no need to multiply examples. A period is now before us when our scholarship will develop apart from the somewhat warping influence of German methods. The question, therefore, arises how we may best utilize it, and construct theology without Germany. In the first place, one must try to discover the reason for the defects which have been exhibited in German scholarship. Partly they lie in racial characteristics, which will not affect us; for the rest, however, there is good reason to believe that the German system of specializing too much and too early is largely to blame.
German universities have encouraged the student to peg out a small claim in the field of knowledge, and attain a minute and intimate acquaintance with it. The British universities have tended to copy the practice. The approved qualification for a thesis to obtain a doctor's degree is often a certain narrowness of knowledge, and students of imperfect general education have been encouraged to specialize, in order even to obtain a bachelor's degree, a highly premature proceeding. The advantages of specialization need not be denied. But they are most manifest in those paths of knowledge which are separated from each other by tolerably clear and definite lines of demarcation. In such branches of learning as medicine, chemistry, engineering, and the like, and even in the study of languages and history, it is fairly easy to allot the specialist his own field, out of which he will not wish to stray, and from which he will not wish to dictate to others in different fields. But in such subjects as theology and philosophy, which have the world for their parish, the place of specialization is much smaller. More than that, in them the lines of division between one part and the next are less distinct, and in consequence immature specialization in these subjects has resulted in much application of the rule of the particular to the universal, and a continual inability to appreciate relative values, or the importance of the part in the scheme of the whole. In such subjects one must stand in the middle of the polygon of truth, and not interpret it from the range of vision afforded by a single angle. It is an open question, therefore, whether the disadvantages of specialization as Germany has practised it, have not overborne its merits. It has produced the shortsightedness which, metaphorically as well as literally,
often characterizes the German student. Hence he fails to see the wood for the trees, or examines the trees under the conviction that they must belong to a certain type of wood. Specialists' blindness has been shown not only in the ignorance of other factors, but in the over-emphasis of those with which the specialist alone is truly familiar. The specialist, moreover, has felt the natural ambition to make himself known; and in Germany nothing has secured this end more rapidly than the promulgation of some daring and eccentric theory. Such theories have been readily provided by the specialist's exaggerated estimate of his own particular subject. The result has been a veritable deluge of theories, hardly any of which have contributed permanently to the increase of knowledge. None the less, they have occupied the time and attention of other scholars, even if only for the purpose of refuting them. Constructive work has suffered in consequence, and time has been wasted in pulling down that which was never worth putting up. We shall probably be wise, therefore, in discouraging a too intensive system of culture, in theology and philosophy especially, and in requiring that the student has a mature training in general knowledge of his subject before he is set to specialize upon a portion of it. The false emphasis, the over-theoreticalness, the ex parte character of so much German scholarship are directly traceable to the practice of setting incompletely developed minds to specialize. In addition, moreover, to a fuller general training, it is necessary to arrange for some system of co-operation and co-ordination amongst men who are specializing on the various parts of any subject, whatever values there may be in specializing, all are dependent upon the work of each fitting into its proper
place in the work of all. Merely to set hundreds of individual students working on separate lines of study, without effective means of collating, correcting and classifying their work, is to invite and receive utter chaos instead of the harmony of knowledge. Whilst this may be difficult of attainment in the case of isolated investigators, it could be much more easily effected in the case of those who are still in touch with their universities; and, after all, they form the majority of our scholars. What our universities lack most is the formation of fellowships of work between their postgraduate students, their older men, and their professors. We teach men together. Having taught them, we leave them to work for themselves, out of touch, save for the voluntary aids of journals, reviews, and societies, with the work of each other. There is surely no reason why the universities should not organize systematic work upon definite lines and invite maturer scholars to take up certain portions of it, and work in a general collaboration, the bond of which would be the university itself, with others who are engaged on similar tasks. As things are at present, every man is a free lance in learning, or, at most, captain or member of his own guerilla band. What might be, is an organized and united army of vast dimensions working each in his own direction, but all to one common aim. Our immediate aim, however, is not the establishment of a new and better system of specialization in work, but to get rid of the results which have accrued largely by reason of former and false methods. For that purpose a period of free, even destructive, criticism is needed; to get rid of many preconceived notions, to pull down that we may afterwards reconstruct. The work of Bergson, the Pragmatists, Personal Idealists, and other “infidels German mentors. It will be recollected that at the beginning of the present century French excavation on the site of Susa discovered a copy of the laws of Hammurabi. The importance of that discovery to Old Testament criticism can scarcely be exaggerated. For one thing, it has certainly dispelled the conclusion,
