In this volume Christopher Dawson outlines his main thesis for the history of culture, which was his life's work. Anthropology, sociology, philosophy, religion and history form the backdrop for the key idea of his thought - namely, that religion is the soul of a culture and that a society or culture which has lost its spiritual roots is a dying culture. To Dawson, a return to the Christian culture that had formed Western civilization was the only remedy for a world adrift. Dawson was writing in a period between the two great wars of the 20th century, a time when some thought that the idea of progress had finally been discredited by the carnage and barbarism of World War I. This text was designed to challenge the doctrine of progress, the rather naive but persistent belief that "in every day and in every way the world grows better and better". Dawson argued that Western civilization was at a turning point and confronted with two real choices: reappropriate a vital Christian culture or move increasingly toward more dangerous and alienated expressions of consumerism and totalitarianism. In this volume, he contends that no culture could truly thrive if cut off from its religious roots.