Religion

Hayyim Rothman

This chapter discusses the life and thought of R. Yaakov Meir Zalkind. His journey led through the elite institutions of Eastern European rabbinic learning, the Western European university, the ferment of London’s East End, and finally to British Mandate Palestine. In these wanderings, R. Zalkind accumulated the ideological material — Zionism, pacifism, communism, and anarchism — with which he progressively constructed his own unique worldview. Both the theoretical content of that view and also how he applied it in his career as an activist, journalist, translator, and communal rabbi are considered. It is argued that in spite of his apparent eclecticism, Zalkind’s fundamental commitments remained consistent and that he drew on various ideologies to defend them.

in No masters but God
Hayyim Rothman

This chapter considers the life and work of R. Judah Ashlag. Well known for his voluminous commentaries on the Zohar, Ashlag has, until recently, been largely dismissed by the scholarly community. The chapter begins with discussion of recent scholarly efforts to rehabilitate his image. It then proceeds to examine less appreciated elements of Ashlag’s thought. Namely, the libertarian socialism that he defended on religious grounds. Analysis begins with a discussion of Schopenahauer’s influence on Ashlag and the way that the kabbalist addressed Shopenhauerian pessimism by introducing a dichotomy of wills. Not merely a directionless force, will is subject to a dialectic: a divine will to give, a creaturely will to receive. This distinction leads to a moral division between egoism and altruism. Like Schopenhauer, who envisioned a mystical or mythical overcoming of the ego, Ashlag advocates mystical connection to God. Ashlag’s use of the dichotomy between egoism and altruism to critique state socialism and to promote libertarian socialism grounded in religious insight and practice is then addressed. The chapter concludes with a discussion of Ashlag’s understanding of Jewish nationalism and the Jewish mission as informed by his theology.

in No masters but God
Hayyim Rothman

This chapter discusses the nexus of Tolstoyan anarcho-pacifism and Jewish tradition in the life and thought of R. Yehuda-Leyb Don-Yahiya. Beginning with a discussion of his biography and role in the foundation of Mizrahi, the religious branch of the Zionist movement, it proceeds to discuss his belief that the value of non-violence constitutes the core and essence of Judaism and of Jewish identity. The centrality of faith both as a mode for articulating human fraternity, and also for supplying it with firm existential foundations, is then examined. Don-Yahiya’s sympathy with the revolutionary cause and his insistence that this much came about via a revolution of the heart is then addressed. The chapter closes with analysis of Don-Yahiya’s efforts to ground the Tolstoyan prescription for social and political change through passive resistance in Jewish sources.

in No masters but God
Hayyim Rothman

This chapter discusses the life and thought of Isaac Nahman Steinberg. The scion of an enlightened rabbinic family, steeped in traditional learning, he went on to study law in Western Europe. Ultimately returning to Russia, he participated in the 1917 Russian revolution and, as a member of the Left-Socialist Revolutionaries assumed — prior to the Bolshevik coup — the position of Commissar of Justice as an openly observant Jew. Recent scholarly interest has alighted on his later leadership of the Territorialist movement, but here focus is placed on his largely anarchistic vision for what Jewish autonomy would look like. The chapter begins by examining his efforts to formulate a concept of Jewish tradition that is both authentic and mutable, such that it is able to inform efforts to synthesize morality and politics. Steinberg’s views on revolution are then addressed, followed by a discussion of his approach to revolutionary violence and his critique of Bolshevik and Tolstoyan camps alike. This is followed by an analysis of his views on the link between socialism and anarchism, the anarchization of the Jewish world, and the idea of the Jews as a vanguard people. Finally, his reflections on Zionism are considered.

in No masters but God
James Pereiro

Henry Edward Manning (1808–92) was involved in some of the most pressing social issues of his time, from the defence of workers and trade unionism to finding a solution for the dock strike and the education of the poor. English Catholic social conscience, as a whole and with some singular exceptions, was somewhat slow in following the leadership of the cardinal in some of these matters. This article studies a barely known aspect of Manning’s social activity: his involvement in the British response to the Russian pogroms of 1881–82 and in other contemporary Jewish issues.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Looking for Typological Treasure with William Jones of Nayland and E. B. Pusey
George Westhaver

