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Civilizational Sickness and the Suspended Middle: R.G. Collingwood, Christopher Dawson, and Historical Judgment.

Either reality is the immediate flow of subjective life, in which case
it is subjective and not objective, it is enjoyed and cannot be known,
or else it is that which we know, in which case it is objective and not
subjective, it is a world of real things outside the subjective life of
our mind and outside each other.... but to accept either horn is to be
committed to the fundamental error of conceiving the mind as a mere
immediate flow of feelings and sensations, devoid of all reflection and


It is always a temptation to the historian to exaggerate the continuity
of history, above all when the historian is the representative of a
party or a cause. But the past does not exist for the sake of the
present, it has its own ends and its own values. Its life is bound up
with the life of unique individual personalities, which may seem to be
mere fodder for the historical process but which are nevertheless
spiritual ultimates.


THE TWO VOLUMES of Oswald Spengler's infamous The Decline of the West (1916, 1923), which traced eight high cultures through the cycle of birth, development, fulfillment, decay, and death, were translated into English in 1926 and 1928. Two British historians of note who shared Christian faith, R. G. Collingwood (1889-1943) and Christopher Dawson (1889-1970), felt obligated to review Spengler when the first volume appeared in translation. Typically, a Christian theory of history is understood to be linear in movement, and twentieth-century Christian thinkers largely rejected views like Spengler's. The two historians' individual critiques also drew Dawson into an assessment of Collingwood that Dawson continued to hold for much of his career. Collingwood and Dawson agreed with Spengler that civilizational life and death were historical realities and that past cultures had ideological centers and even some predictable course; at the same time, both men shared a deep distrust of positivist claims for necessary causation. Likewise, they shared a concern for Christian civilization--even to a similar cultural diagnosis before and during World War II, yet when they arrived at their common alarm, it was with different assumptions about historical judgment. Their claims about the sickness of the West might seem to require something like Spengler's tragic cycle, and yet both sought other ways to make this diagnosis than that of a positivist fatalism in which evolved animals rebel against an indifferent universe. (3) Each historian sought an active and creative account of human potential within history. While Collingwood favored an interpretation of historical consciousness that looked toward the subjective, Dawson tended toward the externals and the objective. Their two centers of gravity in terms of theory and practice, not surprisingly, also favored differing accounts of Christian faith: Collingwood's inclining toward immanence and Dawson's toward transcendence. Nevertheless, each moved within what Erich Przywara has called a "suspended middle," a measurement of existence both in and beyond history, that is, one that gives space mutually to universal truths and to historical particulars, and from within this suspension, both historians involved their historical judgments in moral ones, as well.

Realism and Idealism

Collingwood and Dawson have been influential authors, yet, in his lifetime, neither was considered near the disciplinary center of academic history. The Anglican Collingwood, who taught at Pembroke College, Oxford, for fifteen years before becoming Waynflete Professor of Metaphysical Philosophy at Magdalen College, Oxford, was somewhat isolated in his fields of study. Along with his archeological digs at Romano-British sites and his involvement in folklore studies, his chief focus was on the history of philosophy and in turn, the philosophy of history. The posthumous The Idea of Nature (1945) and The Idea of History (1946)--both mostly drafted in the late 1930s--were to become well-known books, the latter creating a conversation that continues until today. In his lifetime, however, other than the notoriety within certain academic circles of his 1939 Autobiography, the public mostly knew him for his three books on Roman Britain. Significantly, his last book, The New Leviathan (1942), which brought together his ethical and political theory with a critique of Nazi Germany, created only moderate interest and was not widely appreciated. Yet it was this last book in which the question of historical and moral judgment came to a head. (4)

The Roman Catholic Dawson, likewise, would be judged by many as on the periphery of British academia, though he did offer occasional lectures at the parochial University College, Exeter, and would receive no mean appointment at the end of his career as the first professor of Roman Catholic Studies at Harvard University in the United States. Most of his vocation, however, was spent in independent publications through publisher Sheed & Ward, as editor of The Dublin Review for four years, and in the yearly grind of various articles and books in both Catholic and non-Catholic circles. This hardly kept his work from being known, as the invitation to deliver the 1946-47 Gifford Lectures revealed. Dawson's long-term project was a history of Western culture, and in practice, his scholarly work was wide in scope, heavily drawing from anthropology and sociology. Works such as The Age of the Gods (1928), The Making of Europe (1932), and Medieval Essays (1953) were well respected. At the same time, he was a staunch cultural critic, and some of his most well-known works, such as his war book, The Judgment of the Nations (1942), operated in that vein. It, too, modeled the tension of historical and ethical judgment. (5)

Belief-wise, Collingwood and Dawson shared much in common. They held that cultures have a religious core; that, without them, the culture was subject to civilizational sickness; that land is a key to civilization; and that the utilitarian impulses of the last century were particularly dangerous. They also sought to account for religious intuition, that is, for a more diverse picture of rationality, and each respected and drew from the experiences of indigenous peoples in order to gauge this reality. Yet despite these common moral concerns, they also had a fundamental difference in their historical practice. Their centers of conceptual emphasis were poles apart, and Dawson's response to Collingwood was emblematic of that difference.

Given Collingwood's own disapproval of Spengler, Dawson's disappointment might seem surprising. In "Oswald Spengler and the Theory of Historical Cycles" (1927), Collingwood's chief critique was that history dealt with individual persons and eras, while Spengler's approach could only blind him to particulars. (6) The Descent of the West, Collingwood charged, "sacrifices truth to method" and caricatures a culture under a single idea, enclosing each society within its supposedly dominant feature. By doing so, Spengler's method ignored the diffusion of ideas across cultures, as well as the chronological overlap within Spengler's very examples. Assuming closed cultures, Collingwood argued, undercut the continued writing of history. Nonetheless, Collingwood did agree that historical cultures, though dynamic and changing, were real and that periods with beginnings, middles, and endings were necessary historical narratives. (7) In his follow-up essay, "The Theory of Historical Cycles" (1927), Collingwood expanded upon where he could agree. Each era has its glory, value, and meaning, and yet evaluations can be made across eras, so every age can be judged as declining or progressing. This judgment, however, varies according to the historical judge's particular concerns, problems, and aesthetics. (8) Progress, too, cannot be a law of history; rather, it is a judgment made at any place or time from a singular perspective. (9) Collingwood would continue to stress that progress is a moral narrative that describes the solution of particular problems. We cannot decide that another culture or era will agree with our judgment of decadence or improvement; indeed, they likely would not. (10)

