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Seton Hall University

2017 Chesterton Conference Series in Poland  

A sketch of G.K. Chesterton The G. K. Chesterton Institute for Faith & Culture at Seton Hall University and The Chesterton Review, announce its upcoming conference series in Poland on the theme of "Chesterton and the Advancement of Humanity." The conferences presented by the G. K. Chesterton Institute for Faith & Culture in collaboration with the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Warsaw; the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow and the Piotra Skargi Institute of Krakow will be will be held in Warsaw on Monday, October 9, 2017 and in Krakow on Wednesday, October 11, 2017.

For information about the conferences –speakers, location and times-- please visit here.

The conferences are open to the public and free of charge.

In 2012, the G.K. Chesterton Institute of Faith & Culture, with the help of the American Institute of Polish Culture, sponsored a major two-site conference in Poland devoted to the work of the English writer G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936). Well-attended events in Krakow and Warsaw heard talks from a variety of speakers from Poland and the United States who considered the abiding importance of Chesterton's thought in the Poland of today. A report of the proceedings appeared in The Chesterton Review (Fall 2012). In 2014, the Institute returned to both Warsaw and Krakow for a very successful conference series on the theme of "Chesterton, Distributism and Poland" which focused on Chesterton's economic though which is a long tradition of Catholic social teaching, prized with widespread proprietorship and autonomous communities of local producers and consumers.

A key idea to emerge from the conferences is the need for continuing conversation among Polish intellectuals and opinion formers about the central ideas of the Chestertonian intellectual tradition. Only in this way – through the work of journalists, writers, lawyers, teachers, clergy – will it be possible to influence Polish society; a society which, as with other European societies, is now facing serious challenges from secularism and consumerist materialism. This continuing conversation will take the form of a series of "retreats" – a mixture of lectures, seminars, and discussions – to be held in an attractive setting; most likely in a university but conceivably in a religious community or house of prayer.

Having planted the intellectual seed of Chesterton in Poland, the Institute seeks to provide Polish intellectuals and political figures with a venue at which they will address the re-vivifying of Poland's Catholic intellectual tradition. In addition, it seeks to open and explore links with Russian intellectuals. In this way, we will repeat, but in a dramatically enhanced way, the experience of 2012.

For G.K. Chesterton, Poland stood in the forefront of European nations. He had deep admiration for its culture, traditions, history, and (above all) its heroic Christianity over many years of struggle and oppression. "Poles," he wrote in his autobiography, "have always had a choice of evils." Their greatness as a people, he believed, lay in their refusal to accept that choice. Polish decency and dignity moved him profoundly. Polish suffering wounded him to the core. Polish freedom and independence brought him joy. Whether free or in chains, Poland was, for Chesterton, a metaphor for all Christian nations of the twentieth-century. What Poland had endured, others might endure. What Poland enjoyed, others might also enjoy. An admirer of Poland and also admired there, Chesterton has also been a significant figure in Russian culture. It would be misleading to say that he is as well-known in Moscow as Warsaw. Nevertheless, during the dark days of oppression when his works were translated and distributed underground, he became known as "the teacher of hope:" a description of him as valid today (and not only for Russia) as it was forty years ago.

About The G. K. Chesterton Institute For Faith & Culture
And The Chesterton Review
The G. K. Chesterton Institute, a not-for profit educational organization incorporated in the United States, Canada and Great Britain, is located at Seton Hall University, South Orange, N.J. Its purpose is to promote the thought of G. K. Chesterton and his circle and more broadly, to explore the application of Chestertonian ideas in the contemporary world. The Institute's work consists of conferences, lecture series, research and writing. The Chesterton Review, founded in 1974, has been widely praised both for its scholarship and for the quality of its writing. Edited by Father Ian Boyd, C. S. B., it includes a wide range of articles not only on Chesterton himself, but on the issues close to his heart in the work of other writers and in the modern world. It has devoted special issues to C. S. Lewis, George Bernanos, Hilaire Belloc, Maurice Baring, Christopher Dawson, Cardinal Manning, the Modernist Crisis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Fantasy Literature, and a Special Polish Issue. The Chesterton Review also publishes one annual issue in Spanish and an annual supplement in Portuguese and French. For information about the Institute or The Chesterton Review please contact chestertoninstitute@shu.edu.

Categories: Faith and Service

For more information, please contact:

  • Chesterton Institute
  • (973) 275-2431
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