This article compares the typological exegesis promoted by E. B. Pusey (1800–82) and his colleagues John Henry Newman and John Keble with that of their eighteenth-century Hutchinsonian predecessor William Jones of Nayland (1726–1800). Building on Peter Nockles’s argument that Jones’s emphasis on the figurative character of biblical language foreshadows the Tractarian application of the sacramental principle to exegesis, this article shows how this common approach differs from the more cautious one displayed by the High Church luminaries William Van Mildert and Herbert Marsh. At the same time, both Pusey’s criticism of the mainstream apologetics of his day and his more explicit application of the doctrine of the Incarnation to exegesis resulted in bolder interpretations and a greater emphasis on the necessity of figurative readings (of both the Bible and the natural world) than Jones generally proposed. A shared appreciation of the principle of reserve may explain both these differences and the Tractarian emphasis on a patristic, rather than a Hutchinsonian, inspiration for their approach.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
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The Gendered Politics of Publication of Mary Fletcher’s Auto/Biography
Carol Blessing

This article focuses on the representation of Methodist preacher Mary Bosanquet Fletcher (1739–1815) in her biography by the Revd Henry Moore. His omissions and commentary served to neutralise some of her more radical ideas and early feminism, which can be discovered by reading her manuscript journals, as well as the manuscript correspondence between Mary Tooth, keeper of Mary Fletcher’s papers, and Henry Moore. The product of archival research in the Methodist collections at the John Rylands Library in Manchester, this article owes a great debt to archivists Dr Peter Nockles and Dr Gareth Lloyd.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Stewart J. Brown

In 1869, Parliament disestablished the Church of Ireland, dissolving what Benjamin Disraeli called the ‘sacred union’ of church and state in Ireland. Disestablishment involved fundamental issues – the identity and purpose of the established church, the religious nature of the state, the morality of state appropriation of church property for secular uses, and the union of Ireland and Britain – and debate was carried on at a high intellectual level. With disestablishment, the Church of Ireland lost much of its property, but it recovered, now as an independent Episcopal church with a renewed mission. The idea of the United Kingdom as a semi-confessional Protestant state, however, was dealt a serious blow.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
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The Court Sermons of James II
William Gibson

This article considers the sermons preached by royal chaplains at the court of James II and the organisation of the chapel royal by James as a Catholic organisation. In doing so, it addresses the question of where James’s assurance and certainty came from that he was ruling as God wished him to do. The evidence presented here is that James organised his Catholic chapel royal to be a conscious source of guidance and support. His chaplains reciprocated by addressing him as a Catholic king whose duty was to bring to heel a recalcitrant and stubborn people. His chaplains used historical precedent and theological argument to press on James his determination to bring his Protestant subjects to obedience. This is a study of the Catholic milieu of James’s court and of the theological impetus behind his rule.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
An Introductory Survey
Richard Sharp

Architecture and visual arts in general have been subjects of a growing body of recent scholarship connected with the ecclesiastical history of the ‘Long Eighteenth Century’, but little attention has been given to portraiture. Although honourable mention should be made of pioneering work by John Ingamells on painted episcopal portraits, and by Peter Forsaith, very recently, on Methodist portrait prints, other aspects of this extensive subject still await investigation. The article outlines the development of engraved portrayal of clergy, mainly of the Church of England, during the two centuries before production of multiple images was taken over by photography, and indicates how the quantity, variety, and dissemination of such material can provide some index of the priorities of a pre-photographic age. It does not aim to be a comprehensive or a complete survey of the corpus of engraved portraiture; nevertheless, this article provides an initial guide to the abundance of previously unexplored illustrative material, and may suggest a framework for further exploration. It is hoped that future scholars will build on this initial work to enable a complete catalogue of such images to be developed and further explored.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library