11 NOVEMBER 1932, Page 28


The principal " broadcast minds " with which Father Knox deals in this often entertaining, and always vivacious, book (Sliced and Ward, 7s. 6d.) are Professor Julian Huxley, Lord Russell, Mr. Meneken, the philosopher of humanism, Mr. Gerald Heard and Mr. Langdon Davies. Father Knox does not care for these writers, and the opinions which they so industriously distribute merely fill him with an irritated contempt. This is a pity ; for it means that the temptation to score of them, even when the score is of the cheapest kind, is very seldom resisted, and the effort to understand is seldom made. After a time we get rather tired of the excellent bowling and the steady fall of wickets, and wish that a member of the other team would make a few runs for a change. But Father Knox finds his victims almost too easy. When the scientist takes to theology, and the anthropologist begins to dogmatize on the origins of religion, the professional may confidenily look forward to a triumph of faith on the logical, if not on the spiritual, plane. Professor Huxley's offer of " religion without revelation ' says Father Knox, is doubtless well meant, but I have never had one less tempting since I was sent a catalogue of baby-linen." Nor do Lord Russell's directions for " The Conquest of Happiness " fare much better under analysis. As for the wretched Mr. Mencken, a writer more vigorous than accurate, his casual dealings with history are exposed without mercy, and a couple of pages are devoted to " the richer pieces of unconscious humour " in his • Treatise on the Gods. All this, of course, makes delicious reading for those who share its author's views ; yet it seems to leave something to be desired as the apologetic of a religion which asks of its followers a boundless charity.