Noted historian and author Christopher Dawson (1889-1970) “campaigned for an integrated study of Christian philosophy, history, literature, and art in the same way as literae humaniores had studied every aspect of classical culture. Only this, he believed, could overcome the schism between religion and culture in the West.”
Dawson made his name as a scholar outside of traditional academic circles, but in 1958, at the age of sixty-nine, he and his wife, Valerie, traveled to Harvard University where he would occupy the Stillman Chair in the Divinity School until 1962. During his time in America, Dawson was invited by Archabbot Denis Strittmatter, O.S.B., the monastic superior at Saint Vincent Archabbey, and Father Quentin Schaut, O.S.B., the President of Saint Vincent College, to give the Wimmer Lecture. Dawson’s never-before-published 1960 talk, “The Movement Towards Christian Unity in the Nineteenth Century,” explores the rebirth of English Catholicism and how it sought to heal the religious divisions created by misunderstanding and centuries of intolerance.