News & Events

Fr. Ian Boyd will lecture on "The Holiness of G.K. Chesterton"
Seton Hall > News & Events 

G. K. ChestertonOn October 29, the Department of Catholic Studies will be hosting a lecture titled, "The Holiness of G.K. Chesterton" from 4-6 p.m. in NU113, the Nursing Amphitheater. Fr. Ian Boyd, President of the Chesterton Institute for Faith & Culture and Editor of The Chesterton Review, will be the lecturer.

Fr. Ian Boyd described the basis for his talk: "There is an effort at the moment to promote the cause for the canonization of Chesterton. The bishop of Northampton, the English diocese in which Chesterton's hometown of Beaconsfield is located, has appointed a priest to investigate the cause. Although the virtue of Chesterton has been acknowledged by every one of the many people who knew him, the idea of declaring him a saint is somewhat controversial. At a Chesterton Institute conference in the early nineteen-eighties, Cardinal Carter, then Archbishop of Toronto and the Honorary Chairman of the Institute, gave a sermon in which he suggested that the cause for Chesterton's canonization ought to be considered. The text of the Cardinal’s address was printed in the Chesterton Review and a group of prominent Argentine Catholics wrote to the Cardinal and asked him to join them in a petition to the Holy See to do just that. In answer to the petition, a Roman official answered Cardinal Carter, saying that in order for Chesterton to be canonized it must first be established that his virtues were truly heroic. The Cardinal wrote back to Rome, saying that Chesterton’s life-long defense of Catholic truth was indeed heroic, especially when one remembered that, although he began his career in 1900 defending the Church when he was a young Anglican journalist, he was not received into full communion with the Church until 1922, when he was forty-eight years old." 

"In my talk, I shall discuss the way in which Chesterton's sacramental writing promoted Catholic ideas without directly presenting them," Fr. Boyd said. "My main example of this sort of 'stealth evangelization' will be Chesterton's remarkable 1908 novel The Man Who Was Thursday. Ostensibly a fantasy about a terrorist plot to take over the world, the novel turns out to be an extended meditation about the problem of the suffering of the innocent. In a sense, it is a retelling of Chesterton’s favourite book in the Bible, The Book of Job."

About the Department of Catholic Studies
Established in 2012 — the Year of Faith and the 50th anniversary of the opening of Vatican II — the Department of Catholic Studies at Seton Hall University, America’s oldest diocesan university, fosters Seton Hall’s Catholic identity and mission by exploring the relationship of Catholicism with all areas of culture and learning. Since its focus is the Church's encounter and dialogue with society or the Church in the world, Vatican II designated a special place for Catholic Studies as a discipline in academic life. As a result, Catholic Studies is a dialogue between Catholicism and culture that occurs in a special way at Catholic universities. While respecting other disciplines, Catholic Studies explores theology and philosophy in relation to culture, humankind and the world. This methodological approach opens up a place for all other disciplines; these enrich Catholic Studies and are enriched in return. Catholic Studies builds upon and develops the themes and questions addressed in the University Core Curriculum and is complementary to other disciplines. A bachelor's degree in Catholic Studies is an interdisciplinary, liberal arts degree — a major that enhances every other major.

For more information please contact:
Brittany Venturella
(973) 275-2175


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