Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Christopher Dawson revival?

by Brian Van Hove, S.J.

We have waited a long time to see the works of Christopher Dawson reappear. One of the joys of the new millennium is to discover this expectation partially fulfilled. The reprints came out after the biography written by his daughter Christina Scott: A Historian and His World: A Life of Christopher Dawson, 1889-1970 (Transaction Publishers, 1991).

Ignatius Press has given us The Formation of Christendom and The Dividing of Christendom as well as the wonderful related study of Bradley Birzer, Sanctifying the World: The Augustinian Life and Mind of Christopher Dawson, originally published by Christendom Press in 2007.

The Catholic University of America Press currently lists twelve titles: Progress and Religion, Medieval Essays, The Crisis in Western Education, Christianity and European Culture, The Judgment of the Nations, Enquiries into Religion and Culture, The Movement of World Revolution, and The Making of Europe as now again in print. Also from the CUA Press are two edited collections containing some of Dawson’s works, The Third Spring and Christianity and European Culture [which] contains The Historic Reality of Christian Culture (1960) and selections from The Making of Europe (1932), The Judgment of the Nations (1943), and Medieval Essays (1959). There was still until 2012 a void for his 1928 classic, The Age of the Gods, which Bernard Lonergan once said he had read several times. Religion and Culture is scheduled for 2013, the latest of CUA’s reprints.

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