Size of Chesterton’s Catholicism, The
David W. Fagerberg
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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Religion/Theologie
English writer Gilbert Keith Chesterton was widely known not only for his newspaper columns, novels, poetry, plays, and detective stories, but also for his theological and Catholic apologetical works. This celebration of Chesterton's passion for his faith builds on his own words to reveal the Catholic paradox he was so fond of exploring and which he articulated with zeal, wit, and total lack of animosity. David W. Fagerberg draws on Chesterton's theological writings - avoiding secondary sources so that the reader can encounter his thought as directly as possible - to show how Chesterton championed a Catholicism of great robustness accessible by a thousand doors. Through these doors, Fagerberg shows that Chesterton believed the Church to be a living institution that confounds its critics. He organizes Chesterton's material around seven themes, fashioning a mosaic from the illustrations and arguments found in these apolegetical works. We see how Chesterton responded to accusations that the Church avoids the world with his defense of ordinary life and to the allegation of blind obedience with a defense of doctrinal complexity. We explore his interest in paganism and ritual and learn his response to the objections of liberal Protestantism. Chesterton is shown to be an apologist for a "catholic" Catholicism and he saw in every heresy an effort to narrow the Church. Chesterton said about the Church "that it is not only larger than me, but larger then anything in the world; that it is indeed larger than the world." Fagerberg suggests that the ultimate apology Chesterton made for Catholicism is that it is capacious enough to accommodate the paradoxical combinations which reveal reality - that the Church is a trysting-place for all the truths in the world.