action of the Church and the French Revolution (with the somewhat astounding fact that unwittingly the parish priests, de(eating the higher clergy and the nobility. "had made the French Revolution"): the relation of the political theories of the tragic Abbe Lamennais to the pattern of the "free Church in a free State", which is "the one towards which the world is tending to move; and • . . which in many cases secures the sympathy of Rome".
We see the struggle between Pia Nono and Mazzini and the loss of the Papal States; the circumstances of the much debated "Syllabus of Errors"; the atmosphere and many details of the Vatican Council, and the loss of Rome (events which stretch across the period from 1846 to 1870): the "American Heresy"-which at the worst was "a false emphasis in the realm of public relations and an unbalance between the interior and exterior life and between private inspiration and religious authority", but which never denied any article of Faith.
We see "Modernism" and Pius X's successful expulsion of it from the Church; the Social Question under Leo XIII; the Kulturkampf in Germany and anti-clericalism in Italy and France; the Church amidst the British Empire. Europe. and World War I; the Americas in the present century; Pius XI and Mussolini and Hitler; Communism. Peace, and Pius XII: which brings the record up to 1956.
QUCH an outline merely hints at the riches in the present book, which is at once scholarly, lucid. and also easy to read. It gives many historical sidelights which will refresh the professed
student and inform the general reader (e.g.. the "extraordinary affair known as 'the Parliament of Religions' " at the Chicago Columbus Exhibition in 1892; or the retirement from office of the best known teaching CardinalBillot, who had crowned Pius XIon account of his attitude to L'Arrion Frenipise.
In all this book is a fascinating one for everyone interested in that most fascinating of subjects (after theology), namely history. Hence no reader will grudge the price.
SCIENCE AND METAPHYSICS. by John Russell, S.J., Ph.D.. M.A., 25. 6d.: LIFE AND ITS ORIGIN. by Philip G. Fathergill, B.Sc., Ph.D., F.R.S.E., 6d.; WHIT'EHEAD'S PHILOSOPHY OF PHYSICS, by Laurence Bright, O.P., S.T.L., ALA., 1).Phil., is. 64. (Newman Philosophy of Science Series (General Editor: P. E. Hodgson), Sheed & Ward).
1-H1'W three booklets (varying -4 (Run 4(1 to 77 pages) are r.‘xcellent grist to the student's mill, though they will probably be dryas-dust to others. a This is a pity. of course, yet inevitable, in outmodern system of education; which in spite of its portentioos appearance is not philosophicallyminded in the sense of encouraging the study of ultimate causes and is usually weak on definitions.
Fr. Russell compares science and metaphysics, considers human knowledge both in its scientific and metaphysical approach, the problem of "existence". the "analogy of being", and in conclusion the nature of metaphysics. "The metaphysician," he says, "is not a scientist." And again: "Neither is he a logician."
By this he means that the physical scientist observes and classifies concrete material phenomena, whereas the metaphysician is concerned with the abstract (e.g. "substance", "cause"); in other words, ultimates.
Nevertheless it must be noted that unless the metaphysician is logical (i.e.. a coherent or consistent thinker) he will be selfcontradictory and hence absurd; which is precisely what many non
Catholic metaphysicians are. Hence the widespread pantheistic nonsense of much "modern" philosophy.
What is life?
DR . FOTHERGILL considers
"What is life?", the origin of living things (by spontaneous generation, by seeding, and from chemical and physical origin) and the viruses. In his conclusion he writes: "It is obvious that those who believe that life is something not yet comprehended, something that works only through a selfdetermining organic system, are still resting on solid ground."
It always seems to me that the clearest way of putting it is this: "life" is ti process of action; and a living being is one whose action
is to absorb eaierior nutriment and
to thrive on and. finally.% to reproduce its ovi n kind or species.
'There is in fast a clear-cut class of beings which do this--they and they alone are "living". Whatever explanation of life be adopted. it must finally be attributed to the First Cause; or. in one word. God.
Fr. Bright considers science and philosophy, the two modes of peiception (this distinguishes between sense data and mental re. flection). the bifurcation of nature ("bifurcation" meaning the division between the real nature disclosed by physics and the seemingly quite different nature on the surface of things). the theory of internal relations. the problem ol unity. and organism (which is "simply the name given to a United complex of elementary events".
FROM SCHOOL TO WORK: Book Tno, by John Cullen (Longmans, 3s. 6d.).
THIS series (of which this is the A second book) is so good that it is worthy of a longer note than Space permits. Mr. Cullen teaches in a Catholic secondary modern school in S.E. London. and these books are the fruit of his practical experience.
They provide a fresh approach in the teaching of religion the thing which is always being called for and is seldom seen. Thoroughly Catholic (with the Southwark imprimaito.), thoroughly practical, and very artistically produced, they should be welcomed bs teachers and pupils alike.
The results obtained through their use have been praised by the Chief Diocesan Schools Inspector. The numerous illustrations which accompany the text are excellent.