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Enquiries into Religion and Culture (The Works of Christopher Dawson)

Christopher Dawson

Publication Year: 2011

The essays presented in this volume are among the most wide-ranging, intellectually rich, and diverse of Christopher Dawson's reflections on the relations of faith and culture

Published by: The Catholic University of America Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Introduction

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pp. vii-xvi

Human intelligence usually comes in one of several kinds. The person who is a genius in mathematics or physics is often not as notable in the very different disciplines of history or literature. This is understandable because the stark and necessary abstractions of the former two categories are quite different ...

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Introduction

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pp. xvii-xxii

The present volume contains a number of essays that I have written on many different subjects during the last fifteen years. But in spite of their diversity I believe that they all possess a certain community of aim and deal in one way or another with a common problem. ...

Part 1

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pp. 1-2

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I The New Leviathan

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pp. 3-16

The great fact of the twentieth century is the definite emergence of a new type of civilisation different from anything that the world has known hitherto. All through the nineteenth century the new forces which were to transform human life were already at work, but their real tendency was to a great extent veiled by current modes of thought ...

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II The Significance of Bolshevism

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pp. 17-26

The economic crisis of the last two years has proved a godsend to the Bolsheviks. The years of the New Economic Policy in Russia and of the post-war boom in the West were a time of disappointment and trial for the leaders of the communist party. ...

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III The World Crisis and the English Tradition

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pp. 27-37

The crisis that has arisen in the modern world during the post-war period is not merely an economic one. It involves the future of Western culture as a whole, and, consequently, the fate of humanity. But it is not a simple or uniform phenomenon. It is not confined to any one state or any one continent. ...

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IV The Passing of Industrialism

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pp. 38-52

The war presumably marks the end of an age no less decisively than did the wars of the French Revolution. In this case, however, it is not a venerable and moribund society like the ancien régime that is passing away, but a transitional order, which was essentially a compromise and which never attained to a mature and consistent development. ...

Part 2

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pp. 53-54

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V Cycles of Civilisation

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pp. 55-77

At the present time the world is divided between four great cultures, respectively European, Islamic, Indian and Chinese. Although the first of these has attained a kind of world hegemony, it has not eliminated the other three, nor has it succeeded in penetrating them internally. ...

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VI Religion and the Life of Civilisation

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pp. 78-94

Ever since the rise of the modern scientific movement in the eighteenth century there has been a tendency among sociologists and historians of culture to neglect the study of religion in its fundamental social aspects. The apostles of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment were, above all, intent on deducing the laws of social life ...

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VII Civilisation and Morals

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pp. 95-104

If we make a survey of human history and culture, we see clearly that every society has possessed a moral code, which is often clearly thought out and exactly defined. In practically every society in the past there has been an intimate relation between this moral code and the dominant religion. ...

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VII The Mystery of China

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pp. 105-113

During recent years there has been a remarkable growth of interest in China and its civilisation among Western peoples. Chinese art and literature have at last come into their own and are being studied not as interesting curiosities, but as among the supreme achievements of the human spirit. ...

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IX Rationalism and Intellectualism

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pp. 114-128

Rationalism is usually regarded as the natural enemy of religion; in fact, rationalists have tended to conceive the history of human thought in a frankly dualist spirit as a long warfare between the powers of light and the powers of darkness, in which the cause of rationalism is the cause of civilisation, science and progress, ...

Part 3

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pp. 129-130

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X Islamic Mysticism

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pp. 131-157

During recent years a great deal of attention has been devoted to the study of Mohammedan mysticism by European scholars. Nor is it difficult to understand the reason of this attraction, since of all types of mysticism that of Islam is the richest perhaps in the quantity and certainly in the quality of its literature. ...

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XI On Spiritual Intuition in Christian Philosophy

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pp. 158-163

The problem of spiritual intuition and its reconciliation with the natural conditions of human knowledge lies at the root of philosophic thought, and all the great metaphysical systems since the time of Plato have attempted to find a definitive solution. The subject is no less important for the theologian, ...

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XII St. Augustine and His Age

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pp. 164-213

St. Augustine has often been regarded as standing outside his own age—as the inaugurator of a new world and the first mediaeval man, while others, on the contrary, have seen in him rather the heir of the old classical culture and one of the last representatives of antiquity. ...

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XII Christianity and Sex

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pp. 214-240

Western civilisation at the present day is passing through a crisis which is essentially different from anything that has been previously experienced. Other societies in the past have changed their social institutions or their religious beliefs under the influence of external forces or the slow development of internal growth. ...

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XIV Religion and Life

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pp. 241-255

It is often said that Christianity is out of touch with life and that it no longer satisfies the needs of the modern world. And these criticisms are symptomatic of a general change of attitude with regard to religious problems. Men to-day are less interested in the theological and metaphysical assumptions of religion than in its practical results. ...

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XV The Nature and Destiny of Man

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pp. 256-286

In her doctrine of man the Catholic Church has always held the middle path between two opposing theories, that which makes man an animal and that which holds him to be a spirit. Catholicism has always insisted that man’s nature is twofold. He is neither flesh nor spirit, but a compound of both. ...

Index of Names

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pp. 287-292

Index of Subjects

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pp. 293-296


E-ISBN-13: 9780813217116
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813215433

Page Count: 319
Publication Year: 2011

Series Title: The works of Christopher Dawson