This second series of my Gifford Lectures given at St. Andrews University in March 1948 is complementary to the first. While the first was an attempt to work out something like a Christian philosophy of civilisation dealing with some basic principles which underlie all civilisation it is the scope of this second series to give a Christian interpretation of some of the main features of civilised life. Many readers may miss some other aspects such as marriage and the family which they feel of equal if not of greater importance than those treated in this book. If so I completely agree with them but having been compelled to restrict myself to nine such subjects (in the tenth lecture I attempt to give a synoptic view of the whole field) I think it justifiable to leave out some of the topics which have been in the focus of Christian thought throughout the ages as well as in recent times.
As a matter of fact I am not so much afraid of the reproach of having treated too few but rather of the criticism of those who think I have tried to deal with too many subjects. I hear them ask how any one man can claim to have competent knowledge of so many different sectors of civilisation each being almost infinite in itself. Again I fully share this view. There is probably no one—at any rate not the author—who can make such a claim. Still it so happens that my life is concerned with all of these sectors and I have to try to lead it as a Christian and the same is true of thousands of my contemporaries. While it is necessary that Christian men and women particularly competent in one of these fields should speak and write about the relation of the Christian faith to that particular matter it seems to me legitimate and even necessary that alongside these monographs of specialists someone should at least try to give a synoptic view of the whole (even if he has no expert knowledge of a majority of these subjects) provided that he has given to all of them prolonged thought as a Christian.