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Medieval Essays (Worlds Of Christopher Dawson) Paperback – April 3, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0813210179 ISBN-10: 0813210178

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Product Details

  • Series: Worlds Of Christopher Dawson
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: The Catholic University of America Press (April 3, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813210178
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813210179
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,163,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By James E. Egolf VINE VOICE on September 18, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Christopher Dawson wrote a book titled MEDIEVAL ESSAYS which gave readers a good insight to Medieval History. These essays were organized by topic and time sequence to demonstrate that the Medieval History was active historical era. Dawson undermined the popular nothing that the time between Ancient History and Modern History was nothing but a dismal time called the Dark Ages. Dawson showed how important Medieval History was in creating Western Civilization.

The book began with a study of the late Roman Empire and the development of early Christianity. Dawson demonstrated that early Catholicism dealt with considerably hostiltiy from Roman authorities plus serious internal divisions. At least until the time of Constantine (306-330 A.D.), the early Chrisitians led a very tenious existence.

A thesis that Dawson presented was the fact that early Christianity was more Greek than Latin. Dawson explained the considerable Byzantine influence by informing readers that many early Popes were Byzatnine Greek. Pope St. Anastasius (399-403)was Greek. St. Athanasius (293-373)was Greek, and he helped formulate the Nicene Creed (325 AD)when he confronted Arius (273-336)at the Council of Nicea. Devout Catholics still recite the Nicene Creed at almost every Mass. As old as the Nicene Creed is, it is still part of the Catholic liturgy.

The gradual development of a Catholic theology was due to both Latin and Greek influence. Daswson examined the Greek and Latin Fathers of the early Church and gave high praise to St. Augustine (354-430) who wrote THE CITY OF GOD which bacame a classic in Christian literature as well as a guide to Catholic philosophy and theology.

Dawson's explanations of the changes which resulted from barbarians' invasions was interesting and instructive.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Cell Phone User on April 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I am so sorry this book is out of stock! Please, publishers, consider publishing his works again. This book is excellant for those studying links between current societal problems and their roots in history. I feel Dawson is without peer in his recognition of the pivotal role Christianity has played in the formation of Western Civilization. This book, in particular, is well integrated in the sociological, cultural, religious and economic realms. It is somewhat less anthropologically oriented. I most highly recommend this book.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Gord Wilson VINE VOICE on January 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
I had wanted to read Christopher Dawson ever since I heard Adam Schwartz, author of The Third Spring, speak at a Chesterton convention. Recently a friend loaned me Medieval Essays, and I jumped at the chance to read it. This book was originally published by Sheed and Ward, London, in 1954. It consisted of twelve essays, six of which were given as the Forwood Lectures at Liverpool University in 1934, and an additional six essays collected in the 1954 edition.

There's an introduction, which I don't know if it appeared in the Sheed and Ward edition or not, and a brief note from Dawson in which he says that the first six essays were published in 1934 under the title of Medieval Religion. He says that numbers I, II, VII, and IX are the essays added later. So which are the other two later essays? Dawson says they are about the decline of the Roman World and Church and State in the Middle Ages, both reprinted from other sources. I take these to be essays III and V in the present volume.

This would mean that IV is the first of the original essays, then VI, VIII, X, XI, and XII. I frankly think this is an odd arrangement, rather than the first six essays and the second six. But one can see why it was done, as some of the later essays deal with earlier time periods, and the present arrangement puts them more or less in chronological order, progressing, as it were, into and through the Middle Ages.

The thousand years that make up the Middle Ages were, for various reasons, discounted by various historians, including Protestant, Catholic, and Humanist, or regarded as simply a transitional period between the classical and modern worlds.

Dawson takes quite a different approach.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By William J. Dennis on October 31, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is refreshing and uplifting to read this book. This book gives various insights into the mindset of an often forgotten and ridiculed author. These essays are vintage Dawson as he focuses on the spiritual influence on the course of European history. The student of European history is often denied exposure to this great author. Present day secular academia would have us believe that the Christian Church had nothing to do with the development of Western Civilazation. Anyone who has read "The Making of Europe" and "Dynamics of World History" will enjoy this one.
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