From the conclusion of “The Relation Between Religion and Culture”

Great religions are the foundations on which the great civilizations rest

This is part 10, the last part, 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.)     

Dawson: “The great civilizations of the world do not produce the great religions as a kind of cultural by-product; in a very real sense the great religions are the foundations on which the great civilizations rest. A society which has lost its religion becomes sooner or later a society which has lost its culture.” (271, my emphasis) (Progress and Religion, 1937)

Dawson: “Thus we have a secularized scientific world culture which is a body without a soul; while on the other hand religion maintains its separate existence as a spirit without a body.” (272) (Religion and Culture, 1948)

These two branches of culture [church and state] must be brought into organic relationship, and the Church or religious society must permeate and activate every phase of culture. Consequently, Dawson opposes the idea that the Church should be restricted in its activity to the purely religious field, as the following quotation indicates:

“Such ideas are natural enough to those who believe that the State is the only and ultimate society and that the Church is simply a limited organization for religious worship and moral instruction. But for a Christian who believes in the existence of a divine and universal society all such ideas are blasphemy against Christ the King. The Church is the true world society, the goal of humanity, the only society that answers the universal needs of the human soul, and the one order that is destined to incorporate everything that is of permanent value I human history. It differs from all other societies in that it transcends the limitations of time and the barriers of race and secular culture.” (p. 273, my emphases)

Dawson: “Why is not Christianity the rallying point of Western unity? Why does it seem powerless to counteract the forces that are tearing Europe asunder?

The reason is that religion itself is a disunited and therefore disunifying force. Before European civilization was secularized, Christianity was already divided. In fact the modern liberal secular state emerged as a solution of the problem of religious disunity which had plunged almost all the peoples of Europe into civil war, and the reaction against the enlightenment and the failure of the liberal state have brought us back not to the age of religious unity but to the age of the wars of religion.

The return to Christianity is therefore the indispensable condition for the restauration of a spiritual order and for the realization of the spiritual community which should be a source of new life for our civilisation.” (p. 280) (The Judgement of the Nations, 1942) PwG: The above texts were all written, essentially, in the first half of the 20th century. Some of the oldest texts were written almost 90 years ago now. Things have not improved since then. The EU is an attempt to unify a diverse continent – without God. Essentially another attempt at building a Tower of Babel. Like the original, it will fail.