Review of Primitive Traits in Religious Revivals

Primitive Traits in Religious Revivals. By FREDERICK MORGAN DAVENPORT. New York : The Macmillan Co. Pp. x + 323.

After a sketch of the mental traits of primitive man, a brief study of the psychological traits of a " crowd," and a presentation of the suggestive elements in the ghost dances of the American Indian and the religious revivals of the American negro, the author devotes the larger part of his treatise to a detailed description of the great religious revivals of England and the United States. His collection of materials in this field is highly interesting, and a valuable supplement to Stoll's Suggestion und Hypnotismus in der Völkerpsychologie.

While not unsympathetic with religious revivals, Professor Davenport points out that areas of greatest religious excitability in the South are also areas of most frequent lynchings, and that the prevalence of rational over emotional mental processes is finally fatal to religious revivals, lynching, and political oratory. The influence upon the world of growing men in our time is to be more and more the indefinable and the unobtrusive influence of personal character."

William Isaac THOMAS.


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