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The Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton, Vol. 1: Heretics, Orthodoxy, the Blatchford Controversies (Collected Works of G. K. Chesterton) Paperback – February 1, 1986


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The Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton, Vol. 1: Heretics, Orthodoxy, the Blatchford Controversies (Collected Works of G. K. Chesterton) + The Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton, Volume 2 : The Everlasting Man, St. Francis of Assisi, St Thomas Aquinas + The Collected Works of G. K. Chesterton, Vol. 3: Where All Roads Lead / The Catholic Church and Conversion / Why I Am a Catholic / The Thing / The Well and the Shallows / The Way of the Cross
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 398 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press (February 1, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898700795
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898700794
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most of what Chesterton writes about applies to our age and time as well as his own.
Barbara Smith
You will understand his influential viewpoint on Christianity if you finish the book, and understand his writing and reasoning style if you only read a third.
Richard E. Burke
This volume, the first in Ignatius Press's _Collected Works_ of Chesterton series, contains what is probably G. K. Chesterton's most famous work, _Orthodoxy_.
Donald J. Uitvlugt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

136 of 136 people found the following review helpful By Donald J. Uitvlugt on March 31, 2002
Format: Paperback
This volume, the first in Ignatius Press's _Collected Works_ of Chesterton series, contains what is probably G. K. Chesterton's most famous work, _Orthodoxy_.
What many people do not know is that Orthodoxy was written only at the end of a long debate in the British press. Chesterton had been making a name for himself in English journalism for attacking the Spirit of the Age in turn-of-the-century England; his critics (rather justly) claimed that it was unfair for Chesterton to attack others' beliefs without stating what he himself believed. _Orthodoxy_ was the result.
This volume allows the reader to trace the story from the beginning, in the so-called "Blatchford Controversies", through the critique of Chesterton's contemporaries in _Heretics_ to its culmination in _Orthodoxy_. _Orthodoxy_ is definitely the star of the volume, but there are treasures to be found in the other works as well. Knowing something about the figures mentioned in _Heretics_ does help, but is not strictly necessary, as their heresies are alas still with us.
In my opinion, this volume is the perfect entre into Chesterton's thought, and would make a valuable edition for anyone concerned about clear thinking in regards to life, the universe, and everything.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Robert R. Kunz Jr. on April 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
A hundred years ago in England, religion was under attack for being an obsolescence, an obstruction to the realization of human potential, the province of the unenlightened.

Along came Chesterton, irrepressible optimist and genial adversary (foes GB Shaw and HG Wells were counted among his many friends) who masterfully - some would say dizzyingly - used paradox to stand the arguments of the anti-religious on their heads.

This particular volume of GKC's invaluable work has much to recommend: 1) a collection of material that nicely encapsulates the controversy (HERETICS, wherein he points out the short-sightedness of his adversaries' positions, the unmatched ORTHODOXY, which set forth his own philosophy, and BLATCHFORD, a resource containing the seeds of the foregoing two books), 2) a wonderful introduction by David Dooley that describes the context and milieu of post-Victorian England, and 3) a high-quality sewn soft-cloth binding.

The drawback to Chesterton is that, as a journalist, his work does have a noticeable connection with the time of its original publication (in this case, 1904-1908)*. What is striking is how glaringly relevant the underlying issues he addresses are to our own time.

*For those who find this distracting, there are Annotated Editions of both Orthodoxy and Heretics available through Amazon.com
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Nome de Plume on April 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
In case someone wants a list of all the volumes in this Ignatius Press series (note that some never have been released, such as volume 6 & 9):

* Volume 1: Heretics, Orthodoxy, Blatchford Controversies
* Volume 2: St. Francis, Everlasting Man, St. Thomas
* Volume 3: The Catholic Church and Conversion; Where All Roads Lead; The Well and the Shallows; and others.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D. Byrne on July 30, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a must for anyone who is a Chesterton fan, or interested in Christian apologetics. "Orthodoxy" outlines
GKC's own spiritual development in a number of well reasoned arguments. "Heretics" is the thought provoking prelude to "Orthodoxy" and the "Blatchford Controversies" are the famous spiritual duel which occurred in the London newspapers between Blatchford and GKC.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By john on March 16, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're Christian, interested in Christianity, or even an intellectually honest atheist, you should not go through your entire life without reading this book. Heretics is a good warm-up, where Chesterton takes on the Rationalists and "Free-Thinkers" of a hundred years ago one chapter at time - some more entertainingly than others.

But Orthodoxy is where the meat really hits the grill in this volume. Why so? Well, it's best to let Chesterton do the talking. Sink your teeth into this:

"That a good man may have his back to the wall is no more than we knew already; but that God could have his back to the wall is a boast for all insurgents for ever. Christianity is the only religion on earth that has felt that omnipotence made God incomplete. Christianity alone has felt that God, to be wholly God, must have been a rebel as well as a king. Alone of all creeds, Christianity has added courage to the virtues of the Creator. For the only courage worth calling courage must necessarily mean that the soul passes a breaking point--and does not break.

[I]n that terrific tale of the Passion there is a distinct emotional suggestion that the author of all things (in some unthinkable way) went not only through agony, but through doubt. It is written, "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." No; but the Lord thy God may tempt Himself; and it seems as if this was what happened in Gethsemane. In a garden Satan tempted man: and in a garden God tempted God. He passed in some superhuman manner through our human horror of pessimism. When the world shook and the sun was wiped out of heaven, it was not at the crucifixion, but at the cry from the cross: the cry which confessed that God was forsaken of God.
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