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Transcript of SOCIETY - Conway Hall · PDF file SOCIETY O'CLOCK Revival" by LANGLEY. Mozart 73....

  • Vol. 61 No. 9 SEPTEMBER 1956 Threepence

    Notes of the Month Custos

    East and West Archibald Robertson

    Liberal Religion in A merica L. D. Maerntyre

    St. Swithun W. E. Swinton

    What is Vital in Shaw? Archibald Robertson

    What Religion is Dead? Professor Sir Ernest hennaway

    Dr. Swinton in the New World

    Correspondence Society's Activities

    Society's Activities

    S

  • SOUTH PLACE ETHICAL SOCIETY SUNDAY MORNING MEETINGS AT ELEVEN O'CLOCK

    September 16—RECTOR HAWTON—"The Catholic Revival" Piano Solo by JOYCE LANGLEY

    Sonata in C No. 16 .. . Mozart . Hymn : No. 73.

    September 23—ARCHIBALD ROBERTSON, M.A.—"This Terrible Twentieth Century"

    'Cello and. Piano Solos by LILLY PHILLIPS and FIONA CAMERON Elegie Faure Sicilienne Faure

    Hymn : No. 38

    September 30.MRS. MARY STOCKS, B.Sc.—"Radio, Press and Public" Bass Solos by G. C. DOWMAN

    Merrow Down Edward German Linden Lea .. Vaughan Williams

    Hymn: No. 50 Octob2r 7—MRS. MARGARET KNIGHT—"Ithellectual aml Emotional Beliefs"

    Annual Reunion

    The Annual Reunion will take place on September 23 at 3 p.m. Particulars may be found on page 3 in the Notes of the Month.

    SOUTH PLACE SUNDAY CONCERTS, 66th SEASON 66th Season (1956-1957) will open on Sunday, October 7, 1956.

    Officers Hon. Treasurer: E. J. FAIRHALL Hon. Registrar: Mas. T. C. LINDSAY Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, W.C.1 Secretary: J. HuTroN HYND

    The Monthly Record is posted free to Members and Associates. The Annual charge to subscribers is 4s. 6d. Matter for publication in the October issue should reach the Editor, G. C. Dowman, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, W.C.1, by September 10.

    The Objects of the Society are the study and dissemination of ethical principles and the cultivation of a rational religious sentiment..

    Any person in sympathy with these objects is cordially invited to become a Member (minimum annual subscription is 10s.), or Associate (minimum annual subscription 5s.). Life membership 810 10s. Associates are not eligible to vote or hold office. Enquiries should be made of the Registrar to whom subscriptions should be paid. 2

  • The MONTHLY

    RECORD Vol. 61 No. 9 SEPTEMBER 1956 Threepence

    CONTENTS

    PAGE

    NOTES OF THE MONTH, Custos 3

    EAST AND WEST, Archibald,Robertson 6

    LIBERAL RELIGION IN AMERICA. L. D. MacIntyre 8

    ST. SWITHUN, W. E Swinton.. 15

    WHAT IS VITAL IN SHAW?, Archibald Robertson 17

    WIIAT RELIGION IS DEAD?, Professor Sir Ernest Kennaway 19

    DR. SWINTON IN THE NEW WORLF; 21'

    CORRESPONDENCE.. 22

    SOCIETY'S ACTIVITIES 23

    The views expressed in this journal arc not necessarily those of the Society

    Notes of the Month MEMBERS AND FRIENDS of the Society will be pleaed to note that the first Sunday morningraddress of the 1956-7 season will be given by Mr. Hector Hawton. The work which the Society hopes to accomplish during the coming season will be seen on the background of "The Catholic Revival" —the subject chosen by Mr. Hawton. It is hoped that a large audience will greet this opening occasion.

    Mr. Archibald Robertson will discuss Sir Winston Churchill's phrase, "This Terrible Twentieth Century", in his Sunday morning discourse, September 23. Mr. Robertson will attend the Reunion in the afternoon to introduce the Guest of Honour, Mr. Richard Clements, who will give a brief address. The informal gathering of members and friends at 3 p.m.

    3

  • will open the Reunion. Mr. J. Hutton Hynd will preside over the more formal programme of speeches and music. Mr. G. Hutchinson, Hon. Secretary, Sunday Evening Concerts, will make brief reference to the Dora Mary Clements Memorial instrument, and will introduce Joyce Langley as pianist and accompanist. Songs and duets will be sung by Pamela Woolmore and Andrew Gold. Tea will be served at 4.45 p.m., and a generous margin of time will remain for an exchange of greetings between friends old and new. A cordial invitation is given to our friends of the Ethical Union, the Rationalist Press Association, the National Secular Society, and the Brixton, Chiswick, Orpington and Sutton Humanist Groups.

