LH-IV. The Modern View of History

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by Msgr. Eugene Kevane
©2003 The Miriam Press. All Rights Reserved

IV. The Modern View of History

Petrarch, historians commonly agree, was the first to see history differently.1 He recognized with St. Augustine that history is constituted by the succession in time of the largest socially-organized entities on the human science. But he no longer perceived the same entities: by some shift of perspective like an optical illusion, both the form and the content of the entities he saw in his mind’s eye were suddenly quite different. He saw “Classical Antiquity,” the cultural achievement of pagan Greece and Rome, clearly and with enthusiasm for all their art forms, their literary style, and in particular the beauty of Ciceronian Latin in contrast with the ecclesiastical Latin in common use around him in the Schools of Christendom. He was keenly conscious of the burgeoning culture of the Italian cities in his own day, for him a “Modern Age.” Then there was the medium aevum, the Age between them. Three concepts are born in this fashion and a meaningful succession between them is conceived. Furthermore, the focal point of interest, the “center,” is no longer Jesus Christ, with the fact of the Christianized Roman Empire as the supreme social and political order and reality of the interval between the First and the Second Coming: what Augustine had called “the Christian times” resulting from the conversion of the Roman Empire and what Denis the Little had confirmed in his system of reckoning the years of this new Christian Era from the birth of Christ.2

From such a beginning, the Modern view of history began to grow and to ripen. How did it happen? What was the background?

Ultimately, it is a question of the Christian perception of this world. Augustine, it has been noted, was careful not to identify the City of God with the earthly temporal order which the conversion of Rome had ushered onto the human scene. Gregory the Great seriously considered the times ripe for the final events which lead directly to the Second Coming. There always have been Christians in every epoch of the Christian Era, who have perceived the state of affairs on earth in this way. The Christian Roman Empire is essentially a base for the Worldmission, the on-going effort to carry forth and to announce the original message of Jesus Christ to all the remaining nations. This base is dependent upon the pastoral ministry for its solidity, upon the personal metanoia of the succeeding generations of baptized Christians.

Deficient Causes

But Augustine’s causae deficientes are in full operation.3 The Christian centuries are not perfect. The two Cities continue intermingled in them. There were families for whom baptism was a perfunctory social enrollment; the children were not raised in the actual practice of the Catholic Faith. The metanoia was not perfect. The Fathers of the Church knew it already.

Then there were the Jews: an entire people continued its own unconverted existence, dispersed throughout the Christian sway. They were a contrary influence affecting the highest level of Christian leadership; if ever they became unfaithful to the principles of the Revealed Religion which gave them their being, that influence could become an acute problem.

Then there was the problem of Christian leadership at the level of its intellectual formation in what were now called “Universities,” the Schools of Christendom in their developing and ripening form. Christian Philosophy and Sacred Theology were both frequently taught in a routine and even in a decadent manner.

There was a long interregnum at the Holy See in the late Thirteenth Century: it caused many Christians to sense a malaise in the Christian social order.

Furthermore, the Worldmission had been blocked by the rise of Islam, confining the message to the old Roman West. Kublai Khan requested two hundred scholars from the Holy See to introduce the Christian paideia, the Patristic Christianization of the Seven Liberal Arts, into the cultural life of China. The delay in answering him was very long. At last two men set out over the arduous route across Central Asia and one turned back. When Prince Henry the Navigator finally circumvented the Islamic block on the land routes to India and China by opening up the seaways of the planet, the propitious moment was gone for China to become another Catholic people like Ireland or Poland or Hungary. The opportunity to win China for Christ never really knocked again at the door of universal history.

The New Historiography

In any case, Petrarch sensed something about Augustine’s Christian times. He was not enthused. The Patristic concept of the Christian Era and its meaning did not enlist his intellectual support. He could not see the received division of history into the Six Ages based on the Hebrew Fact, and the concept of the Four Empires culminating in Rome and passing to the Christians by a true translatio imperii under the rule of the Lord of history.

