Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/222

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200 Reviews.

in the mythological system has influenced not only Israel but all mankind which has but borrowed and transformed it. And at the back of, animating and informing this mythological system, lies an esoteric Monotheism.

Thus the religious history of mankind would, save in the case of Israel where the Monotheistic conception abandons its esoteric form and boldly appeals in its naked simplicity to all mankind, be the history of the transformation, the " degradation " of what was imagined at some remote period in the Ancient East. If Dr. Jeremias were an Englishman he might, instead of referring to Volney and Dupuis, have cited Bryant, and the citation would have been even more to the point.

What is stated by Dr. Jeremias is implied in the arguments of earlier Assyriologists. I have during the last twenty years repeatedly protested against the implication, so now I would record my dissent from the statement. The question is of course far too large and too important for discussion here. I am content to point out to English fellow-students, especially to those of the " Anthropological " school, that the fundamental conceptions of their exposition of mythical and religious evolution are challenged not only implicitly but explicitly by the latest developments of Early-Eastern research.

Alfred Nutt.

Traditional Aspects of Hell (Ancient and Modern). By James Mew. Swan Sonnenschein & Co. 1903.

Mr. Mew has selected an interesting and unhackneyed subject, and has treated it well. He describes eleven hells : the Egyptian, Assyrian, Brahman, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, Classic, Scandinavian, Hebrew, Christian, Muslim, and Barbarian. The last of these is all but negative ; and this leads to the melancholy reflection that belief in hell is an accompaniment of civilisation. jNIany savage races have not arrived at the conception of contmued existence after death, and some of those who have, like the Pawnee Indians, " fear nothing after death worse than they know now — all [the good] will live again and be happy. One who is bad dies, and that is the end of him — he goes into the ground and does not live again." (Grinnell : Pawnee Hero Stories and Folk Tales, 355.) Others, like the Blackfoot Indians, believe that