Christianity and Western Civilization
Cover of issue 41.2
Requires Subscription PDF

How to Cite

Christianity and Western Civilization: An Introduction to Christopher Dawson’s Religion and the Rise of Western Culture. (2017). The Political Science Reviewer, 41(2), 164-189.


The Christian faith is a unique cornerstone of Western culture. It presided over the decline and collapse of the Roman Empire, from the migrations, invasions, and demographic shifts of the early medieval period, to the rise of urban centers and organized commerce. Through its many institutions, missionary activities, monasteries, religious orders, and universities, the Christian faith formed European culture and introduced a universal religion that would forever change the world. Many today, however, especially within the West, have begun to doubt Christianity’s importance to Western civilization. There is no better time to take a step back and reassess the vital role of Christianity in forming our cultural inheritance. Thankfully we have the work of Christopher Dawson to assist us. Dawson, who has been called “the greatest English-speaking Catholic historian of the twentieth century,” analyzes the enormity of the contribution of Christianity to the West while questioning the value of secularism. For Dawson, the West can neither survive without the transformative qualities derived from the Christian faith nor be properly understood apart from its Christian foundations.

Requires Subscription PDF