“The hallmark of the new historiographical temper,” writes Patrides, “is to be found in novel schemes of periodization. Their extensive variations are not nearly so important as is the concerted effort itself to formulate and to adopt non-traditional schemes. One such scheme was proposed impressively clearly, had clear-cut implications, and exercised a decisive influence upon later historians. Petrarch, its author, located history’s most crucial point in the decline of the Roman Empire, thus neatly disavowing the Christian claim that the Incarnation stands as history’s central event…. The period of Greece and Rome thus became ‘classical,’ the age ushered in by the humanists became ‘modern,’ while the intervening centuries were termed — not always with consistency — ‘Middle Ages.’ All three designations were standardized by the end of the seventeenth century and represented a scheme of periodization in diametric opposition to the Christian division of history into ‘B.C.’ and ‘A.D.’”4

The humanists of the Renaissance sealed the new understanding of universal history as a succession of these three distinct and self-contained epochs: The “Ancient,” meaning classical (pagan) Greece and Rome; the “Medieval,” meaning the Christian period extending for a thousand years from the Fall of Rome, variously dated; and the “Modern,” their own times, felt to be so utterly different from and superior to the medium aevum. The Renaissance was never simply a rebirth of classical antiquity; always “modernity” was also present, as the quarrel between the Ancients and the Moderns demonstrates.5 As a matter of fact, thanks chiefly to the triumphs of mathematico-physical science, the Moderns gradually won the victory, so that the Renaissance came to be simply the earlier part of the Modern Age as a whole.6

The Advent of Modern Philosophy

Philosophy, the seventh of the Seven Arts, is the one which gives the first six their orientation and character. Hence, from the viewpoint of education and culture, of the Christianized paideia, the most fundamental single intellectual event in the development of the Modern Age was the birth of a new kind of philosophy, replacing Christian Philosophy on the level of higher education. This is the significance of Descartes, commonly recognized as the Father of Modern Philosophy. It would be difficult to over-emphasize the contrast, for he actually substituted the new mathematical physics for Metaphysics, “the science of wisdom and virtue,” as Augustine termed it, which had been cultivated in the Schools of Christendom across the centuries since classical antiquity. Anything which had been so cultivated was now called “scholasticism,” a term of opprobrium sharing the common intellectual attitude toward the “Middle Ages” which was ripening across the centuries of the Modern Age.

But since Metaphysics is the natural science of intelligible reality first underneath and then beyond the phenomena of this cosmos, the natural science of God the Creator, this philosophical substitution has fateful consequences for education and culture. For mathematical physics, in itself, has no way of knowing any order of reality beyond the phenomena of this cosmos. The consequences will take time to emerge in their logic; but when they do, a qualitative character attaching to Modernity as such will come into view which perhaps will prove to be significant for the philosophy of history. For this qualitative character will be the reverse side of Modern Philosophy, the rise and spread of Modern Atheism with Spinoza as its metaphysician.7 It is clear that this view of the world sees cosmic matter as the supreme and eternally abiding reality, and that God the Creator and Lord of history is eliminated from intellectual life.

With this kind of philosophizing ripening in the colleges and universities of Higher Education, it is obvious that the Judaeo-Christian understanding of history will encounter increasing difficulty. During the four centuries between Petrarch and Voltaire, the two understandings, the “Judaeo-Christian” and the “Modern,” are intermingled, each having its exponents and its treatises. Bossuet published his Discours sur l’histoire universelle full in the pattern of St. Augustine only a few years before Voltaire came on the scene. But while catechetical teaching proceeded everywhere in Christendom in terms of historical revelation and saw salvation history as extending to the present times of the Church,8 Higher Education, the cultivation of the Seven Arts, and especially of the Seventh, Philosophy, turned more and more toward that historical atheism which philosophical atheism logically implies and must therefore necessarily beget. Jean Bodin wrote his impassioned attack on the very concept of the Four Empires and their meaningful succession.9 Boyle published the seminal Encyclopedia in historical atheism. Richard Simon began to introduce this specifically “Modern” type of philosophical and historical thinking into the study of the Bible itself, initiating a type of Scripture scholarship, perhaps best denoted by the phrase, “purely rational exegesis,” that will have its career and its ripening.10

Thus the tide rose in Higher Education against the Judaeo-Christian understanding. The “Modern” view seemed ever more self-evident, the inescapable truth of the educated man. There is no personal Supreme Being. At most, there is only the Deus sive natura of Spinoza. Hence the Prophets do not communicate a Word of God. Hence some explaining and interpreting must be accomplished in the case of Jesus Christ, by understanding the historical writings of the Judaeo-Christian tradition in a new way. Hence the conversion of the peoples to the Catholic Church is not a work of God standing high and beautiful as a great City on the human scene, but rather the beginning of an unfortunate interlude in between, lasting a thousand years, which is better either passed over in silence, or if one is so disposed, exposed and attacked as an unrelieved interval of darkness, ignorance and superstition.