and heretics” of philosophy, who come forward with no fixed standpoint, and profess no definite theory, certainly has its place in this direction. Like Descartes, these philosophical anarchists doubt everything in order to believe something. Such a neo-Cartesianism is wanted today towards all our accepted views and theories. It is wanted, not because in itself it is to be taken seriously as establishing a new school of thought, but because its very unconventionality will stir fresh developments in other minds. If such influences extend to theological studies so much the better. We shall start afresh, with the freedom the past has gained for the right of research, to make better use of that freedom in the future. Side by side with this it is necessary to emphasize the importance of research work, the work of the excavator and explorer in Biblical countries, of the anthropologist amongst primitive people, of those whose task lies in the fields of the comparative study of religions, ethics, and religious psychology, where the laborers still are few. To encourage direct research is better than to beget critics of the theories of others. As has already been suggested, it is upon these lines rather than upon those of purely literary criticism that the best promise of the future will be fulfilled. Work in all these spheres is comparatively new, but the early results have been exceedingly fruitful. The discoveries among the papyri of Egypt, known and yet neglected for a century in favor of literary criticism, have wholly changed our standpoint regarding the language of the New Testament. Yet these papyri are only as yet collated in part. Work like that of Sir W. Ramsay in Asia Minor has afforded new light, which, in more than one respect, has shown the unsubstantiality of the
favorite hypotheses of our erstwhile Living AGE, Vol. VIII, No. 379.
gained from the theories of the literary
critics, that the Mosaic Code should be dated as posterior to the first great prophets; a fact which not unnaturally somewhat shakes the faith that was once placed in the acumen of these scholars. In saying this, it must be repeated that there is no need to dispute the place, or depreciate the value of the work of literary criticism. It is mentioned merely to show that it is possible to push literary criticism too far, and that German scholarship led the way in making that mistake. The opportunity now occurs to apply the corrective, and, one might also add, to interpret things of the East in a less Occidental manner; for it
can scarcely be denied that the West
ern mode of thought and point of view have been far too apparent for a correct appreciation of Eastern religion, a defect which the over-theoretical character of studies, carried out solely within the narrow courts of German provincial universities, fostered greatly. Possibly in days to come, when a new generation of Christianity arises again in the East, we of the West shall need to sit at their feet, to learn much that from our Western standpoint we cannot see in the faith whose star arose; in the East. As soon as our students in arms return, and our colleges and universities restart, we shall begin that new period, when, apart from German influences so potent in the past, we shall utilize our own methods and guide our own destinies. Criticism of the old methods and search for fresh material will prepare for a future constructive work that shall be truly our own. It is as yet too early to imagine what influence the war will have upon our thought in other directions, but in releasing our thinking from German mental domination, it may certainly prove an unexpected gain, and give our minds an outlook less clouded by theories and fresher by reason of closer contact with fact. Concerning Germany's thought, during the period of isolation, it is useless to speculate. It would not be difficult to make a strong case for the contention that the same national characteristics which have produced the ruthlessness with which Germany has waged war, have, when working in other directions, been the causes of the chief faults of her learning. Theory has been behind The Contemporary Review.
both. “Frightfulness,” for example, is not mere brute cruelty. Behind it is a calculated theory of inspiring terror, based upon utterly faulty psychological premises. As in study so in war, the same error appears in both. If the result of the war brings disillusionment, and breaks up the moulds in which the ideas of the present generation of Germans have been cast, Germany, too, may start afresh to seek a more excellent way. One may, indeed, hope that such will be the case, so that when Germany begins to emerge from the moral Coventry to which she has condemned herself, and once more takes her place in the international temple of learning, she may be able to make a contribution, based on better lines, for the benefit of the commonwealth of human thought. E. S. Waterhouse.
