Third Spring: G.K. Chesterton, Graham Greene, Christopher Dawson, and David Jones

Third Spring: G.K. Chesterton, Graham Greene, Christopher Dawson, and David Jones

by Adam Schwartz
Pub. Date:
Catholic University of America Press
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Third Spring: G.K. Chesterton, Graham Greene, Christopher Dawson, and David Jones

For Most of Modern History, Roman Catholics in Britain were a "rejected minority," facing hostility and estrangement from a culture increasingly at odds with traditional Christianity. Yet British Catholicism underwent a remarkable intellectual and literary renewal, especially in the twentieth century, drawing a disproportionate number of the age's leading minds into its ranks. The Third Spring unravels this paradox of a renascent Catholic culture within a post-Christian society. It does so through detailed profiles of the spiritual journeys and religious and cultural beliefs of four seminal members of that twentieth-century revival: G. K. Chesterton, Graham Greene, Christopher Dawson, and David Jones.

Although these four authors came from different backgrounds and wrote primarily in different genres, each converted to Roman Catholicism as an adult and made his new faith the foundation of his intellectual and artistic work. All of them judged the Church to be the last corporate voice of orthodox Christianity in a hitherto unmatched irreligious climate of opinion; and they concluded that the Roman Catholic vision of human nature, thought, history, and art was truer and richer than that proposed by prevailing secularism. They thus built on the nineteenth-century "Second Spring" of British Catholicism proclaimed by John Henry Newman to create a fresh assertion of Roman Catholicism, one suited to an era of unprecedented unbelief: a Third Spring.

This book is the first detailed examination of these four authors as part of a Roman Catholic, counter-modern community of discourse. It is informed by extensive research in the writers' works, scholarship on them, and their personal papers. This study is also distinguished by its careful attention to the authors' cultural and religious contexts, and to the psychology and theology of conversion. It will therefore deepen understanding, and correct some misconceptions, of each man's spiritual development and thought, while revealing the twentieth-century Catholic literary revival to be a distinct movement in both British and Roman Catholic thought.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813213873
Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
Publication date: 04/28/2005
Pages: 440
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

Table of Contents

Abbreviations of Frequently Cited Worksxiii
1The Thing: Where All Roads Led G. K. Chesterton30
2The Heart of the Matter: Mapping Graham Greene's Religious Journey110
3Christopher Dawson's Progress in Religion: Tradition, Inheritance, and the Dynamics of World History202
4Finding Harbor with a Remnant: David Jones's Religious Voyage286
Conclusion: "I Make Each Day My Revolution"375
Select Bibliography387

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