In other words, the development of Modern Philosophy seemed to confirm unto self-evidence the Modern understanding of history as a different kind of succession: that of the Ancient, the Medieval, and the Modern Ages conceived as distinct and self-contained entities. The self-evidence seemed to become apodictic when Fontenelle and Diderot, at the head of many lesser lights, attached a particular interpretation to the burgeoning and successful mathematico-physical sciences and their applications in technology. The meaning of modern science and technology, they asserted, is simply atheism. Atheism is the meaning! If anyone cannot as yet bear psychologically an outright philosophical atheism, let him have recourse to one of its disguises, pantheism or deism; but as to history, historical atheism has become a self-evidence and is incumbent upon all educated men.11

The Voltairean Philosophy of History

Voltaire comes upon a stage set for him. “You wish that ancient history had been written by philosophers,” he writes, “because you are desirous of reading it as a philosopher, en philosophe. You seek for nothing but useful truths, and you say you have scarce found anything but useless errors. Let us endeavor mutually to enlighten one another.”12

With Voltaire, the “Modern” understanding of history wins the victory over the Judaeo-Christian, and the Middle Ages become confirmed as simply an interlude of darkness and superstition, the phrase of Edward Gibbon in his work. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, written in discipleship to Voltaire.13 Both were filled with feeling against Jesus Christ and the times when He ruled the minds and hearts of men in and through His Church. Ecrasez l’infame! The infamous thing which was to be crushed and eliminated from influence upon society was quite simply for them the Catholic Church, and for their more logical intellectual descendants and followers, in the century after Voltaire, the object of the attack was religion in any form.

Is “Philosophy of History,” then, the invention of Voltaire? It is a common admission among scholars.14 Certainly he brought the phrase into common use, as the title of his treatise bears witness. Whether his meaning for the word philosophy, and his application of the concept to history, are legitimate and able to bear analysis, is another question.

Beyond doubt, however, Voltaire sealed the victory of the “Modern” understanding of history on the campuses of Western Higher Education, and passed on to the coming 19th century the task of elaborating its meaning and of applying this meaning to programs of political and social action. For the 19th Century will be the great age of ideological “philosophies of history,” those of Hegel, Marx, Lenin, and Comte, to name only the greater and more socially triumphant ones, all in the Voltairean pattern, and each a function of the “Modern” understanding of universal history in the now fixed and “self-evident” categories of “Ancient,” “Medieval” and “Modern.” Each is accordingly an intellectual and social movement against Him who is the Lord of history in the understanding which has been by now generally replaced in the intellectual life proceeding from the institutions of Higher Education in the West.

The Triumph of Secular Humanism

It is difficult to exaggerate the completeness of the Voltairean victory across the 19th century up to the fateful year of 1914. It was an intellectual victory which was rapidly becoming also a social one. For all social welfare, the advent of a new and perfect Society, and even the creation of a New Man, were conceived to be the function of departure from the influence of the Middle Ages and entry into that of Modernity, with its contrasting man-centered and scientific kind of culture. In the study of this phenomenon of historical understanding, one cannot forget that social welfare, the building of the better world, is attached directly to the atheistic mode of philosophical and hence of historical thought.

The concept “Modern,” in the three entities conceived to exist and to succeed in time, has ripened in the period extending from Petrarch to Voltaire. One way or another, in Comte’s way of positivism or in that of Marx’ and Lenin’s Communism, the intellectual life of the 19th century was certain of its Modernity: it was absolutely certain that its science and philosophy gave it the keys to social welfare and the tools for building that better world, that City of Man, which had been since Petrarch the meaning of the contrast with and the departure from the “Middle Age.”15

