Ideas of God in the Religions of the World

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    Abstract

    DR. FARNELL'S title is reminiscent of the lofty flights of Scholastic or Puritan divines, but his actual mode of procedure is at once more modest and more modern. It is, in fact, the historical and comparative method which he has already so successfully employed in his “Greece and Babylon” and “The Evolution of Religion.” The aim and scope of these lectures; he tells us, is “not so much the problems of the philosophy of religion, but a review of the qualities and activities attributed to God in the religions that are living and have lived,” the material for study being the religious literature of the world and to some extent religious art. He therefore proposes to deal “only with the philosophic thought that has borne fruit in real popular belief, not with that which may have only worked in the solitary brain of the eccentric thinker”; and as he several times records his conviction that “a religion without a personal god has not yet been found to be a living and enduring force,”” the survey is practically limited to beliefs of a theistic type. Buddhism, as a popular religion, he holds to be only an apparent exception to the dictum just quoted, but he does not draw upon it for his materials.

    The Attributes of God: the Gifford Lectures delivered in the University of St. Andrews in the Year 1924–25.

    By Lewis Richard Farnell. Pp. x + 283. (Oxford: Clarendon Press; London: Oxford University Press, 1925.) 12s. 6d. net.

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