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Einstein Praised, Criticized for Article Defining His Creed

The article by Prof. Albert Einstein in the New York Times Magazine of last Sunday on “Religion and Science” is calling forth praise as well as criticism among leading thinkers and religious leaders in ths ciountry. Sermons on Einstein’s creed were already preached on Sunday by Harry F. Ward of the Union Theological Seminary, who criticized Dr. Einstein for overlooking the “overtones of sin” in his search after truth, and by Rabbi Solomon B. Freehof of Chicago, who in a sermon at the Free Synagogue in New York praised Einstein for having a mystic view of the universe in contrast to the anti-religious view which “looks upon the world as a clearly understood machine in which every ‘riddle’ is either solved or on the way to solution.”

Dr. Einstein’s article is summarized in an editorial in Monday’s New York Times as follows:

“Among the sermons preached yesterday may be reckoned the article by Albert Einstein in the New York Times on ‘Religion and Science.’ He describes the ‘religion of fear’ among primitive peoples—fear of hunger, of wild animals, of illness and death—showing itself in deeds and sacrifices intended to secure the protecting favor of an anthropomorphic divinity. Next came the religion which has its source in the social feelings of human beings—in the longing for guidance, love, comfort by a Providence who protects, decides, rewards and punishes.

“To these two forms the scientist Einstein adds a third, which exceptionally gifted individuals may attain, though traces of it are found in some who have never made researches in the universe, as the Psalmist David, who saw the heavens declaring the glory of God and the firmament showing forth his handiwork. Einstein calls this the ‘cosmic religious sense,’ which comes of contemplating the ‘nobility and marvelous order revealed in nature and the world of thought.’ It involves no God made in man’s image, but none the less recognizes an Ancient of Days, an antecedent power that set all things in motion and developed living, sentient beings.”

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