Dawson as early as 1922 had made the same charges. Spengler did not account for cultural diffusion, and the German writer was reductionistic because he forced his historical examples to fit the model rather than the reverse. (11) Dawson, like Collingwood, had realized that Spengler's cyclical account ignored too many details. Yet in 1927 and 1929, Dawson also took Collingwood's position on Spengler as misguided: "This idealistic conception of history was even less satisfactory than Spengler's anti-intellectualist relativism." (12) Dawson thought Collingwood's approach treated culture as "purely subjective" and limited historiography to the questions it decided to ask; thus, it discounted "the findings of the biologist and anthropologist" and in following Hegel would subsume any physical or material findings under a "purely spiritual movement of ideas." (13) This seems a strange charge in that Collingwood was known mostly as an archeologist. Indeed, a few years later in 1932, Dawson could cite Collingwood with approval precisely because his Roman Britain noticed how Anglian art was the product of a conquered people group. Still later, in reviewing Collingwood's 1936 Roman Britain and the English Settlements, Dawson could likewise praise the book for its close attention to material culture, its awareness that Roman urban world was not rooted in the English landscape, and that the highland and lowland geographic zones achieved a synthesis of cultural life and product. (14) Yet, despite Collingwood's own disavowal of Hegel, into the 1950s Dawson would continue to group Collingwood with idealism. (15) Dawson thought that an approach to history that focused on what concerns and questions moderns have was not seeking an objective account of a very different past. (16)

Was this a fair charge? Collingwood, though he denied being a British idealist, was certainly a weak antirealist in terms of epistemic claims. He held that one's beliefs could only be attested because we always encounter the world through some domain of knowing. Thus, though material reality does exist beyond the human mind, we cannot consciously engage it without conceptual and linguistic involvement. Even if history has geographical and material elements, it is primarily a matter of ideas because there is no unmediated approach to the world. (17) This is not to imply that Collingwood did anything but take material culture and geographical climate seriously; his work in archeology and Romano-British history clearly showed otherwise. Nevertheless, he did stress human action and agency as the proper subject of history, including as evidenced by artifacts and archaeological remains. Better said, past persons and their cultures have left archeological and textual signs of their thoughts and actions, and these are tangible things that have the mark of human decision-making and human belief upon them. For Collingwood, history as human thinking and judgment about the past is thought and only exists in thought, even once it is written down for others to interact with. (18) History is ideational--it is present reasoning about the actual past based on the evidence that has survived into the present, as well as on interaction with past interpretations of that same past.

As his Autobiography showed, the realism that Collingwood rejected was that of Oxford, and later Cambridge, positivism, "with all its ingenuity and pertinacity... only building card-houses out of a pack of lies." (19) James Connelly and Giuseppina D'Oro have addressed this subject in some detail. They both conclude that Collingwood was mostly concerned with a historical approach that removed human freedom and agency. Collingwood's rejection of realism was a rejection of a particular form of positivism and reductive materialism, not an embrace of Hegelian idealism per se. (20) Collingwood, instead, held it a mistake to treat the epistemological and metaphysical sides of history as if they were entirely separate. (21) Collingwood owed a debt to both Kant and Hegel, but he also criticized them on more than one occasion. History has to focus on the actions of humans in the past and upon their testimonies to their actions, and so the historian's interpretation has its end in human self-knowledge. (22) To do otherwise was to reduce history to a dead past with no contemporary relevance. Collingwood's more well-known methods--the logic of question-and-answer, historical reenactment, and a coherency model of evidential conclusions--all depended upon the subjective and objective sides of knowing and learning being intermingled in the actual practice of history.

Now, this raises particular questions about the framework of truth from which historical judgments can be asserted, and especially so for the believer in God. Is there any objective anchor from which one can moor one's claims about the world, including one's religious claims? Ethical systems, for instance, can be debated only so far down. At some point, Collingwood acknowledged, one must hold a belief because it is self-evident, "that something is good in itself, irrespectively of whether or not it is also useful." (23) A belief defined in this way is not a debatable proposition but a basic conviction. Collingwood held that properly basic beliefs would not be embedded in human persons without the imaginative practices deemed "magical" by anthropologists. As a term, magic had a specific meaning for Collingwood that had less to do with technique and more to do with imagination. Magic, he asserted, cannot be entirely foreign to the civilized mind if we are even to recognize it, and, in turn, all have some aspect of magical imagination that is essential to historical understanding. (24) Ritual action and explanation always occur together because the ritual is embodied history, and so along with religion and science (i.e. supernatural belief and organized systems of knowledge), magic makes up the consciousness of civilizations. (25) Collingwood in his The Principles of Art defined magic specifically as a cultural requisite:
A representation where the motion evoked is an emotion valued on
account of its function in practical life, evoked in order that it may
discharge that function, and fed by the generative or focusing magical
activity into the practical life that needs it. Magical activity is a
kind of dynamo supplying the mechanism of practical life with the
emotional current that drives it. Hence magic is a necessity for every
sort and condition of man, and is actually found in every healthy
society. A society which thinks, as our own thinks, that it has
outlived the need of magic, is either mistaken in that opinion, or else
it is a dying society, perishing for lack of interest in its own
maintenance. (26)

Absolute presuppositions have a quality like that of the numinous or the uncanny. (27) Collingwood would be unperturbed by those, such as James Frazer, who located magical practice in the Eucharist. Belief needs ritual to imaginatively embody its emotional force, and the ritualistic aspects of religion are nothing of which to be ashamed. (28) "We believe that God exists" is a historical presupposition, which cannot be proven or disproven. (29) As such, truth, at some level, is a matter of unarguable coherence.

It was for this approach that Dawson held Collingwood culpable. For Dawson, truth was not simply a matter of coherency; it was also a matter of correspondence with what is there. Dawson sought to avoid a simple history of ideas by joining his study with sociological attention to land, economy, and family. (30) At the same time, he warned against materialist reductionism while holding that sociology played a large role in history's description and outcome. What kind of confidence did Dawson have in the field, and, in turn, in the historian who employs its methods? In his 1934 essay, "Sociology as Science," Dawson defended sociology as "genuine scientific knowledge," that is as consistent, organized, and systematic as the natural sciences were. (31) He stressed that science was not contemplating the static and eternal but the historical and evolving, and as such, sociology and history belonged together: "In reality, sociology and history are two complementary parts of a single science--the science of social life," yet they differed in method, for "sociology deals with the structure of society, and history with its evolution." (32) Sociology needed the particulars of history, including its historical contexts, to help it avoid reductionist claims.