Christ on Trial

The French historian Paul Hazard puts it graphically, “‘What had the long process of [Christian] time resulted in?’ they asked in a mounting flood of scholarly and popular publication; ‘Disaster.’ Why, they asked, was this? Thereupon, they openly professed a charge the like of which for sheer audacity had never before been heard of. Now, the culprit was dragged into open court, and behold, the culprit was Christ! It was more than a reformation that the 18th century demanded, it was the total overthrow of the Cross, the utter repudiation of the belief that man had ever received a direct communication from God; of the belief, in other words, in Revelation. What the critics were determined to destroy was the religious interpretation of life. That is why we call Part I of our work ‘Christianity on Trial.’”16

This points up dramatically the fact that the understanding of the meaning and direction of history as the succession in time of the three self-contained epoch-entities, “Ancient,” “Medieval” and “Modern,” was essentially against Christ in His Body, which is the universal Church to which the peoples of antiquity had turned. For Modern Philosophy, ripening in a way that Petrarch personally did not foresee nor apparently even desire, generated in the decades from Voltaire through Comte and Marx up to the fateful year of 1914 a new Religion of Progress, a religion without God, a philosophical faith that seemed to be a self-evidence in the intellectual life of the time.17

But the very mention of 1914, and World War I which it introduces, brings the Voltairean Philosophy of History abruptly into a new situation, one which leaves it historically dated, and which reveals it as intellectually untenable.


  1. 61. There is a wealth of literature on Petrarch. A good introduction is James Harvey Robinson (ed.), Petrarch: The First Modern Scholar and Man of Letters (New York: Greenwood Press, 1969). “With prophetic insight,” Robinson writes, “Petrarch declared that he stood between two eras” p. 4. And Aldo S. Bernaldo, Petrarch, Scipio and the “Africa” (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1962). For the specific point under discussion, that Petrarch was the first to see history differently, cf. Theodor E. Mommsen, Medieval and Renaissance Studies (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1959), “Petrarch’s Conception of the ‘Dark Ages,’” pp. 106-129. Mommsen documents the fact that Petrarch is the originator of the three mental constructs, “ancient,” “medieval” and “modern,” and “also the father of the concept or attitude which regards the Middle Ages as the ‘Dark Ages,’” p. 129. 

  2. 62. St. Augustine, De vera religione 3 (3); CCL 32, 188: Christianis temporibus quaenam religio potissimum tenenda sit et quae ad veritatem ac beatitudinem via, non esse dubitandum. 

  3. 63. Cf. De civitate Dei, XII, 7: “Nemo igitur quaerat efficientem causam malae voluntatis: non enim est efficiens, sed deficiens; quia nec illa effectio est, sed defectio.” A superb insight, developed fully in his De libero arbitrio. 

  4. 64. C. A. Patrides, The Grand Design of God: The Literary Form of the Christian View of History. (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1972), p. 49. Cf. Aldo S. Bernardo (transl.), Francesco Petrarca: Rerum Familiarium libri I-VII (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1975); esp. VI, 2, where Petrarch distinguishes two great periods in history, first Roman Antiquity, then the Christian-Barbarian. This does indeed make the “Fall of Rome” the axis of universal history, and does indeed miss the significance of Christian Rome as the continuation of Rome with its values regenerated and renewed according to the concrete educational and cultural procedures in Augustine’s De doctrina christiana. The new pattern of historical understanding is born when the Renaissance humanists add their own age, feeling and calling it “Modern,” contrasting qualitatively with the age preceding, now perceived simply as barbarous. James Harvey Robinson appears correct when he writes, “Carrying ourselves back to the fourteenth century, we shall find that the name of Francesco Petrarca stands for a revolution in European thought. His existence, character and career constituted in themselves, as has been said of Voltaire, a new and prodigious era.” Cf. his Petrarch: The First Modern Scholar and Man of Letters, already cited, p. 10. “The fall of the ancient world ‘is perhaps the most important and most interesting problem of universal history.’” writes F. Lot, op. cit., p. 172, quoting the German historian Eduard Meyer. And cf. the “Preface” by Henri Berr, p. IX: “The progress of human organization and the effort of human cooperation were seen to result in empires — the Empires of the East, Alexander’s…, and the Roman Empire, which inherited a thousand-year-old experience and definitely founded the State, while at the same time it absorbed into itself the essence of a civilization in which Hellas and the East were blended. But this mighty Mediterranean Empire, instead of developing along continuous lines, was destined to decline fairly soon and to go under, after violent and unavailing struggles.” This does indeed represent a different judgment of value, valuing the pagan state of Rome above the coming era of Christian Rome, and setting the stage for a desire that the pagan culture be reborn. 

