The Religious Life in America, September 23, 1911


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Das religiöse Leben in Amerika
Wilhelm Müller.*)
Excerpts from Reviews

*) Das religiöse Leben in Amerika.Von W. Müller. Jena, 1911. E. Diederichs266 pp, hbk, Mk. 5.30, pbk 4.50.

Badische Presse, Karlsruhe, 23. Nov.

1911. The religious life in America has received an important
portrayal in this book of the same title by the former school director in Cincinnati and New York and well-knownGerman-American writer Wilhelm Müller. Right at the outset,he established crucial perspectives …… From these he infers the benchmark for the worthiness and unworthiness of all institutions, which were able to develop under the protective freedom of the North American state, and from which he also gains his admirable objectivity and dispassion, with which he recognizes and appreciates light and dark on all sides, irrespectively if they are close or remote to him personally. 

Bayrischer Volksfreund, Nürnberg,

27.November 1911. I do not know of any book which summarises in such clear, balanced account the problems of modern life. … For us ministers it will broaden our mind and teach us something for our own work.

Mannheimer Tageblatt, 18. Nov.

1911. Only he who combines the intentions of a historian the comprehensive knowledge of the American national character in respect of soul and spirit, the intellectual and literary achievements, with the historical preconditions, can penetrate the problem (of religious life) in depth. We must thank Wilhelm Müller for such comprehensive work which  astutely transforms the extensive subject matter into a language that fuses academic gravitas with the fine panache of the essayist into a compelling unity.

Literarischer Handweiser Münster,

Westfalen, 30. Nov. 1911. The second misgiving concerns the far from orthodox position of the author, which we do not share. … For the rest, the extraordinary sense of justice of the author, his vigilance in judgement, his exceptionally pleasant self-discipline and sophisticated approach must be given an honourable mention. 

Berliner Lokal-Anzeiger, 3. Dec. 1911.

The handling of such a difficult subject matter such as this religious one, is valuable because Wilhelm Müller, guided by extremely diligently explored literature on the Old and New  World, free from any partisan tendency, is able to assess and judge the colourful aspect of American religion from the elevated position [page 3] of mature philosophy, and yet with an acute sense for religious truth and goodness.

Sonntagsblatt des Bund, Bern, 24.

Dec.1911 Amongst all the books which gives us an understanding about the spiritual and religious life in America, this book deserves an honorary mention. An interesting subject has found the right man. 

Vogtländischer Anzeiger, Plauen,

24. Dec.1911. The author manages admirably to shift himself into the thought processes of different belief systems and this not only intellectually but also with compassion,  to determine their rightful essence and to bring it to light.

Darmstädter Zeitung, 24. Dec. 1911.

This book will interest every educated person  notwithstanding the terse compendiousness and vivid account. It is extremely captivating from the beginning to the end.

Gemeinnützige Blätter, Frankfurt

On the Main. 1.Jan.1912. G.M. Arndt once described the German as “digging deep, searching high and low, looking up at the clouds”: the author of the book in hand is completely true to this motto.

The Christian Register. Boston, 25.

Jan. 1912. This book, by the way, is the mature essence of a serious seeker of truth, a deep thinker and a generous, sympathetic and deeply religious character … The author has the fortunate talent to separate the essential from the inconsequential and get to the heart of the matter in all aspects of abstract reasoning and feeling. Readers of all faith will find in their not only productive and inspiring but also interesting and mesmerising reading material that he is also a master of literary style.

Boston Transcript, 3. Jan.1912.
The material which the author assembles, is enormous, still, not one page of this oeuvre is dry or filled with mere facts, the independent yet objective and sharp intellect of the author which orders and assesses ideas, permeates throughout.

Westliche Post, St. Louis, 11.Febr.

1912. It is a particular advantage of the book that the author has always endeavoured to explore each phenomenon in depth and [page 4] to pare off the good core. This is a sign of conciliatory thought and a detached serene world view.

Das Protestantenblatt, Berlin, 6.

March 1912. Throughout his clearly planned work, the author takes the historical-psychological position which was developed by the exemplary historian K. Lamprecht from Leipzig with which the outer history of a people reveals the inner coherencies at the same time.

Süddeutsche Blätter, Heidelberg,

10. März 1912. If you want to inform yourself about the ever so curious religious situation in America, at every turn  inspiring to instructive comparison, you have a book here  which was written from the position of long-standing personal experience  and the insights of a German schoolmaster combined with an extensive familiarity with the very ramified religious culture of America, a warm heart and a just balanced judgement.

Der Tag, Berlin,
14. March 1912.  The particular value of this book lies therein that it familiarises the German reader with an aspect of American life which is to most completely new and at the same time most essential to an understanding of the Americans in general.

Das Literarische Echo, Berlin, 13.

March 1912. Indeed, the book by Wilhelm Müller is, to date, unique in its perfect mastery of the overwhelmingly rich material and its factual and objective presentation of the content . . . The author is an independent thinker who is prudent enough to see isolated occurrences in in conjunction with the larger context and this larger context as an inevitable product of a natural evolution.

Hamburger Nachrichten, 31. March 1912.

Though, what makes the author particularly an authority is his subtle perspective and communication. The sensitive method of considering and calibrating, an objectivity carried by the highest sense of justice and a cultural-psychological strength of judgement has, principally, no rival.

Frankfurter Zeitung. 14. April 1912.

This book is one of the best which the reviewer has come across on the religious-ecclesiastical environment in America. The author has not lost his new-found optimism which cannot be deterred by any distortion of genuine ideals.

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