Saturday, May 29, 2004

Happy Birthday to G.K. Chesterton!

Gerard reminds us that 129 years ago today the great English writer and theologian Gilbert Kieth Chesterton was born!
  • "Who is this guy and why haven’t I heard of him?" -- Dale Ahlquist of the American Chesterton Society gives a brief introduction.
  • Catholic Apologist Dave Armstrong's extensive compilation of links on The "Colossal Genius"
  • Chesterton's Works on the Web, a comprehensive list of e-texts.
  • For those discovering Chesterton for the first time, an excellent biography and introduction to the many facets of his thought is Wisdom and Innocence: A Life of G.K. Chesterton, by Joseph Pearce (Ignatius Press, 2001).
  • Of the many books Chesterton wrote, there are two that I think should be read in one's lifetime: the first is Orthodoxy, a collection of essays accounting for Chesterton's turn from agnosticism to traditional Christianity, is a classic philosophical defense of the faith.

    The second is St. Thomas Aquinas: The Dumb Ox, of which the great Thomist scholar Ettienne Gilson said: "I consider it as being without possible comparison the best book ever written on St. Thomas. Nothing short of genius can account for such an achievement.... Chesterton was one of the deepest thinkers who ever existed; he was deep because he was right; and he could not help being right; but he could not either help being modest and charitable, so he left it to those who could understand him to know that he was right, and deep." A good introduction, even for those who are intimidated by the writings of the great Saint himself.

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