Chesterton Knew The Importance of Ecumenical Dialogue

Chesterton Knew The Importance of Ecumenical Dialogue

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Chesterton Conference 2nd July 2011

A one day conference to be held on Saturday July 2, 2011, at the Catholic Chaplaincy, St Aldates, Oxford, at 10 a.m.

For directions, see the Oxford University Catholic Chaplaincy website

The speakers will be Lynette Burrows, Dale Ahlquist (of EWTN fame), Father Ian Ker and Dr William Oddie.

Chesterton, wrote his brother Cecil, ‘is primarily . . . the preacher of a definite message to his own time. He is using all the power which his literary capacity gives him to lead the age in a certain direction.’

‘The very sound of his name’, the historian Sir Arthur Bryant put it at the time when he died in 1936, ‘is like a trumpet call.… If any literary name of our age becomes a legend, it will be his…. He was the kind of man of whom Bunyan was thinking when he drew the picture of Mr. Greatheart.’

His premature death was seen as the stilling of a prophetic voice at a time when it was desperately needed: Eliot wrote of his sense of loss at Chesterton's ‘disappearance from a world such as that we live in.’

By the end of the last century, his prophetic voice was being rediscovered. Chesterton’s distaste for state socialism, his suspicion of monopoly capitalism, and his support for the independence from imperial domination of small nations like Poland had once more become understood as being at the centre of Catholic thinking, and they were validated by the disintegration of Yugoslavia and the Soviet bloc.

His anti-modernism was paralleled by Pope John Paul’s counter-revolution against the theological liberalism of the 1960s and 1970s, a liberalism even more powerful (as it had also been during the first decade of the century) within Protestantism; here, too, Chesterton’s transcendentalist arguments against the immanentism of his own day seems almost uncannily prescient.

Chesterton’s ideas on on marriage and the family, on eugenics, above all on the dignity of the human person and the central importance of the defence of free will in a determinist age, all became uncannily relevant to the world of the twenty-first century.

The conference on July 2 will explore this new understanding of Chesterton as a prophet for our own times.

Application Form

Simply print out and post this straightforward form.

This is from the Chesterton Society

Don't forget the Chesterton Pilgrimage 14th June.

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