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Zangwill Explains Church Conflict As “we Moderns” Opens

December 26, 1923
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Israel Zangwill in a curtain speech at the opening performance of his new play, “We Moderns,” at the National Theatre tonight, referred to the current conflict in the Christian Church after he wished his audience a Merry Christmas. Speaking on Christmas Eve, Mr. Zangwill said it was not theology that distinguished Christianity but its spiritual content. The Madonna, he said, represents motherhood, and Christ, sacrifice.

There was a good-sized audience at the opening of the play, including a considerable proportion of Jews. The play was warmly received and Mr. Zangwill who was obviously the chief interest of the audience, was applauded until he was obliged to respond. He recalled that he was in the same theatre 15 years ago when his Melting Pot was produced, during which Theodore Roosevelt was present.

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