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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

March 24, 2003


The book The Mirth of Nations by Christie Davies has been reviewed a few times since its release (See for example the review by "Theodore Dalrymple") and its salient point that the Scots and the Jews make an interesting comparison has generally been picked up.

A point that I found most interesting, however, was that both the Jews and the Scots have historically been very prone to theological divisions. They have both had numerous sects of their religions (Judaism and Protestantism) in nitpicking and verbally fierce dispute with one-another:

"It is the questioning, disputing, argumentative quality of Judaism and of the Christian religion in Scotland and the corresponding requirements of literacy and study that have led both to the secular intellectual achievements of the Scots and the Jews."

And as Arthur Herman in his book How the Scots Invented the Modern World points out, the intellectual achievements of the Scots have indeed been great. I do not think the Davies thesis explains all about either the Jews or the Scots but I find it of some personal relevance. I have always been rather philo-Semitic and I did also have a lot of Scots Presbyterian influences in my upbringing.

(Crossposted from Dissecting Leftism)