The fact that the writings of Christopher Dawson have been nearly forgotten in all but a few small corners of the intellectual world proves the chronological snobbery of our age. In the 1930s and 40s, according to a Touchstone review, Dawson was praised by notables such as G.K. Chesterton, Barbara Ward, Russell Kirk, Dorothy Day, C.S. Lewis, Arnold Toynbee and Lewis Mumford; and T.S. Eliot named him the ''most powerful intellectual influence in England.'' His fundamental convictions were certainly against the grain of his time (as well as ours): ''It is the religious impulse which supplies the cohesive force which unifies a society and a culture. 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.'' One can surmise that he would have viewed with dismay the determination of the European Union to pass over Europe's Christian heritage in silence. The Making of Europe, first published almost fifty years ago and now reprinted, portrays the early Middle Ages as a richly formative period, when the disparate but converging elements of the Roman Empire, the Church, the classical tradition and the ferment of young barbarian cultures combined to form the foundations of European culture. Aldous Huxley commented after the original publication, ''The Dark Ages lose their darkness and take on form and significance. Thanks to the author's erudition and marshalling of facts, we begin to have a notion of what it is all about.'' 282 pp.
An Eighth Day View:
-- A book in systematic metaphysics and the philosophy of religion. Oliva Blanchette provides a critical response to the Heideggerian deconstruction of metaphysics. He pulls together in a coherent and encompassing whole a number of essential themes -- such as Being, Goodness, Truth, the Universe, Becoming, Substance, Matter, Form, Potency, Act, Diversity, Transcendence, Immanence, and Metaphysics itself -- and shows how they belong together when considered in the light of traditional philosophy.
-- The author explores what metaphysics is about and how relevant it remains today.