“A cut flower civilization” by Christopher Dawson

“We have entered on a new phase of culture—we may call it the Age of the Cinema—in which the most amazing perfection of scientific technique is being devoted to purely ephemeral objects, without any consideration of their ultimate justification.

It seems as though a new society was arising which will acknowledge no hierarchy of values, no intellectual authority, and no social or religious tradition, but which will live for the moment in a chaos of pure sensation.

Such a society is by no means inconceivable. It had its counterpart in the great cities of the Roman Empire, which lived for the games of the amphitheatre and the circus. But it is obvious that civilization of this kind holds no promise for the future save that of social disintegration.

Moreover, the fact that religion no longer finds a place in social life does not necessarily involve the disappearance of the religious instinct. If the latter is denied its normal expression, and driven back upon itself, it may easily become an anti-social force of explosive violence.”

–Christopher Dawson, Progress and Religion: An Historical Inquiry (1931; Peru, IL: Sherwood Sugden & Co., 1991), 176-7.

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Filed under Christ & Culture, Quotable Quotes, Technopoly

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