“The main reason a book like Orthodoxy is not taught on most campuses is quite simple: It’s too dangerous,” “It changes minds and changes lives.”
Like the author himself, Orthodoxy is many things: a case for Christianity via positive presentation of the Apostles’ Creed and a spiritual autobiography. It is one of his most-quoted books and embraced by Catholics and Protestants alike (Chesterton was not yet Catholic when he wrote it).
“It stands alone in 20th-century literature,” “There is not another book that can possibly be compared with it. Some, like the Argentine writer [Jorge Luis] Borges, consider it a work of art. Some, like Bishop [Fulton] Sheen, consider it a work of philosophy. It is both. It is neither.”
And, says Stratford Caldecott, director of Thomas More College’s Center for Faith and Culture in Oxford (ThomasMoreCollege.edu), the book is written with the common man in mind.
“In general, people are not philosophers — or not consciously so — and they don’t tend to read a huge amount,”. “Orthodoxy does not expect them to plough through long abstract arguments or tons of scholarship. In a sense, it leads you straight to the heart of things — it helps you see the ‘form’ of Christianity, almost at a glance.
“And, it is entertaining to read. In fact, it’s a riot.”
We are “timid prisoners” of a culture “de-Christianized and secularized.”
“I think instead of challenging these institutions some people have been rather conventional in accepting the list of writers approved by people who aren’t very friendly to Christianity” .
Study of Chesterton helps students discover or rediscover Christianity and to realize that “it is not something that an intellectual needs to be ashamed of. It chimes with common sense. It can be defended against anyone.
“They also need to learn from his sense of humor, his love of life, his gratitude for every waking breath. They can learn from his friendships — he remained friends even with his intellectual enemies. They can even learn from his technique, which was to turn something on its head, often, to get to know it better.”
“He’s a great religious teacher,”. “He’s got what the Bible calls the gift of wisdom. Chesterton was a sacramental writer who was always writing about God but seldom using religious language. Stealth evangelization.”
Sounds dangerous.