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Friday, July 17, 2009


Mark Brumley

Dawson is a forgotten treasure. It is an honor that Ignatius Press is able to publish some of his works. As we approach the 500th anniversary of the outbreak of the Protestant Reformation, it is crucial for Catholics and others to have an appreciation for both the formation of Christendom and its dividing. Dawson gives an unbiased treatment of both, even though he is not bashful about his Catholicism and Catholicism's vital role in western history.


> he is not bashful about his Catholicism and
> Catholicism's vital role in western history.

Would you say this is the primary reason why he's mostly forgotten? Any other reasons?


Any other reasons?
Well, as an independent scholar, Dawson worked outside the academy - which means he wouldn't have directed or supervised dissertations, etc. In other words, his works never became integrated into the academic world. He was a brilliant man but he didn't generate a school...

Mark Brumley

Primary? I'm not sure. Like many notable preconciliar Catholic writers, Dawson fell into eclipse after Vatican II as a result, at least in part, of a false reading of the council and the collective amnesia to which large numbers of Catholics succumbed. In the 1980s, through the philanthropy of Chauncey Stillman, with the formation of the Society for Christian Culture and the work of John Mulloy, a disciple of Dawson, a Dawsonian revival occurred. For reasons I cannot go into here, this revival did not realize its potential. Let's hope and pray that circumstances today are such that Dawson will come to hold the place he deserves to hold and his work can have the influence it should.

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