Clearly for Dawson there were wrong and right practices of causal explanation. He did not put great faith in quantifiable sociology's claim to predict human action, but he did think sociology provided qualitative expectations as to how cultures might act, specifically if they were fairly stable entities. (33) This was especially the case concerning religion. When a culture's religion was settled and diffused within its social, economic, and localized aspects, then one could make reasonable predictions. However, if the culture's religion was unstable or at odds with its cultural self, then sociological prevision was much more difficult. (34) In the same fashion, quantifiable analysis could not predict what would be of value to future historians, and Dawson insisted that sociology should not be carried away by a false analogy with the natural sciences; it should not seek to be reductive and deny the category of the spiritual; neither should it attempt to offer antimetaphysical pronouncements. (35) Sociology had to deal with not only the material, but also the ideational aspects of human life, and, therefore, in turn the spiritual could not be reduced to the theory of ideas. Dawson accordingly rejected Marxist materialism, Hegelian idealism, and Durkheim's functionalism as reductive models. (36) Marxism was mistaken to reduce everything to economic explanations, just as a dialectic of ideas was mistaken to treat concepts such as Liberty or Justice or Reason as "real forces which determine the movement of culture." (37) What was needed, felt Dawson, was a more complete picture of attestable reality.

Dawson's Augustinian understanding of history, as well as anthropology and sociology, had two important principles: transcendence ("the idea of a supernatural order, a supernatural society, and a supernatural End of History") and dependence (of human law and society upon the divine order). (38) A healthy tension between the two not only gave historical cultures a social energy attested to in history, but also saved social and historical analysis from a cultural blindness and truncated method. A sociology that sought to fit everything into functional categories was inevitably not considering all the data. Dawson argued that religion, philosophy, and science, in being transcultural inquiries, transcended their local social milieu. A sociologist should examine religion from a sociological perspective, yet this did not entitle him or her to deny the existence of anything beyond the social: "[Sociology] must recognize at once the determination of natural causes and the freedom of spiritual forces." (39) In Dawson's thought, the consubstantial nature of the intellectual and the material in culture are comparable to that of the soul and body of human beings; (40) they are a metaxy, "a nexus of spirit and flesh." (41) He insisted, then, that the supernatural could be encountered and attested to as direct experience, though this was not actually touching the transcendent aseity itself. (42)

Now this objective stress does not deny that Dawson, like Collingwood, understood that human culture conditions a historian's perspective, that a nontheistic historian or sociologist would reread the evidence for the transcendent in history along different lines. Dawson was a critical realist in terms of epistemology because he did acknowledge that differing philosophies of knowledge shape what we try to claim for our science, and that our ethics arise from our religion, which in turn arises from something more properly basic:
Now the great obstacle to the attainment of a purely rational system of
ethics is simply our lack of knowledge of reality. If we can accept
some metaphysic of Absolute Being, then we shall quickly possess an
absolute morality, as the Platonists did. But if we limit ourselves to
positive and scientific knowledge of Reality, it is at once evident
that we are limited to a little island of light in the middle of an
ocean of darkness.

Nevertheless it seems to be the fact that a new way of life or a new
view of reality is felt intuitively before it is comprehended
intellectually, that a philosophy is the last product of a mature
culture, the crown of a long process of social development, not its
foundations. It is in Religion and Art that we can best see the vital
intention of the living culture. (43)

Over against a materialist view that was broadly naturalistic, developmental, and evolutionary, Dawson insisted that, historically, cultures have regularly acknowledged a transcendent dimension, and human beings were the point at which this "comes into conscious contact with the world of matter." (44) Religious practice and artistic creations evince this sense even prephilosophically. Dawson himself was quite open that his own commitment to the study of European history was not only Catholic but also family pietas; he owed a debt to the classical culture with which his parents had raised him. (45) So Dawson was also a committed ontological realist, and for this reason was opposed to Kant. If our faculties are working correctly, we naturally receive the world, and this experience of being allows us to intuit the higher realms, though theologically one must acknowledge that even this intuition is a matter of divine gift. All human cultures possess knowledge of the supernatural and put it into practice pedagogically and ritually, which history clearly confirmed.

History and the Analogia Entis

If Dawson's stress on realism, as well as his principled appeal to transcendence and dependence was primarily ontological, Collingwood's antirealism, along with his methodology of question-and-answer logic and reliance upon absolute presuppositions, was primarily epistemological. (46) Each emphasis did need to accommodate the corresponding tension. Dawson's ontological realism allowed for critical epistemological realism, even if it was not a strong note in his thought, and Collingwood's epistemological antirealism, while dependent upon absolute presuppositions, still practiced in his archeology and critical histories of Roman Britain a mostly unstated ontological actualism. Taken together the historical theories and practices of Collingwood and Dawson reveal a fundamental tension for all historians, and certainly for religious ones, between the reality of the past and the struggle to discover and understand that past, especially when seeking to account for the religious past and its significance for the present.

To explore this tension, I want to appropriate a model from one of their historical contemporaries, Erich Przywara's Analogia Entis. (47) I would argue that Przywara is particularly helpful for dealing with the thought of both men because Przywara's work sought to summarize the philosophical and ideological debate in the modern period. Przywara found in the analogy of being a framework for the human encounter with understanding, and as such, he sought to show how and why particular philosophers, historians, and theologians took such different pathways into their fields of inquiry. He recognized that a "question-posing act of knowledge," whether that of the Cartesians and Kantians, of the German idealists, or even of neo-scholasticism was already committed to something like objective idealism, and this led Przywara to stress a particular theological anthropology. (48) "Clearly, if consciousness and being are thus connected to one another in the problems of both act and being, then the final problem of metaphysics must be just this mutual belonging" of the world and self to one another. (49) Przywara emphasized, too, that human beings are not static in nature, but exist in time and are in the process of becoming. (50) Theologically, they are not their own self-definitions but are formed for the final end of grace. Thus, human essence is never fully given in history, but always ahead of itself being realized, and so true knowledge is real and yet open to further understanding.

