English readers have not before had access to the writings of Alfred F. Loisy, one of the leaders of the ""Catholic Modernism"" which disturbed the Roman Catholic Church at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. In this volume is presented the excellent translation of his last two books, ""The Birth of the Christian Religion"" and ""The Origins of the New Testament"". In them Loisy applies the critical standards regularly employed in the study of non-religious history to the New Testament and other writings of the period, since he believed that unless the faith of men could survive the closest and most rigorous scrutiny by the scientific apparatus available to scholars men of integrity and honesty could not hold that faith. His own Church excommunicated him for the radical conclusions of his study, and even to readers of this generation Loisy's conclusions are more than a little startling, but the religious spirit with which they are written conveys Loisy's own belief that true religion can always survive the inaccuracies and distortions of the historical record. ""What matters"", he wrote, ""Is the fire they (the men of the New Testament) kindled, and it is a fire that will never mankind is no more."" Students of the development of Christianity and the Church cannot afford to miss this striking and moving contribution to the study in which the last word has by no means been said.