Three years have elapsed since the present war began and if to History it will be known as the greatest ever fought, that distinction is earned not merely by its colossal scale, for there is another aspect of this war which is right in crying halves with it. Few wars were fought about the progress of which so little reliable information was made obtainable as in the present war, thanks to the Press Bureau and the Censorship. Enough, however, has been allowed to see the light of day by men who had access to reliable sources, which would warrant certain lessons being drawn from it.
The primary and the fundamental lesson which this war has to all but those who having eyes see not, is that wars will never cease so long as the present conditions of existence remain what they are. If there is one fact which contemporary history has proved
up to the hilt and experience has thoroughly borne out more than another, it is the inevitability of war as the arbitrator of the nations struggling for freedom or lusting after power and domain. No movement of our day which was ushered in with so much flourish and fanflare and admits the hum of the benedictory chants of all the great powers of the world, has so ignominious and sorry a record as that of the peace movement whose especial embodiment goes by the name of the Hague Conference. Year after year the representatives of the great nations met in solemn conclave at the Hague, vowed their detestation and horror for bloodshed, insisted on solemn and sacred compacts being entered into, and dispersed as heralds of peace into the world. But as each year rolled by the march of time is kept up in every country by the proportionate accumulation in armaments. When reigning monarchs and responsible statesmen express so ardent and anxious a desire for peace, how comes it then that these self-same estimable peace-lovers not only evince but give a practical turn to an equally strong anxiety not to be outrun in the race for armament-piling? And strange as it may seem it is these peace-conferences that have given the elan to the armament-race, for since the first peace-conference at Hague there has been a rapid and overwhelming increase of armaments in nearly every autonomous country in the west, and with it a corresponding change of the popular mind. In short an era of armed peace was ushered in. It should not however be forgotten that the principle underlying this lifeless organization was most commendable and that if the decisions of those who were sincere in their desire for peace could not influence the opinion of the others, it was because the organization lacked authority. Diplomatist and military and naval experts played with it endeavoring to wring from it concessions favorable to their prearranged ideas of waging war, and it had no police or other forces to bring the delinquents to book or enforce peace otherwise. The fact of the matter is that when self-interest is at stake or rules in a nation, sacred pledges and solemn engagements go to winds and the issues of the nation's destiny are committed to war. It cannot be gainsaid that national self-interest takes precedence of all other considerations. Has not England set all international law and morality at defiance when its existence was at stake during the great French War? How were the South African and the Russo-Japanese wars brought about? The Balkan war has exploded the peace theory advanced by Mr. Nor
man Angell and others that wars would not be resorted to as hitherto, for settlement of international disputes. That Governments and people are no longer actuated by motives of self-interest and aggrandizement and that justice and common sense and unselfishness are now the prime factors which govern the actions of the powers, the one towards the other, are all theories that were accepted before the commencement of the above war. For a time all eyes in the Christian world were riveted in admiration on the Allies joining issues in a common cause to fight a common foe, namely the Turk, and to free the Christian world from the yoke of the Turk. The sacrifices each state made for the collective good pointed to the spirit of brotherhood which reigned among them. The victories of the Allies were watched and followed with great interest and concern, and the final triumph or the vindication of the liberty of the Christian people in Turkey, as it was called, was received with jubilation by the public in England. But the tale is not all told. The disillusionment did not take long to come and so much heroism had so sordid an ending. The Allies soon found themselves in internecine conflict, with the result that Bulgaria had lost all she had gained. Thus human nature reasserted itself and self-interest made itself conspicuous and prevailed; jealousy, greed, avarice and all the concomitants in the train of materialism, the idol of the west, showed, what hold they had on the votaries of their mistress. In the face of these instances, is it not futile to try to maintain that men and nations have ceased to be actuated by considerations of self-interest? The idealist and the pacifist may cry themselves hoarse and build their castles of vision, but those who are engaged in the practical affairs of the world