equality, which at present override thernpursuit of local goods. Taylor does notrnseem fully to recognize how far his principlesrnlead him away from social democracy.rnhi ‘J Tie Ethics of Authenticity, CharlesrnTaylor has sketched an intellectual andrnpolitical program to save modernity fromrnitself. He is convinced that the attemptrnis worthwhile. Those of us less certainrnthat modernity is worth saving neverthelessrnhave an obligation to enter intorndialogue with so generous and sympatheticrna critic.rnMark C. Henrie is a doctoral candidaternin pohtical theory at Harvard University.rnThe FascistrnMomentrnby Glenn N. SchramrnModern Fascism: Liquidating thernJudeo-Christian Worldviewrnhy Gene Edward Veith, ]r.rnSt. Eoiiis: Concordia Publishing House;rn187 pp., $15.95rnIn an essay on Nietzsche written inrn1947, Thomas Mann spoke of “thernfascist epoch of the West” in which “wernare living and, despite the military victoryrnover fascism, shall continue to live forrna long time.” Gene Edward Veith, Jr.,rndean of the College of Arts and Sciencesrnat Concordia University of Wisconsin inrnMequon, Wisconsin, agrees with Mann,rnfor, in his opinion, there are a strikingrnnumber of parallels between fascism andrncontemporary intellectual life.rnThe only definition of fascism Veithrnoffers is that of the historian and philosopherrnErnst Nolte, who sees it as “practicalrnand violent resistance to transcendence.”rnSimplifying slightly, we may sayrnthat by transcendence Nolte means man’srnexperience of God. But this definition isrnas applicable to communism as it is tornfascism, and Veith fails to distinguish adequatelyrnbetween the latter and otherrnways of thinking. Moreover, it is sometimesrnunclear whether Veith is talkingrnabout fascism as a whole or just GermanrnNational Socialism.rnVeith is especially concerned for therncurrent intellectual movement knownrnas postmodernism, with its relativism,rnits disparagement of humane values, itsrnattempt to reduce all human creativity tornquestions of power relations, and its refusalrnto deal with questions of transcendence.rnOn all these points postmodernismrnparallels fascism. Veith does notrnconsider postmodernists to be fascists,rnbut he fears that they may be paving thernway for the accession to power of a fascistrnregime in the United States.rnAs a conservative Lutheran, Veith alsornsees parallels between contemporary theologyrnand the German Christians, whornsought to reconcile Christianity with NationalrnSocialism. He writes:rnConsider these recurring themesrnof modern theology: the relationshiprnbetween culture and Christianity;rna “this-worldly” focus versusrn”other-worldly” salvationism;rnsubjective experience versus objectiverndoctrine; Biblical criticismrnversus Biblical authority. The debatesrnover these issues developedrnthroughout the 19th century, asrnfascist ideology was also takingrnform. In each ease the “modernist”rnpositions on these issuesrnwere also the position taken by thernGerman Christian movement: thernprivileging of culture, the politicizationrnof the Gospel, the minimizingrnof doctrine, the criticismrnof Biblical authority.rnVeith’s book is valuable, but it wouldrnhave been better if he had gone beyondrnthe ideologies of fascism and contemporaryrnintellectualism and looked at thernunderlying consciousness of those whornespouse these beliefs. Had Veith donernso, he would have had to come to termsrnwith Eric Vocgelin’s work on gnosticism.rnFor gnosticism pervaded the fascist andrncommunist states, and it pervades contemporaryrnWestern society, includingrnthose parts whose views parallel fascism’s.rnIt is a more powerful conceptrnthan “fascism,” for it shows what is at thernbase of fascism and also of much otherrnmodern thought.rnOur problems are therefore greaterrnthan Veith realizes. Further evidence ofrnthis is the brief attention he pays tornThomas Mann’s last great novel, DoctorrnFaustus. It is the tragedy of a man whorncan neither believe nor love, a composerrnwho enters into a Faustian pact for thernsake of his art. His philosophy and lifernare modeled on those of Nietzsche; hisrnmusic on that of Arnold Schonberg.rnAlthough Veith discusses Igor Stravinsky’srnballet The Rites of Spring as arnparadigm for fascism, he fails to mentionrnSchonberg’s transvaluation of musicalrnvalues as a symbol of the same thing. Inrnshort, Veith does not press far enough inrndiagnosing the Western crisis, nor doesrnhe come right out and say that the onlyrnthing that can save the West from futurerntotalitarian regimes is a renaissance ofrntraditional religion among the intellectualrnelite.rnGlenn N. Schram writes fromrnHammond, Indiana.rnSixteen HundredrnYearsrnby Jacob NeusnerrnThe Jews of Germany:rnA Historical Portraitrnby Ruth GayrnNew Haven and London: Yale UniversityrnPress; 336 pp., $35.00rnWhen a civilization nearly two millenniarnin the building comes tornan end, common decency requires thatrnthe world take note of its passing. For ifrnordinary people, born only to die inrnmuch less than a century, deserve a properrnburial, what obsequies arc owing to arnway of forming society and living lifernthat took 20 centuries to shape but onlyrna dozen years uttedy to wipe out? Inrnthis elegant account, Ruth Gay has givenrnthe English language a worthy candidaternfor the epitaph for German Jewry—arngreat and beautiful book in words andrnpictures. Here closes a 2,000-year-oldrnchapter of Western civilization, concludedrnin our own time.rnMrs. Gay’s wit and wisdom, taste andrnjudgment, have produced a volume richrnin insight and beauty, and the only appropriaternpraise can be that her book isrnworthy of its subject and of the task shernhas taken for herself. What is at stake inrnher perspective comes to expression inrnPeter Gay’s introduction: “To reducernGerman Jewish historv to an unrelievedrnsequence of outrages is to slight thernSEPTEMBER 1993/35rnrnrn