Orthodoxy

Orthodoxy

by G. K. Chesterton
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Overview

Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton

The most brilliant book of apologetics in the English language. Chesterton wrote Orthodoxy in 1908 in response to a challenge from one of his readers to state his creed. Rarely has any challenge been more gloriously and chivalrously met. This is early Chesterton at his best: sparkling paradoxes, breathtaking word-play, trenchant argument and blinding logic.

The reader is treated to a witty and insightful work, that illustrates how reasonable orthodoxy really is, despite the attacks of its critics. The book also provides a spiritual autobiography, as Chesterton employs his own discovery of orthodox Christianity in order to defend its beauty and its sanity against modern secular schools of philosophy. The book manages to intellectually challenge the reader, while still appealing to a child-like sense of awe at the world around us.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781557424082
Publisher: Wildside Press
Publication date: 10/05/2005
Pages: 144
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.34(d)

About the Author

GK Chesterton was born in London in 1874 and educated at St Paul’s School, before studying art at the Slade School. In 1896, he began working for the London publisher, Redway, and also T. Fisher Unwin as a reader where he remained until 1902. During this time he undertook his first freelance journalistic assignments, writing art and literary reviews. He also contributed regular columns to two newspapers: ‘The Speaker’ (along with his friend Hilaire Belloc) and the ‘Daily News’. Throughout his life he contributed further articles to journals, particularly ‘The Bookman’ and ‘The Illustrated London News’.

His first two books, poetry collections, were published in 1900. These were followed by collections of essays and in 1903, and his most substantial work to that point, a study of ‘Robert Browning’. Chesterton's first novel, 'The Napoleon of Notting Hill' was published in 1904. In this book he developed his political attitudes in which he attacked socialism, big business and technology and showed how they become the enemies of freedom and justice. These were themes which were to run throughout his other works. 'The Man who was Thursday' was published in 1908 and is perhaps the novel most difficult to understand, although it is also his most popular. 'The Ball and the Cross' followed in 1910 and 'Manalive' in 1912. Chesterton's best-known fictional character appears in the Father Brown stories, the first of the collection, 'The Innocence of Father Brown', being published in 1911. Brown is a modest Catholic priest who uses careful psychology to put himself in the place of the criminal in order to solve the crime.

His output was prolific, with a great variety of books from brilliant studies of ‘Dickens’, ‘Shaw’, and ‘RL Stevenson’ to literary criticism. He also produced more poetry and many volumes of political, social and religious essays. Tremendous zest and energy, with a mastery of paradox, puns, a robust humour and forthright devotion along with great intelligence characterise his entire output. In the years prior to 1914 his fame was at its height, being something of a celebrity and seen as a latter day Dr Johnson as he frequented the pubs and offices of Fleet Street. His huge figure was encased in a cloak and wide brimmed hat, with pockets full of papers and proofs.

Chesterton came from a nominally Anglican family and had been baptized into the Church of England. However, at that point he had no particular Christian belief and was in fact agnostic for a time. Nevertheless, in his late twenties he began to explore the possibility of a religious belief for himself, which he then discovered already existed as orthodox Christianity. In 1896, he had also met Frances Alice Blogg, marrying in 1901. She was a devout Anglican and her beliefs strengthened his Christian convictions. In 1922 he converted to Catholicism and he explores his belief in many works, the best known of which is 'Orthodoxy', his personal spiritual odyssey. In some ways, 'Orthodoxy' was an answer to earlier criticisms received after the 1905 publication of 'Heretics', which was a collection of studies of the then contemporary writers. The complaint was made that Chesterton discussed these writers’ attitudes to life, but offered nothing in respect of himself. He was an ebullient character, absent-minded, but quick-witted and will be remembered as one of the most colourful and provocative writers of his day.

G.K. Chesterton died in 1936.

