‘Secularization of culture is seen in its most striking form in the Communist State, where alone as yet the elimination of religion has been carried to its logical conclusion. Nevertheless, the same tendency exists elsewhere; in fact, it permeates the whole outlook of modern civilization. The average man lives more totally in the State than in the past, and even when he is not consciously hostile to religion, he no longer conceives it as a vital activity which must hold its central place in human life and society.’
– Christopher Dawson
PURPOSE AND GOALS
The Christopher Dawson Centre for Cultural Studies (CDC) is an independent, not-for-profit think tank, dedicated to promoting awareness of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and Cultural Patrimony as essential components of human civilisation.
The CDC’s focus is cultural and historical. Its supporters represent a wide range of opinion but have in common a desire to preserve and reinforce the intellectual traditions and practices of the West.
Since its establishment in 2013, the Centre has taken a lead in cultural and political debate in Tasmania. It supports the rule of law, and representative democracy. Specific research areas include Christianity in Australia, the defence and promotion of Christian culture as a central component of education in Australia, and Democracy and Freedom in the West.
The CDC publishes a wide variety of research papers and supporting opinion pieces, runs short courses, and hosts an annual Colloquium on a subject of high topical significance.
The Christopher Dawson Centre for Cultural Studies will seek to encourage critical reflection and research on the history, literature, philosophy and theology that characterize Christian civilization and culture, in order to raise the profile of these vital disciplines in intellectual life and to reclaim the high ground. These humane studies remain an essential key to the full and mature understanding of the underlying currents of Australian life. In this ‘Asian Century’ it is more important than ever to maintain our sense of proportion and hold fast to that synthesis of Faith and Reason that has been gifted to the world by the Christian Tradition.
Attracting distinguished guest speakers from both Australia and Overseas.
Maintaining a website that will serve as an online journal, featuring papers and articles on the humanities by noted contributors.
Hosting an annual conference on a theme related to the revitalisation of Catholic intellectual life and tradition in Australia.
Attracting donations from private institutions and individuals to support the study of specific aspects of Christian Civilisation and Tradition.
Running short courses in core disciplines such as Philosophy and Theology.
THE HONOURABLE RAY GROOM AO
I am very pleased that the Christopher Dawson Centre has been established. The Centre’s mission is to promote a deeper understanding of Christianity and the profound influence it has had on so many of the most positive aspects of society here in Australia and in other parts of the world. It is such a wonderful story that deserves to be properly understood and told. I wish David Daintree and the Centre every success in the important work they are undertaking.
MRS MARIAN HARRADINE
My husband Brian learned about the establishment of the Christopher Dawson Centre shortly before he died, and it gave him much pleasure to think that it would seek to advance the intellectual tradition of the Church in this State. We both agreed that CDC was worth supporting: there has never been a time when the rich traditions and principles of Christianity have been so overshadowed, eclipsed and even actively threatened as they now are in Western countries. I commend the Dawson Centre as an organization worthy of generous support and prayers.
THE HONOURABLE MICHAEL POLLEY AM
I am delighted to recommend the Christopher Dawson Centre to all those who treasure Christian history and culture. I respect all men and women of good will, and value their diverse contribution to modern society, but it is too easy to forget the fundamental role that Christianity played in forming us. The Dawson Centre is committed to restoring the balance. Please give it your support.
‘St Virgilius contemplates the possible existence of the Antipodes’. Bishop Virgilius (c. 700 – 784) was an Irishman who became Bishop of Salzburg. Known as ‘The Geometer’, he had a particular interest in Astronomy.
(St John’s College Chapel, University of Sydney. Image, with permission, Care for Cultural Patrimony)