This is part 7 of my notes on the thoughts and ideas of Christopher Dawson. (In brackets the page numbers of each quote from TRBRAC, unless another book mentioned. “PwG” refers to my own thoughts.)
Since the time of the Renaissance, natural science . . . was based on a mechanistic view of nature that destroyed the old spiritual unity of medieval Europe, and it failed to establish a real basis for unity in European culture. (p. 215)
Dawson: “Thus as I have suggested, the progress of Western civilisation by science and power seems to lead to a state of total secularization in which both religion and freedom simultaneously disappear.” (p. 218)
(PwG:) In 1952, D. A. Connor, the author of TRBRAC could still write that the Catholic Church “has maintained with considerable success [a determined stand] against such moral evils as divorce and birth control. These are evidences that Christianity is still a vital factor in our culture.” The trend away from Christianity was already noticeable, and had indeed been noticed e.g. by George Orwell. So this statement was over-optimistic. Now, seven decades later, I’m sure Connor wouldn’t be writing that. However, to be fair, he also says that “the problem is sufficiently grave to warrant serious attention.” (p. 220) Something it was obviously not given.
(PwG:) Dawson doesn’t appear entertain the thought modern, natural science would not have arisen without a Christian worldview. At least Connor doesn’t bring this view up in his synthesis of Dawson’s writings. Again, I refer to Vishal Mangalwadi’s book for enlightenment in this regard. Also to Rodney Stark, who showed that a lot of technological development and adaptation happened in pre-reformation Europe, and Hans-Hermann Hoppe, who showed that technology necessarily precedes science.
(PwG:) Conclusion: It is not science as such that leads “to a state of total secularization”. However, a worldview that adopts the cloak of science can do that. I’m mean specifically socialism and Darwinism.