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Religion and the Rise of Western Culture:…
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Religion and the Rise of Western Culture: The Classic Study of Medieval… (origineel 1950; editie 1991)

door Christopher Dawson (Auteur)

Reeksen: Gifford Lectures (1947-1949)

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In this new edition of his classic work, Religion and the Rise of Western Culture, Christopher Dawson addresses two of the most pressing subjects of our day: the origin of Europe and the religious roots of Western culture. With the magisterial sweep of Toynbee, to whom he is often compared, Dawson tells here the tale of medieval Christendom. From the brave travels of sixth-century Irish monks to the grand synthesis of Thomas Aquinas in the thirteenth century, Dawson brilliantly shows how vast spiritual movements arose from tiny origins and changed the face of medieval Europe from one century to the next. The legacy of those years of ferment remains with us in the great cathedrals, Gregorian chant, and the works of Giotto and Dante. Even more, though, for Dawson these centuries charged the soul of the West with a spiritual concern -- a concern that he insists "can never be entirely undone except by the total negation or destruction of Western man himself."… (meer)
Lid:Dan_Smith
Titel:Religion and the Rise of Western Culture: The Classic Study of Medieval Civilization
Auteurs:Christopher Dawson (Auteur)
Info:Image (1991), Edition: Image Books ed, 240 pages
Verzamelingen:Jouw bibliotheek
Waardering:**
Trefwoorden:Geen

Werkdetails

Religion and the Rise of Western Culture door Christopher Dawson (1950)

Onlangs toegevoegd doorclery, Kevinmclarke, wyclif, JMLemons, Triple347, Dan_Smith, tiggermark
Nagelaten BibliothekenWalker Percy
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An essential work of European history, this classic study sweeps from the fall of Rome to the dawn of the Renaissance as it shows how Christianity, its leaders, and its institutions changed the face of Western culture
  StFrancisofAssisi | Sep 6, 2021 |
The reader has to wait until the last chapter for Dawson to reveal his interesting Franciscan view of Christianity in daily life – a certain humility, the need for some physical labour and a respect for nature in its completeness - a view that has always had a broad appeal and which is well suited to blend with materialistic modern life and correct its deficiencies.

He refers to one of the first vernacular early English narrative poems “Piers Plowman” by William Langland, following St Francis in its unity of daily religion and culture, not rejecting the church hierarchy, but at the same time showing a simpler direct Christian life, with the poem being written in the late 14th century at the dawn of a modern world that brought, towns, universities, science and the finally the humanistic Renaissance.

The prior period, from the fall of the Classical world. is usually described as the Dark Ages (at least in northern Europe) but Dawson quite persuasively shows that Europe actually developed a stability and unity around the concept of “Christendom”. Christianity wasn't “something else that was happening” it was the core of European life, in fact creating a stable base for later developments.

It's an interesting story with the author travelling from the 7th century Celtic monasteries of Iona and Lindisfarne to the proto-democratic town Communes of the 14th century (that still exist essentially unchanged in present day Switzerland).

He emphasises the point that, prior to its collapse, the Roman Empire was already Christian (the conversion of Constantine) with the barbarian tribes that occupied and settled ex-Imperial Europe finding in Christianity a higher morality, learning and culture than their own. A common result was conversion to Christianity with tribal groups maintaining military and political power while the Church would provide a spiritual, cultural and literate life (in latin), based on a Western European network of monasteries.

The author shows how Christianity developed a symbiotic relationship with temporal power through the Middle Ages with the most notable event being the merger of Church and State under Charlemagne (Charles I of the Franks) and the creation of the Holy Roman Empire with the Emperor being crowned and anointed by the Church (for the first time in 751).

Danish-Scandinavian tribes eventually destroyed the Carolingian Empire and invaded the British Isles, but here again, they converted, with Canute becoming an active Christian king and missionaries of the 10th century finding success in the conversion of Scandinavia and Eastern Europe to Christianity (St Adalbert in Bohemia, Hungary and Poland). The interesting point that Dawson makes, is that Christianity had reached a critical mass where “Christendom” had a generalized meaning in Europe in the same way that “Islam” had a meaning in the the Middle East and North Africa – with a clear opposition between the two.

The Europe wide concept of the “Christian Knight” grew out of a feudal system of noble/priest/peasant with the reconquest of Spain becoming a religious project that belonged to the whole of Christendom ( in the same way as the Crusades) and which succeeded. It's undeniable that a European wide Christian culture was created around the written Latin of the Church and throughout this time it was the Church either through monasteries, Cathedral schools or eventually Universities that preserved ancient Classical texts concerning mathematics, science and philosophy.

It's not fashionable to say it today, but the book makes clear that Europe is a Christian creation in the same way that the Middle East was created by Islam. ( )
  Miro | May 21, 2016 |
INDEX
  saintmarysaccden | Apr 24, 2013 |
(final paragraphs only transcribed here)
This covers much the same ground as Mediaeval religion, and in the intervening 15 years the characteristics of the author's style appear to have become much more pronounced. On the one hand the pearls are bigger and better and more numerous than ever. On the other hand the defects have become even more striking. One can mention:
i) the tendency to pursue side-issues. The argument is now not just sometimes, but always, difficult to follow.
ii) the failure to think out clearly what he means, resulting sometimes in phrases that are almost meaningless: eg page 71.
iii) the tendency to avoid explaining a movement by giving instead a catalogue of its leading figures - eg p 71 again.
(notes written 1955)
  jhw | Apr 23, 2006 |
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Onderdeel van de reeks(en)

Gifford Lectures (1947-1949)

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In this new edition of his classic work, Religion and the Rise of Western Culture, Christopher Dawson addresses two of the most pressing subjects of our day: the origin of Europe and the religious roots of Western culture. With the magisterial sweep of Toynbee, to whom he is often compared, Dawson tells here the tale of medieval Christendom. From the brave travels of sixth-century Irish monks to the grand synthesis of Thomas Aquinas in the thirteenth century, Dawson brilliantly shows how vast spiritual movements arose from tiny origins and changed the face of medieval Europe from one century to the next. The legacy of those years of ferment remains with us in the great cathedrals, Gregorian chant, and the works of Giotto and Dante. Even more, though, for Dawson these centuries charged the soul of the West with a spiritual concern -- a concern that he insists "can never be entirely undone except by the total negation or destruction of Western man himself."

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Ediciones Encuentro

3 edities van dit boek werden gepubliceerd door Ediciones Encuentro.

Edities: 8474903742, 8499200265, 8499205623

 

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