Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/120

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I04 Reviews.

most sympathetic Englishman finds it ahnost hopeless to over- come. We may be able to watch and grasp the significance of some of the external observances, but behind these in the most secret corner of his mind every Hindu hides away a mass of behefs which he refuses to communicate not only to the white- faced stranger, but even to his very brethren of the true faith.

W. Crooke.

La vie future d'apres le Mazdeisme a la lumiere des


d'archeologie comparee. Par Nathan Soderblom. Paris: Leroux. 1901.

Although this work is primarily intended for the student of the history of religion it contains much to interest the folklorist. The author begins by discussing, in a sane and scholarly spirit, primitive beliefs concerning a prolongation or renewal of life after death as the necessary basis of all eschatological systems. It is, however, his view of the relation between the fundamental myths of Zoroastrian eschatology and similar myths of other peoples, Indo-Germanic or Semitic, as also between the completed Avestic system and that of Judaism, which chiefly concerns us. He is for the most part an opponent of the borrowing theory ; he is notably adverse to admitting that Judaism owes the conception of a future life, a judgment, and a heaven to the followers of Zoroaster; he holds that these conceptions are the natural out- come of religious development among the Jews. At the same time he combats the hypothesis of Jewish or Judaeo-Hellenic influence on the Avestic literature. I am perfectly content to accept his conclusion, but am all the more surprised to note that when it is a question of comparing Avestic and Eddaic myths M. Soderblom is by no means so convinced an anti-borrower. His language is vague and obscure, but if I understand him right he ascribes the similarity (first pointed out with such convincing mastery of exposition by Rydberg) between the Eddaic myths of the great winter, the destruction of mankind, and the preservation of a couple from whom a new humanity is to spring, and the Avestic myth of the vara of Zima, to direct borrowing on the