Because logic, ethics, and aesthetics all ask for an investigation into the essence of things, the division between Dawson's critical realism and Collingwood's weak antirealism can be modeled by Przywara's approach to metaphysics. While a method of understanding seeks "the greatest possible immediacy to this formal object," there is always subjective involvement in the matter. (51) For Przywara, analogy was a way of engaging and being engaged by reality, "an oscillation without end between two extremes" of ontology and epistemology. (52) Analogy understood in this way is a movement, a dynamic that is both fragile and energetic; it affirms the similarity and the difference in human attempts to model the real world while recognizing that the world and our descriptions are in tandem. Rather than pronouncing a complete identity between one's model and the world or in writing off the connection as a complete fiction, Przywara held that the principle of noncontradiction could practice a humble estimation of truth. (53) A "creaturely metaphysics" acknowledges that human attempts to map out ontology and epistemology--as well as parallels in the objective and subjective, cause and effect, the ideal and the real, the suprahistorical and infrahistorical, the absolute and the relative, and so on--always endeavor to privilege one aspect but inevitably are drawn back towards the other side. Such relations are in-and-beyond each other, and no attempt to conceptualize them ever reaches an adequate point of univocal rest, nor need it fall back into equivocal despair; instead, the search continues in history. Thus, Przywara could speak of truth in-and-beyond history in which truth is neither received apart from history nor reduced to history alone.

A creaturely metaphysics has a number of implications for mapping historical judgment. Przywara's analysis highlights not only that the truth of cultures is in-and-beyond history, but also so are the truths of historical testimonies and objects. Past cultures and events continue to take on newly discovered dimensions of significance. Since the historian's search involves the subjective self but is not confined to it, analogy as a structure of judgment recognizes that the epistemological question (how do we know what happened in the past?) must circle back to the ontological inquiry (and what was its nature in that it happened?) and vice-versa. Przywara argued that all modern formulations of these questions tend to strive for a purity of one side or the other, but this would not do. (54) A posteriori investigation is already equipped with an inner a priori set of ideas, just as a priori investigation is formulated with an anticipated a posteriori outcome. (55)

Collingwood and Dawson both experienced this doubling-back in their historical judgments. In his concrete practice of historiography, Collingwood more frequently foregrounded the debate over the meaning of the historical particulars, both those that remained in written sources and those surrounding surviving material objects. He was involved in deliberations about the meaning of Hadrian's Wall, the Antonine Wall, the population size of Roman Britain, and the nature of the late Roman villa in Britain, to name just a few examples. In many cases, such disputed questions had to be conjecturally rendered by Collingwood because the limited evidence undermined the confidence for a strong finding, but this did not mean that he avoided making strong claims when he felt justified. This was especially the case when he engaged archeological objects, such as his heroic cataloguing of more than 2,000 epigraphic examples, his system for classifying Roman broaches, or his work with pottery. Trained by his father in drawing and ceramics, Collingwood had a strong tacit sense of what art objects could imply. For example, Collingwood was fascinated with the "very curious problem" of the Celtic revival in art after its apparent two-century dearth under Roman Continental wares. (56) His explanation was a subaltern one. He concluded that native style and sensibilities had undergone a period of suppression, and he argued this because he held that artistic craft was a tradition that must be cultivated and not a biological set of genetic proclivities. He furthermore made a distinction between the conscious continuity of teaching and the unconscious continuity of the cultural tradition and concluded that the Celtic artisans were resistant pupils, "Roman art teaching the Briton nothing but what he was glad to forget, Britain contributing to Roman art nothing of which it could be proud." (57) Collingwood reached this judgment on several grounds. To begin with, there was the matter of Celtic style and its "dream-like quality," its positive principle of harmonious curves, and its negative principle of abstraction: "So delicate is the meditative poise of the best early British art, that a touch will destroy it." Collingwood argued that this aristocratic and cultured art was forced to produce quantities of servile and serviceable Roman wears, and such a tradition was bound to be resistant. (58)

Collingwood also drew from the experience of working the Roman- period pottery sites and concluded that they, too, disclosed this resistance. His description is revealing: "But on any Romano-British site the impression that constantly haunts the archaeologist, like a bad smell or a stickiness on the fingers, is that of an ugliness which pervades the place like a London fog: not merely the common vulgar ugliness of the Roman empire, but a blundering, stupid ugliness that cannot even rise to the level of that vulgarity." We might conclude, Collingwood observed, that it was a period without artistic talent except for the obvious evidence of Celtic objects to the contrary. (59) Collingwood's judgment here was highly interpretive, yet one drawing from a close involvement with material particulars. What the site evidence showed was a fundamental misuse of materials--the kind that even a moderately trained potter would not make. Thus, some kind of deliberate mishandling or at least strongly held reluctance had marred the work.

To corroborate this interpretation, Collingwood held that the naturalistic pull of Roman art was absorbed when possible by Celtic symbolic art, and once the Romans left, Celtic art went on to "the triumphs of Lindisfarne and Bewcastle." (60) Here, we see a version of reenactment applied to art works. Collingwood assumed that such works are objects of intentional production, and this intention can be discerned even centuries later by the trained historian. Collingwood depended upon the Bath Gorgon as one strong example, and argued that one could reenact the feeling of the original artist to some degree: "His Gorgon is barbaric for the same reason that Caliban is barbaric--because its creator was a skilled artist, and wanted to make it barbaric, and succeeded." (61) Collingwood made a similar judgment of the Corbridge Lion: "But so far as we can tell what the sculptor was trying to do, he was trying to produce a grotesque, something half-way between the alarming and the amusing, half-fierce and half-comic," and he concluded that the same impulse was in the mind of the person who carved the Hexham tombstone of Flavinus. (62) Such work was intended to be grotesque and comic, and in that sense more comparable to the Romanesque or medieval than the classical.

Collingwood's judgment about Celtic art required, then, not only inductive and deductive decisions, but also acts of explanation and coming to understanding. His reenactment was, phenomenologically speaking, both a set of conclusions about the evidence and a coming to terms with the materials of the past. Collingwood admitted to the problem of treating art production and manufacturing in modern terms and yet insisted that there was no other way to think for a person than her own era's estimate. A nineteenth-century aesthete's view of realism might complicate judging the British La Tene period with its emphasis on curving lines and abstraction, yet one could reach an understanding of the art "which grows more impressive as one becomes more familiar with it, and more able to place oneself at the point of view from which they looked at it." (63) In other words, the subject and object come into a double-sided relationship in which the historian can perfect an explanation even as the historical evidence may give more of itself for understanding. World and self must be in conversation.

