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Dynamics of World History

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Publisher: Intercollegiate Studies Institute
Publication Date:
Format: Paperback
Pages: 450
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In scope and in vision, Christopher Dawson's histography ranks with the work of men like Spengler, Northrop, and Toynbee. Several major themes run through Dawson's work, but perhaps the most significant contribution was his insistence on the importance of religion in shaping and sustaining civilizations.

Religion, Dawson believed, is the great creative force in any culture, and the loss of a society's historic religion therefore portends a process of social dissolution. For this reason, Dawson concludes that Western Society must find a way to revitalize its spiritual life is it is to avoid irreversible decay. Progress, the real religion of modernity, is insufficient to sustain cultural health. And an a historical, secularized Christianity is an oxymoron, a pseudo-religion only nominally related to the historic religion of the West. 

Dawson maintained that the hope of the present age lay in the reconciliation of the religious tradition of Christianity with the intellectual tradition of humanism and the new knowledge about man and nature provided by modern science. Dynamics of Word History shows that though such a task may be difficult, it is not impossible

Editorial Reviews

"Dynamics of World History is extraordinarily valuable, because it is much more than a Christopher Dawson compendium, or than an introduction to Dawson. It is a very carefully collected and edited quilt of Dawson’s most important writings: a multicolored quilt, rather than a disparate essay. It covers and comprises what is ought to cover and comprise: and the richness and the quality of Daawson’s historical thinking will catch the eye of its reader at first sight.”

-John Lukacs, author Five Days in London: May 1940

“Consistently solid in information, eloquent in composition, and convincing in argument, this is a volume not prudently ignored by any serious student of sociology, history,philosophy, theology, or literature.”

-Patrick Henry Reardon, senior editor, Touchstone

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