On Christianity and International Order

Religion is the only power that can meet the forces of destruction on equal terms

This is part 9 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 proposes not a League of Nations but a Confederation, a league of federations, that would unite the nations of the world. (p. 245)

Dawson states that such a federation would work only if it were based on some spiritual force, and he believes that we should look to Christianity to supply this spiritual force. Just as Christianity, in the past, was the basis of unity in Europe, so too, can it bring about world unity. (p. 245)

(PwG:) This is of course the total counter-vision to secular world government.

Dawson: “the demonic powers which have entered the empty house of secular civilization are not to be exorcised by the economist or the politician: religion is the only power that can meet the forces of destruction on equal terms and save mankind from its spiritual enemies.” (p. 246, my emphasis) (The Judgement of the Nations, 1942)

Dawson: “The new paganism that we have to face today is more terrible than either of these in its cold inhumanity and its scientific exploitation of evil.” (246) (The Judgement of the Nations, 1942)

The restauration of Christianity is important not only for the unity of European culture, but for the unity of world civilization which is largely a product of European influence. (247, my emphasis) (PwG:) These are hugely provocative statements, which have, presumably for that reason, gone largely unanswered. Dawson is basically reiterating, and re-politicizing, the “Great Commission”, in which Jesus says: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28, 18-20 [NIV], i.e. the final verses of that gospel.)