The Intolerance of Secularism: Dawson

“If religion loses its hold on social life, it eventually loses its hold on life altogether. And this is what has happened in the case of modern Europe. The new secularized civilization is not content to dominate the outer world and to leave man’s inner life to religion; it claims the whole person. Once more Christianity is faced, as it was at the beginning, with the challenge of a world which will accept no appeal from its judgment, and which recognizes no higher power than its own will”:

Christopher Dawson, Religion and the Modern State (1935).

Christopher Dawson on spiritual crisis

“the secularization of Western society brought with it not only a loss of religious unity and religious faith, but also the disappearance of those objective and moral standards which provided a spiritual basis for social and political life. Hence the growing unease of spiritual unrest and maladjustment that accompanied the progress of modern civilization”:

Christopher Dawson, Religion and the Modern State (1935).

An Historian’s Hope for Humanity

“The forces that appear to make human civilization so irresistible – its wealth, its economic organization, and its military power – are essentially hollow, and crumble to dust as soon as the human purpose that animates them loses its strength. The real forces that rule the world are spiritual ones, and every empire and civilization waits for the hour when the sentence of the watchers goes forth and its kingdom is numbered and finished. The spirit of life goes out of its social traditions and institutions and a new age is begun. Thus from age to age the divine purpose towards the human race is carried on, and even the civilization which appears to resist that purpose is the unwilling servant of a power that it does not recognize.

Today the world is ripe for renewal… The process of secularization has worked itself out to its logical conclusions… and it can go no further”.

[Christopher Dawson, historian of religion and culture, 1935]