Therefore, if Collingwood's weak realism placed the stress on human thought, it hardly kept him from a close engagement with actual particulars. Indeed, his question-and-answer logic and re enactment seemed to require such close experiences of the materials. Dawson, by contrast, had a much wider, even overdetermined scope in his European histories, and the debate interpreting the particular historical data he often left in the background. What he brought to the foreground was the ideological history that shaped the meaning of history and science, which he always placed within the contexts of land, culture, and religious practice. (64) It is not surprising, then, that despite Dawson's close emphasis on the ontologically real, he had to engage the history of ideas repeatedly, because what qualified as "natural" was itself a point of historical debate. For example, in his first set of Gifford lectures, published as Religion and Culture (1948), Dawson positioned the project of natural theology within its own intellectual history. He did this to expand its meaning to sociological studies of the transcendent. Natural theology, he argued, bore a relationship with the humanism of the Renaissance, which had held together European culture after the Reformation. Natural theology and the religion of reason were attractive after the Wars of Religion, but they were subject to criticism from multiple directions. Natural theology was opposed by believers such as Pascal and Malebranche, on one side, and the skeptics, such as Voltaire and Hume, on the other. Deism was simply not a deep enough belief system to support natural theology. This thinness explained the romantic pushback from such varying voices as de Maistre, Blake, Boehme, and the German idealists. By their very philosophical and cultural backgrounds, both natural theology and comparative religion were already tempted to truncate the sociological and historical data. It was the German search for a history of Absolute Spirit that gave birth to the field of comparative religion (e.g. Max Muller and E. B. Tylor), and the field was still dependent in the 1940s upon a synthesis of Hegel and Comte. (65)

Against this truncation, Dawson insisted that the inward examination of consciousness was one of the classic journeys toward the transcendent, and as such, need not be relegated to revealed or special dogma: "The difference between discursive reason and the intuition of the contemplative is not the same as the difference between the natural and the supernatural... between reason and faith; it is simply a question of different levels of consciousness which are equally parts of human nature." (66) Phenomenologically, then, the transcendent for Dawson was not a belief per se, but an ontologically actual experience, something given to the contemplative or the religious person. To establish this, in books like Progress and Religion and Religion and Culture, Dawson examined the various social forms and ideas of indigenous religious experience, religious practices, and high regard for revelation, and these expanded the historical scope of examples. He concluded that natural theology was actually a historically late development: "If religious truth is entirely outside the range of rational enquiry, then there is no room for Natural Theology, but at the same time the historical science of religion also loses its value." (67) Natural theology and comparative religion need each other; the first left to itself ignores historical particulars, while the second alone ends in sociological relativism.

Natural theology, as a result, had to include historical change that occur within people groups: "Therefore the particular goods of particular cultures are not dead ends; they are the media by which the universal good is apprehended and through which these cultures are oriented towards the good that transcends their own power and knowledge." (68) Several of Dawson's early essays, collected in the 1931 Enquiries into Religion and Culture, clearly discussed this metaphysical framework for his historical studies. At the heart of Dawson's thought was the spiritual-material tension that drives persons, cultures, and history, and he held to the Roman Catholic nouvelle theologie's stress on a single end for human beings, nature preparing for and oriented towards grace. In his essay "On Spiritual Intuition in Christian Philosophy," for example, Dawson drew on the neo-Thomist Joseph Marechal in allowing for a natural "intuition of pure being" at some level--that, while it does not necessarily offer direct spiritual experience of God, there is a middle range between material experience and the supernatural aseity. In Dawson's thinking, this formed the ground for the sense of the transcendent in other religions. (69)

If, for Collingwood, archaeology provided one means by which the historian could evidentially come to terms with historical materials, for Dawson, anthropology revealed the capacity for human consciousness to border on the transcendent. Przywara called this interplay of concept and object "a tension-filled limit circle," and one can see this in the centers of gravity for each historian. Collingwood treated objects as deposits of historical agency, while Dawson treated records of historical religious consciousness as matters of discoverable fact. (70) Each had to engage the material and written records of the past as indicative of real events and cultures, even as they both had to offer a narrative of their judgments about what had happened and upon what basis. It makes perfect sense to speak of both historians in practice accounting for a past that offers itself to them, even as they must theorize a method by which to apprehend it.

The Aseity of God and Heretical Civilization

Arguably, Przywara's analogical structure shows that for Dawson and Collingwood, the epistemological and ontological questions, despite their differences in emphasis, required each other because their historical judgments about the past were built on anthropologies of human understanding. At the heart of Przywara's creaturely metaphysics is an acknowledgement that the creation exists in potentiality, a whole that is becoming in dependence upon the totality of God who is complete actuality. The suspended middle of every human judgment is a living out of that potential in both its capacity and limitations. God remains mysterious yet intersects the phenomena of history, and this intersection invites theological evaluations of historical events. Both Collingwood and Dawson wanted to respect God's aseity, and each also held that a culture developed and survived depending upon what it did with God. Collingwood sought to respect God's transcendence by insisting that cultures are built upon absolute presuppositions, pretheoretical, prelogical claims and practices. His focus on epistemology had as much to do with an immanent piety as a strong trust in philosophical method. When Collingwood asserted that the [modern] "principle of limited objective" ignored the question of essence as unanswerable, he was not denying a Christian answer, as much as protecting it. He thought this jettisoning began with the Church Fathers' safeguarding of the essence of God's mysterious nature. (71) Dawson also sought to respect aseity by treating religion as its own category in historical and sociological analysis; it was not reducible to political power or technique, for there was an "ocean of supernatural energy" that all cultures are experiencing. (72) The Christian believed that Providence is at work in history, but this did not mean that human beings could rationally work out its course. History was neither the higher rational order of the transcendent powers nor the lower order of passions and desires used by such powers. (73) The suprahistorical and infrahistorical merge because, while there are certain principles in play, there is a continuous drive towards unity ever at work in the human search for truth. (74) Dawson could be particularly strong on this point: "History is not to be explained as a closed order in which each stage is the inevitable and logical result of that which has gone before. There is in it always a mysterious and inexplicable element, due not only to the influence of chance or the initiative of individual genius, but also to the creative power of spiritual forces." (75)

At the same time, both Dawson and Collingwood were also convinced that twentieth-century political problems were tied to the waning state of European faith. If each had cautions about judging the historical past too quickly, each was quite willing to offer a religious narrative that explained the failings of the present. Even if they approached the nature of history from differing directions, both had a priori assumptions that not surprisingly found a posteriori confirmation. Each, for example, argued that Nazi fascism was a kind of Christian heresy, and in doing so they committed themselves to truth in-and-beyond history. Schism (or heresy), Dawson held, was often about sociological and cultural divisions, and these arose from an attempt "to take a short-cut, owing to a natural impatience at the apparent slowness and difficulty of the way of pure faith." (76) For Dawson, the Augustinian historical vision of the transcendent and the dependent provided a means by which to analyze the quasi-religious behavior of secular ideologies. Western civilization was, Dawson noted, living off of older Christian capital, which was not to say that Europe's political models were strictly Christian. (77) "Christianity and humanism and social freedom... have a spiritual affinity" when seen in opposition to the race and blood myths of a revitalized Nordic (i.e., Germanic) paganism. (78) Nineteenth-century liberalism, too, was founded on Christian values, even as it also split away from them. (79) A religiously based sociological analysis would read the modern failure as, in part, a truncated sociology. Denying the supernatural, such modern ideologies nonetheless sought to slip it in under the cover of impersonal historical forces.

