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Evelyn Waugh’s The Loved One – Conference II, Part 1

The world into which Evelyn Waugh was born was in turmoil. Born in 1903, he was a child during WWI. England after the war was changed markedly by the abandonment of God and replaced with materialism. Civilization had become bankrupt. His artistic sense compelled him to search for understanding, a deeper meaning. School, work, marriage, painting, writing were helps and distractions. His intellectual pursuit continued. In 1930 at the age of 26 he completed his intellectual search with the aid of a patient priest, and became a Catholic. He now could make sense of the world and write about it with clarity. Waugh wrote: “Civilization, and by this I do not mean talking cinemas and tinned food, nor even surgery and hygienic houses, but the whole moral and artistic organization of Europe has not in its self the power of survival. It came into being through Christianity and without it has no significance or power to command allegiance. It is no longer possible as it was in the time of Gibbon to accept the benefits of civilization, and at the same time to deny the supernatural basis on which it rests. Christianity is in greater need of combative strength than it has been for centuries.”

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