Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Reading Orthodoxy and discussing it

As this is the 100th anniversary of the publication of Chesterton's masterwork, Orthodoxy, I have the feeling there are many discussion going on in the world about this book.

A highly unusual look at Orthodoxy.

The Wikipedia entry for Orthodoxy.

A student stumbles upon EWTN.

Raw thoughts on Orthodoxy.

Notre Dame is teaching Orthodoxy.

Dale Ahlquist discusses Orthodoxy.

Now, if you read all that, you may be prepared for the 27th Annual Chesterton Society Meeting in June. Each speaker will be taking a chapter from Orthodoxy and discussing it as best he/she can. Educational level will be high, but so will the humor level. Come if you can.


  1. Just to be different, I am reading The Return of Don Quixote right now (in all truth, I was shamed into it by Dale) and may do a discussion of that on The Blue Boar.

  2. +JMJ+

    I left a comment on Kaitlin's 'blog (she's the student who "stumbled upon EWTN"). I don't know if she'll see it because the post is nearly a year and a half old; but anyone who reads the post will know why I couldn't resist! =P

  3. Dear Orthodox,

    I am not sure why the "Sampson Synergetics" link is included here. These "raw thoughts" are so raw as to be ridiculous. "The true will is identified with "magick"? or " Science never refutes earlier science..."??? To put it politely, what a crock!

    Mr Synergetics has obviously never heard about T. S. Kuhn's famous work "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions", see

    "Jumping off a cliff may be the act of a diseased will" or it may be an act of magick, in either case, a quick and sure death will follow by hitting the bottom of the cliff with his head. Unless Mr. Synergetics wants to argue that he may be saved from an imminent death by a witch flying on a broom? (I am not sure if would enjoy such a ride, I would prefer to have my brains scattered on the rocks.)

    Paraphrasing Chesterton, never trust a man who tries to baffle you with very "long" words like "magick" or "synergy."

    Wild Goose

  4. Dear Wild Goose,
    sometimes I post links like this so that people will go there and engage that person so that they might come to a more common sensical understanding of life.

    So, I suggest copying your comments and posting them where it is possible to engage the writer. Thanks.

  5. Hello! I just stumbled upon this post, sadly almost two years later. I am deeply honored to have a link to my site on the American Chesterton Society's blog -- and doubly honored to be called out as a crock in the comments. :)

    I may as well respond for the record, however late I may be. That essay was admittedly one of my roughest, as I noted; it was more in the vein of notes to myself rather than a proper essay -- points to remember were I ever to write a *real* essay on Orthodoxy!

    That said, I can hardly believe that Mr. Goose read what I *did* write very carefully. My mentions of "magick" are not my own words, but a restatement of what I've read from some other authors; I explicitly stated that my own world view "is in no way supernatural" (though I do find the notion of "true will" rather intriguing). And while he mentions Thomas Kuhn, I can only surmise that he didn't very well understand either Kuhn's arguments or my own, since we are really not so far off from one another.

    (And in any event, "magick" and "synergy" are both noticeably shorter words than "orthodoxy"!)

    I happen to have read Orthodoxy again just last year (all the way through, this time). Chesterton remains one of my favorite authors (second only, perhaps, to Bucky Fuller, the source of the "Synergetics" in my site's title) -- and Dale Ahlquist's series on EWTN is one of my favorite TV shows.

    I have a very similar attitude toward Chesterton as the author of the "highly unusual look" (the first link in this blog post) -- including being disappointed with the ending of Orthodoxy, though I also disagree with Chesterton's arguments about materialism toward the beginning, which was the main subject of my rough little essay.

    For an atheist like me, reading Chesterton is akin to an extreme sport: There's a great thrill to it, a sense that I *could* possibly believe what he's saying, only to be snapped back to safety at the last possible moment. I've even taken to calling myself an "orthodox atheist" owing to Chesterton's own admonition in the introduction to Heretics ("For obviously a man ought to confess himself crazy before he confesses himself heretical.").

    In friendship,
    Justin T. Sampson


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