The publishers of the English translation of this little book of mine have requested me to write a special preface addressed to the English reader, and I have very willingly consented to do so. The purpose of such a preface can only be, I think, to say a word about the place which this book occupies in relation to my work as a whole, and, as it would argue a want of modesty in me to assume that the latter is widely known, briefly to indicate its general character.
In the aim which has guided my studies, two main interests may be distinguished. The first is that of gaining an insight into the intellectual and religious situation of the present day, from which the significance and the possi-
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