Dawson naturally read the current dilemma in the afterglow of post-Christian forms. He could insist that the historical evidence was objective, at least for those with eyes to see, and this history had something to teach the present. To explain the differences in World War II, he found one such backstory in Reformation treatments of natural law. The Lutheran and the Calvinist traditions had had two differing visions. Luther had a submissiveness to authority combined with a mystical love of power that eventually led in German culture to Idealism and Hegel, while Calvin's understanding of natural law--as conformity of the individual's freedom to morally rational ends--was closer to the Catholic view. (80) These visions of Christian natural law were at the base of the current incomprehension between "the Nazi neo-paganism and the secularized liberalism or Liberal Socialism of the Anglo-Saxon world." (81) Modern Catholics, in turn, were in the middle--authoritarian institutions with strong natural rights tradition; thus, they too had been tempted by the social forms of fascism, even while they had the ethical resources to resist them. (82) Because Protestants and Catholics both shared a positive tradition of natural law, they could work together in good faith even with those without a knowledge of theistic truth. (83) Yet one needed more than a modern liberal political order to survive. The conditions of liberal "tolerance," Dawson insisted, ended up creating the belief that the practical world is the only world. (84) In turn, the utilitarian planned society of means without ends resulted in a dearth of integrity and lacked real personal freedom, because with the loss of natural law came the enfeeblement of political reasoning. (85) Without a moral consensus, the habit of right and individual commitment could not last long, and without respect for natural law as divine law, Dawson feared that Europe would finally devolve into a technologically sophisticated barbarism. (86) Suppressing the social and familial under the economic and technological could only lead to disaster: "Without justice the state is nothing but organized robbery and the law of nations nothing but the law of the destruction of the weak." (87)

Collingwood reached similar conclusions but from the bottom up. The New Leviathan: Man, Society, Civilization, and Barbarism announced its four-part structure in its subtitle. Once we know what a human being is, we know what a society is, and then what the aspirations of civilization are, as well as those of opposing barbarism. The book expressed Collingwood's religious analysis, though as an immanent one. Because Collingwood's view of religion was that of anthropologically basic religious ritual, he built up an ethical case for a civility dependent upon Christian absolute presuppositions that were taught before they were debated. Collingwood worked from the nature of human beings and moral reasoning rather than from special revelation or mystical contemplation: moving from the state of the human body and of feeling, to the particulars of human choice and language, and then on to those aspects of our moral reasoning that shape our decision-making--desire, happiness, right, and duty. Collingwood called Christianity "the religion of unsatisfied love," in that it longed for another world, yet this longing could result positively in the higher love of agape, which teaches "the art of limiting your demands." As such, agape taught contentment and prepared one for the social exchange of civility. (88) Nor was this an unusual claim for Collingwood; in his 1933 Lectures on Moral Philosophy, he argued that the emotional aspect of duty is love of God; that "our emotional attitude towards the universal is love"; and that "[t]he love of God is the sea into which all our passions and appetites flow... from whom all love comes and to whom it all returns." (89) Collingwood simply accepted that Christendom and modern Europe overlapped and that the modern liberal political order would not easily survive without the former. European civilization as a Christian culture "takes time seriously" and thus, "refuses to join in the Greco-Roman quest for a superman-ruler." Instead, a "Christian body politic" is one based on cooperation and competency. (90)

If Collingwood's cultural critique could sound very much like Dawson's, there was yet a fundamental distinction. Because he was a weak antirealist and held a consensus view of truth, Collingwood's reasoning was almost pragmatic in its instincts. Absolute presuppositions can be confirmed only in their lived coherence. Civility as a practice can only be rationally analyzed after the fact, and the Christian foundation of the West preceded rational debate--historically and, therefore, ideationally. Austin Farrer, not without justice, charged that Collingwood's position "calls on us to rally round the Athanasian Creed and save scientific civilisation" and never stops to ask if Christianity is true in any manner objective from the culture that practices it. (91) When Collingwood accused his European contemporaries of too little religious conservation and too much ideological innovation, it sounds near to a sociological principle Dawson might recognize, except that it made no real claim about transcendence. The natural science of the Neolithic Age or that of the agrarian past, Collingwood admitted, might have been "more akin to folklore than to mathematics, riddled with superstition," and unscientific from a twentieth-century perspective, yet it carried with it the life of intergenerational know-how. (92) Reality, then, for Collingwood, was subject to the test of historically embedded moral agency.

The same could be said of political know-how. The barbarism of Germany Collingwood saw not only as a product of fascism, but also as the temptation of a syncretistic Christianity. In his 1940 essay "Fascism and Nazism" Collingwood had argued that the religious faith of the fascist countries was mixed with pagan survivals--in particular, the worship of power and leadership, and this rendered them vulnerable to the emotive (i.e. magical) power of fascist convictions and rituals. (93) The tradition of the early modern free society grew not from that of the rise of the nation state, nor that of the Tridentine Church in France and Italy, but from the medieval practices of guild and corporation. (94) Medieval practices had moderated the imperial impulses of the ancient world yet never entirely obliterated them, nor could they. These were not the only practices that were at bottom religious. The French Revolution, Collingwood asserted, was more aristocratic than one might think, and its utopianism was a predecessor of the Nazis. In each case, the reigning belief was in an all-encompassing perfectibility that awaits those who wield force. (95) Prussia and Germany, he argued, for some centuries had been afraid of free-will societies, and, not unlike Dawson, he located in these cultures certain religious drives towards the worship of herd, ancestor, and autocrat. (96) While Dawson, then, might concur that without a Christian theoria Europe could not last, he would remain suspicious of a theoria only discovered within the practicalities of human agency and society. Without the aseity of transcendence, humans would not worship for long a religion of social necessity and "purely rational and human foundations." (97) Collingwood, on the other hand, saw the Christian cultus of British culture as immanent and in need of rediscovery, and this was enough to argue for change.

