Studies in Comparative Religion
The First English Journal on Traditional Studies - established 1963
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New Books

summarized by J. C. Cooper

Source: Studies in Comparative Religion, Vol. 5, No. 1. (Winter, 1971) © World Wisdom, Inc.

God's First Love. Friedrich Heer. (Weidenfeld and Nicolson. £4.50). The dedication of this work reads: "This book, by an Austrian Catholic, is dedicated to the Jewish, Christian and non-Christian victims of the Austrian Catholic, Adolf Hitler". In some five hundred pages the history of Jew-hatred and Jew-killing is traced from the influence of St. Paul and St. Augustine to Martin Luther and on to our own times. Christianity is warned that if it is to survive it must return to its theological origins; it should be rooted in the Jewish tradition unless it is to be a dying tree, cut off from its roots, just as Judaism cannot ignore its Mosaic roots and yet survive.

Two paper-backs have appeared on the subject of psychology, one a large volume edited by D. S. Wright and Ann Taylor and containing contributions by the Editors as well as D. Roy Davies, W. Sluckin, S. G. M. Lee and J. T. Reason; each article dealing with some specific concepts or the results of experiments. It is a manual of experimental psychology, largely concerned with work done in Britain in the branch of cognitive psychology and forms an excellent introduction to the subject. Its title is Introducing Psychology, and it is published by Penguin at £1.00. The other is Behavior Therapy in Clinical Psychiatry, by V. Meyer and Edward S. Chesser, also published by Penguin, at 75p. Behavior therapy, which is based on the assumption that that which has been wrongly-learned and caused mental disturbance can be re-learned and corrected, is in direct opposition to other psychological theories such as Freudian psycho-sexualism and the Jungian unconscious, with their psychoanalysis, and to the thinking of the existentialists. It also does not attempt to explain the whole psychic constitution of man, but has as its primary aim ‘the modification of behavior rather than an understanding of it’.

The Regency Press have published a paperback, at 15p, Youth Holds the Key, by H. W. Heason. Written in a somewhat disjointed style, it, nevertheless, contains much sound sense and timely warning. In a world torn by economic crises, unrest, rebellion, violence, wars, a rising tide of criminality and mental disorder, man is more uncertain of the future and unable to control the present than ever before, but he must realise that he is in possession of many tools other than the purely physical. The rebellions of youth merely tend to increase the already existing tensions. “The very worst thing that theologians can do” in trying to cure these ills, “is to try to bring religion ‘down to earth’.” Man's alienation from nature is the cause of much of his discontent.

A Chime of Windbells. A Year of Japanese Haiku in English Verse. Published by C. E. Tuttle and Co., in Japan, is a translation of Japanese poems by Harold Stewart, an Australian poet, living in Japan, who attributes the considerable interest shown in haiku (which has been defined as an expression of the "ah-ness of things") to the distaste for the "cult of solipsistic obscurity and cacophonous experimentation" of modern poets, and the desire amongst many people, in a science-worshipping age, for "something more lively and colorful than a biochemical formula". The book of poems is attractively presented, with beautiful and profuse illustrations and there are essays appended by the author, giving the traditional background of the poems.

Original editorial inclusion that followed the essay in Studies:
How can a Contact with God be in any way described? It is not seeing, but meeting and fusion with awareness. The soul retaining her own individuality and consciousness to an intense degree, but imbued with and fused into a life of incredible intensity, which passes through the soul vitalities and emotions of a life so new, so vivid, so amazing, that she knows not whether she has been embraced by love or by fire, by joy or by anguish: for so fearful is her joy that she is almost unable to endure the might of it.
From: The Golden Fountain.

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