Christopher Dawson

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 |2018-11-11T12:59:52-05:00April 3rd, 2018|

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 [...]

The Left-Right Fallacy

By |2018-09-29T10:20:35-05:00June 19th, 2016|

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 [...]

Looking Beyond the Bloody Chaos of History

By |2018-08-28T09:04:09-05:00March 9th, 2016|

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 [...]

The Left-Right Fallacy

By |2016-08-03T10:36:51-05:00July 13th, 2014|

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 [...]

Christianity and the Humanist Tradition

By |2016-08-03T10:37:06-05:00June 30th, 2013|

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 [...]

Conservatism: A Lecture by Christopher Dawson

By |2018-10-11T23:10:06-05:00April 19th, 2013|

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 [...]

What has Civilisation to do with Morals and Religion?

By |2016-11-26T09:52:17-05:00March 1st, 2012|

  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 [...]

On Christian Humanism

By |2016-11-26T09:52:25-05:00July 22nd, 2011|

The spirit of Christian humanism finds expression in Alcuin’s own letters to Charles the Great: ‘If your intentions are carried out,’ he writes, ‘it may be that a new Athens will arise in France, and an Athens fairer than the old, for our Athens, ennobled by the teaching of Christ, will surpass the wisdom [...]

The Beginnings of Western Culture

By |2019-01-25T20:41:38-05:00March 28th, 2011|

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 [...]