  5. 65. Cf. Hippolyte Rigault, Histoire de la querelle des Anciens et des Modernes (Paris: Hachette, 1856); and Paul Hazard, footnote 76 below. 

  6. 66. Some landmarks in this process include Bacon with his Novum Organon, the proliferation of the natural sciences and Spencer’s question in his educational treatise entitled What Knowledge Is of Most Worth? The process leads to the practical disappearance of the classical languages from the education of youth across the closing decades of the 19th century. In practice, the humanists have been unable to preserve their Greek and their Ciceronian Latin. In the 20th century this phenomenon affects even the Catholic Church herself, when in its later decades Ecclesiastical Latin, the mother-tongue of the priesthood, tends to disappear not only from liturgical worship but also from the education of young men to the priesthood. This is a phenomenon which may bear some kind of relationship, one which needs further research and analysis, to another translatio imperii, and which will be considered further below. 

  7. 67. Cf. the comprehensive treatise of Cornelio Fabro, Introduzione all’ateismo moderno (Roma: Studium, 1964; 2nd ed. 1969); English translation by Arthur Gibson entitled God in Exile (New York: Newman Press, 1970). Fabro’s analysis culminates in “The virtual theism of the principle of immanence,” pp. 921-945. Fabro’s research clarifies the fact that Modern Philosophy is an “essence,” a particular kind of philosophy with a demonstrable beginning and nature; and that the nature or meaning of Modern Philosophy, becoming ever more explicit as its seminal thinkers proceed from the Cartesian beginnings to Kant and beyond, is the rise and spread of modern secularism and atheism. Also Georg Siegmund, God on Trial: A Brief History of Atheism (New York: Desclée, 1967). And James Collins, God in Modern Philosophy (Chicago: Regnery, 1959), esp. pp. 268-284, “American Naturalism as a Methodological Atheism.” 

  8. 68. Cf. St. Augustine, The First Catechetical Instruction, op. cit., footnote 50 above. 

  9. 69. Cf. John Bodin, Method for the Easy Comprehension of History (New York: Columbia University Press, 1945); Chap. VII, “Refutation of Those Who Postulate Four Monarchies and the Golden Age,” pp. 291-302. Cf. M. A. Patrides, op. cit., pp. 47-48, and note 67 on p. 67, for references on the attack upon and defense of the Four Empires. Patrides observes accurately that “the secularization of history” is in process: “Such developments signal the abandonment of the providential view of history,” p. 58. And Raymond Aron, op. cit., p. 258: “It is vain to ask whether history has an end, since Providence is no longer believed in.” 

  10. 70. Cf. Paul Hazard, The European Mind, 1680-1715, op. cit., Part II, chap. III, “Richard Simon and Biblical Exegesis,” pp. 180-197; “A critic…Spinoza certainly was, and one can hardly fail to see in him the direct forerunner of Richard Simon” p. 184. The phrase “purely rational exegesis” is from the encyclical Humani generis of Pope Pius XII, AAS (Sept. 2, 1950). Cf. the translation and comprehensive notes by A. C. Cotter, S.J., The Encyclical “Humani Generis” with a Commentary (Weston: Weston College Press, 1951). 

  11. 71. Cf. Paul Hazard, European Thought in the Eighteenth Century: From Montesquieu to Lessing (London: Hollis and Carter), part II, “The City of Men,” pp. 113-276; and especially his chapters on “The Encyclopedia,” pp. 199-214, and “Diderot,” pp. 378-390. This is the taproot of the situation called “The Reality of the Problem,” the title of Part One of the General Catechetical Directory published by the Holy See (Washington: USCC, 1971), Nos. 1-9. 

  12. 72. Voltaire, Francois Marie. The Philosophy of History. New York: Philosophical Library, 1965 (reprint of the original English edition, London, 1766). This work became in later editions the lengthy introduction to his Essai sur les moeurs et l’esprit des nations, his re-writing of universal history done to refute Bossuet, open before him as he worked, and in the larger perspective to refute the entire Judaeo-Christian intellectual heritage. To emphasize this, and to underline his historical atheism, he begins his survey with China, a people quite devoid of any concept of a revelation from a personal God, and sets the Hebrews aside as later and relatively unimportant. Cf. I. H. Brumfitt, Voltaire: Historian (London: Oxford University Press, 1958; esp. Chap. II, “Voltaire and his Predecessors,” pp. 26-45, and Chap. V, “The Philosophy of History,” pp. 95-128. 