Przywara would not be surprised, one suspects, that Dawson and Collingwood ended up so close in their historical reasoning and cultural concerns and yet not at ease together. The suspended middle forces realists towards critical realism and idealists toward weak antirealism. We must face both our hermeneutics and our actual materials, and we must struggle with the inevitable dance of general judgments and particular givenness. If historical judgment can never quite escape the metaphysical or even the ethical, neither can these be meditated without history and culture. World War II brought a gravitas to the historical judgments of both historians. For Collingwood, the Christian faith was and is at the core of a set of centuries-old historically developed commitments, and these could not easily be jettisoned without also losing the will and imagination that uphold the body politic. Unless others were trained to take these up, they could be lost and leave an imaginative and social vacuum in their wake. For Dawson, however, unless these commitments were based in suprahistorical reality, the long-term decline of a desacralized civilization would be tragic but not the end of the story. Christianity was embodied in culture, but it also was above culture, and its divine work would go forward regardless.


(1.) R. G. Collingwood, The Idea of History, rev. ed., ed. Jan van der Dussen (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), 141.

(2.) Christopher Dawson, The Spirit of the Oxford Movement (London: Saint Austin Press, 2001), 2.

(3.) Paul Costello, World Historians and Their Goals: Twentieth-Century Answers to Modernism (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 1994), 51.

(4.) Collingwood does not have a single critical biography, though Fred Inglis, History Man: The Life of R. G. Collingwood (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009) addresses his personal life and career. Commentary essays in the recently expanded edition of Collingwood's Autobiography and Other Writings, ed. David Boucher and Teresa Smith (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013) address Collingwood's early childhood, his student years at Oxford, and various other aspects of his work as a professor and archeologist (chapters 1-4). Peter Johnson's two-volume series on Collingwood and war, A Philosopher at the Admiralty: R. G. Collingwood and the First World War (Charlottesville: Imprint Academic, 2012) and A Philosopher and Appeasement: R.G. Collingwood and the Second World War (Charlottesville: Imprint Academic, 2013), address in detail Collingwood's attitudes towards both world wars and the political events between them.

(5.) The standard biography for Dawson continues to be his daughter's work: Christina Scott, A Historian and His World: A Life of Christopher Dawson, 1889-1970 (London: Sheed & Ward, 1984), though a more recent work by Bradley J. Birzer, Sanctifying the World: The Augustinian Life and Mind of Christopher Dawson (Front Royal, VA : Christendom Press, 2007), gives a more in-depth critical study of the historian's work. There is also important coverage of Dawson in both Adam Schwartz, The Third Spring: G.K. Chesterton, Graham Greene, Christopher Dawson, and David Jones (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America, 2005), chapter 3, and James R. Lothian's The Making and Unmaking of the English Catholic Intellectual Community, 1910-1950 (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame, 2009).

(6.) R. G. Collingwood, Essays in the Philosophy of History, ed. William Debbins (Austin: University of Texas press, 1976), 67.

(7.) Ibid., 74-75.

(8.) Ibid., 77ff.

(9.) Ibid., 85-87.

(10.) Ibid., 106, 111, and 119.

(11.) Christopher Dawson, Dynamics of World History, ed. John J. Mulloy (Wilmington: ISI Books, 2002), 398-401.

(12.) Christopher Dawson, Progress & Religion: An Historical Inquiry (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America, 2001), 44.

(13.) Dawson, Dynamics, 401-02; Progress and Religion, 44-45.

(14.) Christopher Dawson, The Making of Europe: An Introduction to the History of European Unity (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America, 2003), 188. Christopher Dawson, "The Making of Britain," review of Roman Britain and the English Settlements by R. G. Collingwood and J. N. L. Myres, The Tablet, December 5, 1936, 17-18.

(15.) Dawson, Dynamics, 305-10.

(16.) For example, Dawson protested, against E. H. Carr, that the discovery of the difference of the past, even the ancient past, could "open new horizons to western man without which our view of the world would be immensely impoverished." Cf. review of What Is History? by E. H. Carr, The Catholic Historical Review 46, no. 3 (October 1962): 407.

(17.) Giuseppina D'Oro, Collingwood and the Metaphysics of Experience (New York: Routledge, 2002), 13, 42-45.

(18.) Louis Otto Mink, Mind, History, and Dialectic: The Philosophy of R. G. Collingwood (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1968), 170-73; David Boucher, The Social and Political Thought of R. G. Collingwood (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 115-17.

(19.) Collingwood, Autobiography, 52.

(20.) James Connelly and Giuseppina D'Oro, introduction to An Essay on Philosophical Method, by R. G. Collingwood (Oxford: Oxford University Press), lxxxi-xcvii. So it also makes perfect sense to speak of Collingwood as a historical realist, as Murray Murphey does, because Collingwood clearly thought that the events and persons of the past were real. Cf. Murray Murphey, "Realism about the Past," A Companion to the Philosophy of History and Historiography, ed. Aviezer Tucker, (Oxford: Blackwell, 2011), 184-85.

(21.) Collingwood, Idea of History, 3.

(22.) Ibid., 9-10.

(23.) R. G. Collingwood, Essays in Political Philosophy, ed. David Boucher (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989), 148.

(24.) R. G. Collingwood, The Philosophy of Enchantment: Studies in Folktale, Cultural Criticism, and Anthropology, ed. David Boucher, Wendy James, and Philip Smallwood (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2005), 129 and 180.

(25.) Ibid., 148-51 and 79-80.

(26.) R. G. Collingwood, The Principles of Art (London: Oxford University Press, 1958), 68-69.

(27.) R. G. Collingwood, An Essay on Metaphysics, ed. Rex Martin (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), 46.

(28.) Collingwood, Philosophy of Enchantment, 230.

(29.) Collingwood, Essay on Metaphysics, 188.

(30.) John J. Mulloy, Christianity and the Challenge of History (Fort Royal: Christendom Press, 1995), 91.

(31.) Dawson, Dynamics, 15.

(32.) Ibid., 20-21.

(33.) Collingwood, in turn, spoke of statistical analysis in history as "a good servant but a bad master" for the historian. "It profits him nothing... unless he can thereby detect the thought behind the facts" (Idea of History, 228). William Dray has pointed out that for Collingwood, statistics help formulate questions; they do not, however, offer answers; these have to be the judgments of historians. Cf. William H. Dray, History as Re-enactment: R. G. Collingwood's Idea of History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), 103.

(34.) Dawson, Dynamics, 96-98, and 102.

