Sanctifying the World: The Augustinian Life and Mind of Christopher Dawson

Feast of the Glorious Prophet Elijah
Sanctifying the Mind: The Augustinian Life and Mind of Christopher Dawson by Bradley Birzer

Sanctifying_the_Mind.jpgTHIS SCHOLAR of culture and history was one of the most counter-cultural of all intellectuals,” writes Bradley Birzer in his sympathetic biography of Christopher Dawson. “As the world rejected God, Dawson embraced God. As the world rejected myth, Dawson embraced myth. As the world rejected . . . prophets, Dawson attempted to speak as one.” Dawson, a twentieth-century misfit who remained in academic obscurity until the end of his career, stood at the center of the Catholic literary revival in England and America that preceded Vatican II. A “Christian humanist,” he shared his contemporary Tolkien’s love of dreams and the imagination, and his hatred of fascism, communism, and ideology. He took an Augustinian view of western civilization that found God’s purpose visible in history, and pursued with indefatigable energy the mission of restoring Christendom amidst the failures of modernity. Birzer draws on Dawson’s books and letters, news stories, and interviews with Dawson and those who knew him to create this “intellectual and spiritual” biography. His engaging prose takes us inside Dawson’s mind and thought, serving with equal facility to introduce new readers to Dawson’s legacy and to offer fresh insight and inspiration to the writers’ many devoted readers.

316 pp. cloth $30.00

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