About Christopher Dawson

Christopher Dawson (1889-1970), the author of numerous books, essays, and scholarly monographs, served as the first Charles Chauncey Stillman Chair of Roman Catholic Studies at Harvard University. Dawson was also the editor of the Dublin Review and his works have been especially influential in Christian humanism.

Catholicism and the Bourgeois Mind

By |2018-11-11T12:59:52-06:00April 3rd, 2018|Categories: Catholicism, Christian Humanism, Christianity, Christopher Dawson, Culture, Western Civilization|

The spirit of the Gospel…gives, asking nothing in return, and spends itself for others. It is essentially hostile to the spirit of calculation, the spirit of worldly prudence and above all to the spirit of religious self-seeking and self-satisfaction. Even the sinner who possesses a seed of generosity, a faculty of self-surrender, and an openness [...]

The Left-Right Fallacy

By |2019-05-21T14:24:02-05:00June 19th, 2016|Categories: Christendom, Christian Humanism, Christianity, Christopher Dawson, Featured, Politics, Timeless Essays, Western Civilization|

Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Christopher Dawson as he considers the perils of the left-right fallacy in politics and civil society. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher I am very glad to have an opportunity of explaining the reasons why I objected to the current terminology of Left [...]

Christian Education: Initiation into the Christian Way of Life

By |2020-07-14T22:54:57-05:00May 25th, 2016|Categories: Christianity, Christopher Dawson, Education, Featured, Quotation, Western Civilization|

Taken in its widest sense education is simply the process by which the new members of a community are initiated into its way of life and thought from the simplest elements of behavior up to the highest tradition of spiritual wisdom. Christian education is therefore an initiation into the Christian way of life and thought, [...]

Looking Beyond the Bloody Chaos of History

By |2018-08-28T09:04:09-05:00March 9th, 2016|Categories: Christendom, Christianity, Christopher Dawson, Quotation, St. Augustine|

It was in this age of ruin and distress that St. Augustine lived and worked. To the materialist, nothing could be more futile than the spectacle of Augustine busying himself with the reunion of the African Church and the refutation of the Pelagians, while civilisation was falling to pieces about his ears. It would seem [...]

The Left-Right Fallacy

By |2016-08-03T10:36:51-05:00July 13th, 2014|Categories: Christendom, Christian Humanism, Christianity, Conservatism, Featured, Politics, Western Civilization|

I am very glad to have an opportunity of explaining the reasons why I objected to the current terminology of Left and Right, most of all so far as Catholics are concerned. It is obvious today that we are faced with the prospect of a return to barbarism. The ancient tradition of Western Christendom which [...]

Christianity and the Humanist Tradition

By |2016-08-03T10:37:06-05:00June 30th, 2013|Categories: Christendom, Christian Humanism, Christianity, Christopher Dawson, Featured, Western Civilization|

Christopher Dawson The present age has seen a great slump in humanist values. After dominating Western culture for four centuries humanism today is on the retreat on all fronts, and it seems as though the world is moving in the direction of a non-humanist and even an anti-humanist form of culture. This tendency [...]

Conservatism: A Lecture by Christopher Dawson

By |2018-10-11T23:10:06-05:00April 19th, 2013|Categories: Christian Humanism, Christianity, Christopher Dawson, Conservatism, Featured, Political Science Reviewer|

Introduction and Notes by Joseph T. Stuart The handwritten manuscript for this lecture “Conservatism” was found recently among the papers of the Catholic historian of culture Christopher Dawson (1889–1970),[1] housed at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. The lecture was never published. While it is not clear where or even if this lecture [...]

What has Civilisation to do with Morals and Religion?

By |2016-11-26T09:52:17-06:00March 1st, 2012|Categories: Christian Humanism, Christianity, Christopher Dawson, Civilization, Featured, Quotation|

  Christopher Dawson If civilisation has nothing to do with morals and religion, if social justice and political liberty are matters of indifference to it, it can have but little contact with human life in its most universal aspects. It is an artificial growth, a hot-house plant which can only flourish in a [...]

The Beginnings of Western Culture

By |2019-01-25T20:41:38-06:00March 28th, 2011|Categories: Christendom, Christian Humanism, Christopher Dawson, Featured, Quotation|

The beginnings of Western culture are to be found in the new spiritual community which arose from the ruins of the Roman Empire owing to the conversion of the Northern barbarians to the Christian faith. The Christian Church inherited the traditions of the Empire. It came to the barbarians as the bearer of a higher [...]

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