Newman Louis Israel - Jewish influence on Christian reform movements

Author : Newman Louis Israel
Title : Jewish influence on Christian reform movements
Year : 1925

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One of the most fascinating of all studies is that which deals with the influence exercised by one civilization, by one race, by one religion upon another. The world is one; but the various trains by which this unity is preserved are not always perceived with ease. They are interwoven in so intricate a fashion that to find them is often a matter of mu ch difficulty. This process of finding requires a wide-reading, infinite care, a well-balanced sense of proportion and the ability to distinguish between the seeming and the real. ln the following study, Dr. Newman deals with the question of the amount of Jewish influence that there is to be found exercised upon Christian Reform Movements. The subject is a very rich one; it can not be dealt with entirely in one volume. Dr. Newman, therefore, has selected a number of movements within the Church as specimens of this influence-sorne of them previous to the Reformation, others posterior. To mention only the Catharist movement, that of the Passagii, of the Hussites, and the revolts led by Zwingli and Michael Servetus, is to give a faint idea of the wealth of the material which Dr. Newman has brought together for the attention of scholars. In addition to these definite subjects-confined, for the most part, within the period beginning with the eleventh and ending with the sixteenth centuries-Dr. Newman has a good deal to say concerning the Inquisition and the Index, especially in their relation to Jewish life and to Jewish thought. He deals even with certain aspects of American Puritanism. One may not always agree with the conclusions at which Dr. Newman arrives, or one may wish to reserve judgment; but in every topic with which he deals, he has gone to the ultimate sources; and in laying his material clearly be fore us and in th us making it possible for us to form our own opinion, he has rendered a valuable service to the study of medieval religious thought. RICHARD GOTTHEIL Columbia University, June 9, I925. ...

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