  13. 73. Cf. Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (New York: The Modern Library, 1932); Vol. I, A.D. 180-476; Vol. II, A.D. 476-1461. The practical effect upon education in the English-speaking world has been a tendency simply to pass over the period from 476 to 1492 in the syllabi as if there really were nothing there. A professor in the writer’s youth advised: “You must make up the deficiency by your own reading. But Gibbon is a waste of time because of his slant. Read the newer scholarship which is rediscovering the positive values of the Christian centuries.” 

  14. 74. Cf., for example, Ernst Troeltsch, Der Historismus und seine Probleme (Darmstadt: Scientia Aalen, 1961 — Reprint of the 1922 edition), pp. 11-27, “Der moderne Ursprung der Geschichtsphilosophie”; “The Philosophy of History is a modern creation, a child of the Eighteenth Century,” p. 11; and Friedrich Meinecke, Historism: The Rise of a New Historical Outlook (New York: Herder and Herder, 1972: “Voltaire,” pp. 54-89. 

  15. 75. To get the “feel” of Western Higher Education across the decades of the Nineteenth Century to 1914, cf. the works of Raissa Maritain, esp. We Have Been Friends Together (New York: Doubleday, 1961), where the atmosphere is documented which impacted upon her and Jacques as young students at the University of Paris. The “Modern” Weltanschauung, fed by Modern Philosophy, was becoming a new “Common Sense” hardening in all the branches and disciplines of Higher Education. This “Common Sense” is quite different from that of natural human thought and discourse, the common sense in which “the natural metaphysics of mankind,” in the luminous phrase of Paul VI, has its roots. This situation, which needs much research and analysis, is the substrate of the phenomenon of Religious Modernism, which will be considered briefly below. 

  16. 76. Paul Hazard, European Thought in the Eighteenth Century (London: Hollis and Carter, 1954), “Preface,” p. XVIII. Cf. Part One, “Christianity on Trial,” pp. 1-110: “It was God, God Himself, who was the prisoner at the bar; the God of the Protestants and the God of the Catholics” p. 46. This volume of Hazard, member of the French Academy, together with its companion, The European Mind, 1680-1715 (London: Hollis and Carter, 1953) offers a detailed and scholarly study of the ripening of the qualitative mentality of “Modernity” as such. In the latter work, cf. Part One, chap. II, “The Old Order Changeth,” pp. 29-52, on the quarrel between the Ancients and the Moderns, the shift of emphasis within the modern age from a renaissance of classical antiquity to an increasingly future-oriented interest in and concern for the New Man and his Better World, under construction and soon to be completed. 

  17. 77. Cf. Petrarch’s letter to Giovanni Colonna, O.P., in Aldo S. Bernardo (Transl.), Rerun familiarium I-VII (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1975), pp. 290-291: “In short, let us philosophize in a manner which the very name of philosophy suggests, for the love of wisdom. Indeed the true wisdom of God is Christ, so that in order to philosophize rightly we must first love and cherish Him. Let us be such in all things that above all things we may be Christians. Let us thus read philosophical, poetic or historical writings so that the Gospel of Christ resounds always in the ear of our heart. With it alone are we sufficiently happy and learned; without it no matter how much we learn we become ignorant and more wretched. To it all things must be referred as if to the loftiest stronghold of the truth.” “The personal orthodoxy of philosophers and theologians,” writes Maritain, “does not suffice, one knows only too well, to guarantee soundness of doctrines, for they have their own proper life and their own logic.” Cf. Revue de Philosophie (1923) p. 500. The understanding of history in the Modern Age has had its own life and logic. “The religious understanding of history,” writes Fritz Kern in Historia Mundi (Bern: Francke Verlag, 1952), Vol. I, p. 11, “as the Prophet Amos, Augustine and others developed it, has not completely died out in our days. It is being renewed in distinguished fashion, for example, by the Philosopher of History Christopher Dawson. Nevertheless, other currents of thought have been more powerful — und la faute en est à Voltaire, wie man in Frankreich sagt. Since the century of the Enlightenment the earlier Christian consensus has been broken.” 

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