(35.) Dawson, Enquiries into Religion and Culture (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America, 2009), xix-xxi.

(36.) Dawson, Dynamics, 25-27.

(37.) Ibid., 27.

(38.) This aspect of Dawson's thought is central to understanding how his realism was already a priori suffused with certain deductive principles. Aidan Nichols has rightly suggested that Dawson's corpus "is best thought of as a latter-day City of God. Cf. Aidan Nichols, "Christopher Dawson's Catholic Setting," in Eternity in Time: Christopher Dawson and the Catholic Idea of History, ed. Stratford Caldecott and John Morrill (Edinburgh: T and T Clark, 1997), 34. See also Birzer, 66-75.

(39.) Dawson, Dynamics, 33.

(40.) Dawson, Progress and Religion, 67.

(41.) Birzer, 72.

(42.) Dawson, Progress and Religion, 76.

(43.) Dawson, Dynamics, 50-51.

(44.) Dawson, Enquiries into Religion and Culture, 262.

(45.) Fernando Cervantes, "Christopher Dawson and Europe," in Eternity in Time, 52-53.

(46.) Chapter 3 of W. J. van der Dussen's History as a Science: R. G. Collingwood (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1981) is still a classic overview of the discussion and debate surrounding these aspects of Collingwood's philosophy of history.

(47.) Erich Przywara, Analogia Entis: Metaphysics, Original Structure and Universal Rhythm, trans. John R. Betz and David Bentley Hart (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans), 2014. As a reader of German, Collingwood could have approached Przywara in the original or in a 1935 OUP translation of Przywara's Polarity, though I have no knowledge that he did either. Cf. Erich Przywara, Polarity: A German Catholic's Interpretation of Religion, trans. Alan Coates Bouquet (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1935). Dawson, on the other hand, was likely aware of the theologian's work. Dawson and Przywara had published essays on Augustine in the collection A Monument to St. Augustine brought out by Sheed & Ward in 1930. Cf. Saint Augustine: His Age, Life, and Thought, ed. M. C. D'Arcy (Cleveland: Meridian, 1967), chapters 1 and 8. In addition, Przywara had much in common with the single-end emphasis in the nouvelle theologie to which Dawson was drawn, though as an existential Thomist, Przywara also had much to critique in it.

(48.) Przywara, Analogia, 120.

(49.) Ibid., 123.

(50.) Ibid., 124.

(51.) Ibid., 133.

(52.) Ibid., 191.

(53.) Ibid., 207-10 and 216.

(54.) Ibid., 120-21.

(55.) Ibid., 136-37.

(56.) Collingwood, "Britain," The Cambridge Ancient History: The Imperial Crisis and Recovery, A.D. 193-324, Vol. 12, ed. S. A. Cook, et al. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1939), 293-94.

(57.) Collingwood and J. N. L. Myres, Roman Britain and the English Settlements, 2nd ed. (London: Oxford University Press, 1937), 253.

(58.) Ibid., 251.

(59.) Ibid., 250.

(60.) Ibid., 258-60.

(61.) Collingwood, Roman Britain (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1994), 115.

(62.) Ibid., 119.

(63.) Collingwood, Roman Britain and the English Settlements, 247-49.

(64.) Collingwood, of course, dealt with the multigenerational balance of the natural world and human agency in Idea of History and Idea of Nature, but these were philosophical histories of certain conceptualities, and as such, they spent less on their cultural or institutional contexts. In turn, Dawson could deal with a more limited topic, such as the nineteenth-century Oxford Movement, but in general any close studies tended to be chosen for being representative of a larger sociological or ideological context.

(65.) Dawson, Religion and Culture (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America), ch. 1.

(66.) Ibid., 25.

(67.) Ibid., 34.

(68.) Ibid., 47-48.

(69.) Dawson, Enquiries into Religion and Culture, 160-63.

(70.) Przywara, Analogia, 193.

(71.) Collingwood, The New Leviathan: Man, Society, Civilization, and Barbarism, rev. ed., ed. David Boucher (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992), 31.61-31.84.

(72.) Dawson, Progress and Religion, 73.

(73.) Dawson, Beyond Politics (London: Sheed & Ward, 1939), 121.

(74.) Dermot Quinn, "Christopher Dawson and the Catholic Idea of History," in Eternity in Time, 78.

(75.) Dawson, Making of Europe, 33.

(76.) Dawson, The Judgment of the Nations (New York: Sheed & Ward, 1942), 178. Dawson, Beyond Politics, 133.

(77.) Dawson, Judgment of the Nations, 35.

(78.) Ibid., 24-31.

(79.) Ibid., 106-07.

(80.) Ibid., 38-52.

(81.) Ibid., 52.

(82.) Ibid., 53-54.

(83.) Ibid., 165-66.

(84.) Ibid., 98-101, and 104.

(85.) Ibid., 117-18.

(86.) Ibid., 141-46.

(87.) Ibid., 147; cf. Costello, World Historians and Their Goals, 141 for a discussion of this.

(88.) Collingwood, New Leviathan, 8.38-39 and 8.58-59.

(89.) James Connelly, Metaphysics, Method and Politics: The Political Philosophy of R. G. Collingwood (Exeter, UK: Imprint Academic, 2003), 305.

(90.) Collingwood, New Leviathan, 26.3-31, and 34.

(91.) Austin Farrer, Scripture, Metaphysics, and Poetry: Austin Farrer's The Glass of Vision with Critical Commentary. ed. Robert Macswain (Dorset: Ashgate, 2013), 87.

(92.) Collingwood, New Leviathan, 36.31-34.

(93.) Collingwood, Essays in Political Philosophy, 192-95.

(94.) Collingwood, New Leviathan, 32.82.

(95.) Ibid., 26.63-71, 26.92-96.

(96.) Ibid., 33.36. Collingwood quotes Thomas a Kempis expressing it thus: "It is a great matter to live in obedience; to be under a superior and not to be at our own disposal" (ibid., 33.5). Not surprisingly, then, for Collingwood, Marx and Hegel both failed to understand the basic affirmation of free agency within early modern politics (ibid., 33.43). Germany historically was always a nonsocial community (ibid., 33.47); thus, Marx could never really untangle himself from state-worship (ibid., 33.52, 33.6, 33.75). For a critique of Collingwood's argument see James E. Gilman, "R. G. Collingwood and the Religious Sources of Nazism," AAR 54, no. 1 (1986): 111-28.

(97.) Dawson, Christianity and the New Age (Manchester: Sophia Institute, 1985), 50.
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Author:Mitchell, Philip Irving
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