Friday, July 31, 2015

Sanctifying the World

Recommended reading─

Sanctifying the World: The Augustinian Life and Mind of Christopher Dawson, by Bradley J. Birzer.

The time is approaching when the cities become one city....It will be "a Babylon which sets its mark on the mind of every man and woman and imposes the same pattern of behaviour on every human activity." This new conformity will disrupt and attenuate the natural and divine order of grace, in which each thing uniquely has its place, gifts, and purpose. One can effectively label all of these creeping, adulterating forces “progressivism...” They result from “the unloosing of the powers of the abyss—the dark forces that have been chained by a thousand years of Christian civilization and which have been set free to conquer the world.”

Continue reading about this book at The Imaginative Conservative

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

"Social schizophrenia"

“WE are faced with a spiritual conflict of the most acute kind, a sort of social schizophrenia which divides the soul of society between non-moral will to power served by inhuman techniques and a religious faith and a moral idealism which have no power to influence human life. There must be a return to unity—a spiritual integration of culture—if mankind is to survive.”

~Christopher Dawson: Gifford Lectures, 1947: Religion and Culture.

Monday, July 20, 2015

"The main cause of the decline of ancient Greece"

"A CIVILIZATION like that of China, in which the patriarchal family remained the corner-stone of society and the foundation of religion and ethics, has preserved its cultural traditions for more than 2,000 years without losing its vitality. In the classical cultures of the Mediterranean world, however, this was not the case. Here the patriarchal family failed to adapt itself to the urban conditions of the Hellenic civilization, and consequently the whole culture lost its stability. Conditions of life both in the Greek city state and in the Roman Empire favoured the man without a family who could devote his whole energies to the duties and pleasures of public life. Late marriages and small families became the rule, and men satisfied their sexual instincts by homosexuality or by relations with slaves and prostitutes. This aversion to marriage and the deliberate restriction of the family by the practice of infanticide and abortion was undoubtedly the main cause of the decline of ancient Greece, as Polybius pointed out in the second century B.C. And the same factors were equally powerful in the society of the Empire, where the citizen class even in the provinces was extraordinarily sterile and was recruited not by natural increase, but by the constant introduction of alien elements, above all from the servile class. Thus the ancient world lost its roots alike in the family and in the land and became prematurely withered.

"The reconstitution of Western civilization was due to the coming of Christianity and the re-establishment of the family on a new basis."

~Christopher Dawson: The Patriarchal Family in History. (1933)

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