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In a time of remarkable but selective amnesia in the West reflected perhaps most dramatically in the denial of the Christian roots of Europe in the first drafts of the European constitution, Understanding Europe is as relevant today as it was on its first appearance in 1952. Christopher Dawson wrote of the uneasiness that characterized twentieth-century Western civilization in the aftermath of two disastrous global conflicts and the attempt to build a new secular civilization on impersonal economic forces. He desired a unified Europe, but one unified by a common Christian religion.
Recognizing the emphasis on economic utility and mass productivity in European culture, Dawson argued that a renewed study of Christian faith and culture was essential in order to recover the deeper sense of European unity. In Understanding Europe, Dawson expresses a desire for Europe to rediscover and renew its foundational Christian sources in order to recover a deeper sense of integrity.
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