Christopher Dawson and Time ~ The Imaginative Conservative

Christopher Dawson (1889-1970), one of the greatest of the unsung heroes of Christianity in the twentieth century, worried incessantly and critically about the rise of “progressive” thought in world history. As Dawson noted, time and time again, no one in the ancient or medieval Western worlds (or elsewhere, for that matter) considered history to be progressive. Instead, most who thought about history at all—East and West—thought of it as cyclical: A thing began, it aged, it died, and the cycle began all over again. A person came into the world, survived into middle age, became bodily corrupt, and died. Yet, humanity as a whole continued, even when the individual did not. The same was true of the seasons. Spring, then summer, then autumn, then winter. And, yet, out of this cycle, no fifth thing arose. Instead, the cycle began again, and spring followed winter. Always, and without exception. Cycles became critical elements to all first ethical, moral, and philosophical understandings of the world, whether in Miletus, India, or China.
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