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The Crisis of Western Education, originally published in 1961, served as a capstone of Christopher Dawson's thought on the Western educational system. Long out of print, the book has now been updated with a new introduction by Glenn W. Olsen and is included in the ongoing Works of Christopher Dawson series. In all of his writings, Dawson masterfully brings various disciplinary perspectives and historical sources into a complex unity of expression and applies them to concrete conditions of modern society.
Dawson argued that Western culture had become increasingly defined by a set of economic and political preoccupations ultimately hostile to its larger spiritual end. Inevitably, its educational systems also became increasingly technological and pragmatic, undermining the long standing emphasis on liberal learning and spiritual reflection which were hallmarks of the Christian humanism that created it.
In this important work on the Western educational system, Dawson traces the history of these developments and argues that Western civilization can only be saved by redirecting its entire educational system from its increasing vocationalism and specialization. He insists that the Christian college must be the cornerstone of such an educational reform. However, he argued that this redirection would require a much more organic and comprehensive study of the living Christian tradition than had been attempted in the past.
Dawson had reservations about educational initiatives that had been developed in response to this crisis of education. Among them, he expressed doubts about newly emerging great books programs fearing that they would reduce the great tradition of a living culture to a set of central texts or great ideas. In contrast, he insisted that a Christian education had to be concerned with "how spiritual forces are transmitted and how they change culture, often in unexpected ways." This would require an understanding of the living and vital character of culture. As Dawson saw it, "culture is essentially a network of relations, and it is only by studying a number of personalities that you can trace this network." Dawson offers a diagnosis of modern education and proposes the retrieval of an organic and living culture which alone has the power to renew Western culture.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Widely praised as one of the most important Catholic historians of the twentieth century, Christopher Dawson (1889-1970) was author of numerous books, articles, and scholarly monographs. He was lecturer in the History of Culture, University College, Exeter; Gifford lecturer; Charles Chauncey Stillman Chair of Roman Catholic Studies at Harvard University from 1958 to 1962; and editor of the Dublin Review.
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK:
"There are a handful of books that I wish I could get colleagues in the field of education to read, and this is one of them. The reissuing of Dawson's accessible The Crisis of Western Education (originally published 1961) is still relevant and, sadly, still being ignored. Dawson's insights are masterfully presented by his unusual use of the tools of sociology, cultural history, and religious studies. . . . Most impressively, throughout the work Dawson, better than most, defines and chronicles the process of secularization in the West and its influence, especially within education. . . . This helpful and insightful book is a unique blend of cultural history, philosophy, and deeply informed Christian thinking about the flow of Western history and what has happened to education within that heritage."―Robert M. Woods, Journal of Education and Christian Belief
About the Author: Widely praised as one of the most important Catholic historians of the twentieth century, CHRISTOPHER DAWSON (1889-1970) was author of numerous books, articles, and scholarly monographs. He was lecturer in the History of Culture, University College, Exeter; Gifford lecturer; Charles Chauncey Stillman Chair of Roman Catholic Studies at Harvard University from 1958 to 1962; and editor of the Dublin Review.
Title: The Crisis of Western Education
Book Condition: Good
Book Description sheed and Ward, 1961. Condition: Fair. Underlining. Former Library book. Shows definite wear, and perhaps considerable marking on inside. Seller Inventory # GRP73100303
Book Description Sheed and Ward. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. 0722001649 Book is very clean. Crisp pages. Tight binding. Appears unread. Light shelf wear on dust jacket. Light fading on dust jacket. Light tanning. Foxing. Sun fading. Seller Inventory # JHY-K98E-Z315
Book Description Sheed and Ward, 1961. Condition: Good. A+ Customer service! Satisfaction Guaranteed! Book is in Used-Good condition. Pages and cover are clean and intact. Used items may not include supplementary materials such as CDs or access codes. May show signs of minor shelf wear and contain limited notes and highlighting. Seller Inventory # 0722001649-2-4
Book Description Sheed and Ward, 1961. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Great condition with minimal wear, aging, or shelf wear. Seller Inventory # P020722001649
Book Description Sheed and Ward, 1961. Hardcover. Condition: Like New. Almost new condition. Seller Inventory # P010722001649
Book Description Sheed and Ward, 1961. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110722001649
Book Description sheed and Ward, 2001. Hardcover. Condition: Good. 1st U.S. Edition, 1st Printing. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. May not contain Access Codes or Supplements. May be ex-library. Shipping & Handling by region. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 0722001649