    Mrs. Mary Stocks, of B.B.C. "Any Questions", will receive a warm welcome on her second appearance on our Sunday morning platform, September 30. In her timely address, on "Radio, Press and Public", Mrs. Stocks will share with her audience her wide and varied experience as publicist and broadcaster.

    Conway Discussions will open on Tuesday, October 2, 7.15 p.m.—in part a social occasion, with panel discussion and interval for light refresh- ment. Conway Discussions is "a public forum for open discussion of current topics of importance. Topics introduced by outstanding speakers". All who are interested are very cordially invited.

    Advance notice is given that Mrs. Margaret Knight will give an address on "Intellectual and Emotional Beliefs", Sunday morning, October 7. (It should be noted that Mrs. Knight will speak at• a public meeting in Caxton Hall on the evening of Wednesday, October 3. The meeting has been arranged by the Humanist Council as an attempt to arouse public interest in the right of religious minorities to a fair proportion of time on sound- radio and television to express their points of view.)

    Freedom of the Air After his recent dispute with the B.B.C. Television authorities, the

    Humanist Cotmcil have asked Colin McCall, secretary of the National Secular Society, to undertake arrangements for launching a campaign for freedom of the air for the expression of Humanist views. The first meeting will be held at Caxton Hall on Wednesday, October 3, when Mrs. Margaret Knight will be among the speakers. This, then, is the time that humanists must begin to press to the utmost their claims to be heard through, as The Freethinker has put it, "the greatest propaganda medium ever invented."

    The American Link Dr. Henry Neumann, editor of The Ethical Outlook, and one of the

    leaders of the New York Ethical Society, has complimented The Monthly Record. He considers it ."so full of good,. things': Mat he often wants to "lift" some of tEem for The Ethical Outlook: We hAve given him per- mission to reprint Archibald Robertson's article on Ibsen and a paragraph in the Notes of the Month: "Lamentation and Shame." The Ethical Outlook, once called The Standard was, at one time, edited by our good friend Geo. E. O'Dell, who is once again resident in England. The link with our American cousins thus happily continues.

    Christianity and Communism Two different sorts of people are engaged in finding a parallel between

    Communism and Christianity. A distinguished Jesuit, Father Martin D'Arcy, has written a hook in which he declares (not without reason) that Communism today "is the most serious competitor to the Christianity 4

  • which has up to now been the greatest influence in the Western World". Most Catholics from the Pope down probably agree with Father D'Arcy. On the other hand Rationalists of the old liberal tradition see in Christianity and Communism two rival authoritarian systems both claiming infallibility and both, therefore, equally bad. Lord Russell, we believe, is on record as saying that Communism is the worse of the two, since no sensible man can believe in Christian dogma, whereas sensible people have unfortunately fallen for Marxism!

    An Old Parallel The parallel is not new. Friedrich Engels, co-founder with Marx of

    modern Communism, himself pointed it out. In an article written for the German Socialist magazine Neue Zeit he drew attention to the parallel between the appeal made by early Christianity to the slaves ahd poor freemen of the Roman Empire, and the appeal made by. modern Socialism to the workers of the world. Engels drew attention to other similarities, e.g. the analogy between the church organisation of early Christianity and the branch organisation of the Socialist movement, and the liability of both to be victimised by 'dishonest impostors (the adventurer yeregrinus described by Lucian in the second century, to whom Engels might have compared—but did not, for he never saw through him—the adventurer Edward Aveling in the nineteenth). Engels even compares Paul's appeal for funds in the Epistles with the eternal worry over finances which dogged the organisers of the First International.

    This-Worldly and Other-Worldly The parallel and the accompanying contrast were developed by Engels'

    friend Belfort Bax, one cd the pioneers of British Socialism, in one of his Essays in, Socialism New and Old, published in 1907. Bax, like Engels, points out the likeness, but he also points out the radical difference. Christianity as we know it (whatever we may conjecture about its origins) offers salvation not in this life, but in a future life. "Socialism, on the contrary, teaches that there is no salvation for the individual save in and through society." Or as the poet of The Internationale says:

    "No saviours from on high deliver, No trust have we in prince or peer;

    Our own right hand the chains must shiver— Chains of hatred, of greed and fear."

    Humanism and Communism A Humanist may object that the difference between "this-worldly" and

    "other-worldly" is irrelevant, that the point is that Christianity and Com- munism alike claim to know all the answers, and that it is that claim— not the kind of answer given—which.leads to the enslavement of the mind and to intolerance of dissent. The Communist may retort that no system devised by man is proof against disastrous error. Parliamentary government, the p