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Orthodoxy 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 67 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Chesterton became my favorite author of all-time after I picked up this title about six months ago. While I would describe this book as 'dense' (in that it took me a long time to read it given its content), it is by far the most rewarding book I've read. In this Christian apologetic classic, Chesterton tackles a variety of issues and uses amazing language abilities (such a metaphor) to drive home his points. One of my favorite passages reads: 'Because children have abounding vitality...they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, 'Do it again' and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, 'Do it again' to the sun and every evening 'Do it again' to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never gotten tired of making them.' He is very quotable and this book will get your reaching for not only more Chesterton titles, but the Bible as well! It has been a blessing to me, so I encourage all of you to read this indispensible classic!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is not at all what I expected when I bought it. I was expecting a discussion and, perhaps, an explanation of the orthodoxy of the Catholic Church. This book is actually an account of Chesterton's journey of faith. The style of writing, being very "old-fashioned" could be a little difficult to follow and distracting. (The book was written about 100 years ago.) That said, I was surprised at how current the topics and concerns were. When you got "into it" the book had a lot to say and was very informative. I would definitely recommend it to those who had done a bit of studying and reading about the Faith. I don't really think it is for beginners and some may find the style off-putting. My advice would be to just try to get past the language; if you do you will get a new understanding and perspective.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Apparently this is an compliment to Heretics. According to the preface he literally wrote this book when his friend asked him (after reading Heretics) what he thought the truth was. So he wrote this on a dare. 'Cause Chesterson is cool that way. I enjoyed this book. It's not a systematic exposition of Christianity or the doctrine of the Catholic church/ Church of England. (I believe he was Catholic. This man has FEELINGS and OPINIONS about the reformation in general and Calvinists in particular.) I don't really think it qualifies as apologetics either, at least not in a formal sense. It's more a general outline of the main things that moved him to accept Christianity as an adult. As always, it's lovely to read. The book is quite short. I was sad when it came to an end. I would have liked to read more.
Rebecca Bobo More than 1 year ago
well written, and a must read. this format does not include titles for the chapters in the table of contents though
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up several years ago, when a book I was reading (The Sacred Romance) kept quoting it. I am so grateful I did! I have reread this book several times over, and it really has shaped my moral landscape. Chesterton examines various systems of belief in an approachable, playful (and often rather sarcastic) way. He teaches by delighting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chesterton's 'spiritual autobiography' is a fascinating look at a man who was prophetic in his outlook about mankind, spirituality, and philosophies that have been gutted of the Divine. He called the liberal theologians on their rejection of core doctrines such as original sin and hinted at where such tendencies would lead. The evolutionists, the Malthusians, ie, the 'spirit of the age' are all given a good shake down decades before some of the worst aspects of their philosophy would be obvious even to them. (For something even more prophetic, see Chesterton's book on eugenics). This edition had something that I hadn't seen before and that was an index. Though not comprehensive it is still fairly thorough and I have already used it to trace some of Chesterton's themes within the book. The edition in question is ISBN 9780979127663. Everyone should look for ways to introduce Chesterton to moderns- though they will be humbled to hear how much of their thought he anticipated. Orthodoxy is a great text for this purposes, and this version with an index would be a great edition to use.
inked More than 1 year ago
I have read Chesterton for a number of decades now and have read ORTHODOXY about once a decade since college (that's 3.5 times or so!). I decided to listen to it read by someone else. This production is excellent. Vance reads fluidly and with an strong range of tonality and inflection in the voice that provides flair and drama in keeping with the text's. I frankly found some of the readings so compelling that I listened to selected tracts as many as three time before continuing.

This was so well done that I should like a six to seven hour trip sheerly for the joy of listening to it again all at one go!

You will not go wrong with this audio production of ORTHODOXY.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This lucid defense of classic Christianity is never out of date -- in fact, it speaks to our time clearly and without apology. The extensive annotations enable the reader to follow along easily and with understanding. It also includes a helpful, and sometimes startling, introduction. Highly recommended.
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Really!
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Basis of sanity for all in the post modern world. Some difficulties with the electronic copy, but a terribly wonderful book for the modern cynic and lost children of feminism.
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