By Fr. J. H. CREHAN, S.J.
CHRISTIANITY 1 N A REVOLUTIONARY AGE, by K. S. Latourette (Eyre & Spottiswoode, 63s.). HISTORIANS of the 19th century have steadily grown in their appreciation of the part played by the Catholic Church, and Professor Latourette of Yale is no exception. Having already to his credit a massive history of Christian missions, he has now embarked on a religious history of the world from 1815 to the present.
This volume is the first of five; after a general survey, in some 200 pages, of the challenge presented by revolution to religion, he covers in the rest of the volume the history of Catholicism as far as 1914. A second volume will deal with European Protestantism in the same period, a third with the New World, a fourth and fifth with Catholicism and Protestantism from 1914 to the present.
This Toynbee concept of the challenge is neat and tidy, but it does not account for such an obvious fact as the Bourbon opposition alike to the forces of revolution and to the Jesuits, whom they suppressed.
History is not simply a question of "our side" and "their side"; when he comes to the Vatican Council Dr. Latourette accepts this over-simplification, and though he has used the recent work of Aubert to advantage he does not sceem to know that same author's study of the "third force" at the Council.
IN the 300 pages that Dr. Latouretie has for his story of Catholicism there are some names omitted that one would
expect to see, such as Pitra. Phillipps de Lisle, and KIeutgen, but the scale is such that only the briefest summary of many events is possible, and the author submitted his Catholic chapters to M. J. Tracy Ellis for criticism before publication.
What is a more serious disproportion is that the growth of Christian Democracy (as told in Professor Fogarty's recent book, which seems unknown to this author) is not given its full significance, and Dr. Latourette, when he comes to take up the next period of Catholic history will have a difficult task to explain where Christian Democracy gained its power. The beginnings are dealt with, and Lamennais and Ketteler have their place, but the importance of the Catholic parties in small countries such as Holland, Belgium and Ireland, is not seen (Devitt, Redmond and even Parnell are passed over), and no account is taken of the group of theologians (mostly Austrian or Swiss) who did the basic sociological thinking for the Democrats in the latter part of the century (Meyer, Cathrein, Pech and Costa-Rossetti).
so years old pART of the trouble is that for all his care to gather modern sources Dr Latourette has had perforce to rely for some of his work on the "Catholic Encyclopaedia" and the "Cambridge Modern History," both produced 50 years ago and scarcely adequate for the events of 1890-1914.
Still, his work is a great adyance on Nielsen and Nippold who used to be the pace-makers for historians of this period.
The only howler to be noted is the statement that in order to spread devotion to the Sacred Heart "not far from 1870 a French motet was composed: Christus vincit, Christus regnal, Christus imperat." These laudes are 1,000 years older than the professor thinks.