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Heretics Paperback – February 28, 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 202 pages
  • Publisher: Boomer Books (February 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600969313
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600969317
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,737,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (29 May 1874 - 14 June 1936) was one of the most influential English writers of the 20th century. His prolific and diverse output included journalism, philosophy, poetry, biography, Christian apologetics, fantasy and detective fiction. Chesterton has been called the "prince of paradox". --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

G.K. Chesterton wrote HERETICS c. 1905.
James E. Egolf
A fantastic book by a great writer, highly recommend it for anyone interested in Apologetics, or just fun argument should definitely read it.
J. Shelby
The moods of Mr. George Moore Satirical.
Michael JR Jose

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Michael JR Jose on January 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover
A 1905 collection of twenty Victorian journalistic essays and articles still worth reading, and not merely on historical or nostalgic grounds? Some pieces are of mainly historical interest, but not most. Neither is it a 'religious title', in fact it is nearly irreligious in places. It merely takes issue with arty types like Mr. Kipling, G.B. Shaw, H.G. Wells, and Whistler. It is also vintage Chesterton, at his usual paradoxical, oblique, witty, funny, slapstick, sardonic, jolly, and generous best.
It is a positive and happy book, but it was accused of Negativism in its day (Kafka said Chesterton was so full of joy that you might almost suppose 'he had found God'--perverse but honest.) Another exasperated opponent, said that if he was so clever and all-knowing he should write down his own personal positive beliefs. So he did. They are still read today, and many who enjoy 'Orthodoxy' (1908) will enjoy this, its progenitor too, which is impossible to summarize, so I have given a thumbnail of each chapter.
Chapter 1. Introductory remarks on the importance of orthodoxy
The examined life - meaninglessness of modern subjective attitudes of not owning your own point of view. Decline of respect for reason and rational argument - political correctness, or 'Good taste, the last and vilest of human superstitions'. To know a man's worldview is to know him. Pernicious effects of subjectivism in literature and the arts.
2. On the negative spirit
Essential need for positive belief - no society can prosper on negative laws alone. Progress in human rights of liberty, education, free speech, and tolerance are only guaranteed with 'a definite creed and a cast-iron code of morals'.
3. On Mr.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Derek M. Foster on April 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is a sort of prequal to Chesterton's most famous apologetic work, "Orthodoxy." "Heretics" is a collection of papers that Chesterton wrote to expose what he considered to be the unhealthy philosophies of his day. A critic later wrote of this work, "I will begin to worry about my philosophy...when Mr. Chesterton has given us his." Chesterton then wrote the book "Orthodoxy" in response to that comment.

With that said, it is well to note that "Heretics" and "Orthodoxy" should be read almost as a single work. From the viewpoint of Chesterton, "Heretics" is the critique of bad philosophy and "Orthodoxy" is the defense of good philosophy.

The trouble with "Heretics" is that it is such a local book. What I mean is that this book is a series of analytical criticisms of specific men during that specific time period (late 19th century to early 20th century) and it is easy to miss the points Chesterton makes if you are not familiar with the philosophies and views of the men he is critiquing. That isn't to say this book isn't one Chesterton's finest works. Yet, I would certainly reccomend "Heretics: The Annotated Edition" to anyone who is not very familiar with these particular early 20th century English writers which he is referring to in this book. The annotated edition makes it much easier to see what Chesterton is saying. For although people change over time, philosophies generally remain the same; and that is why Chesterton's criticisms of these philosophies are still relevant. And as stated earlier, this book, in a way, sets up the groundwork for "Orthodoxy," which is still considered a masterpiece; and almost certainly worth reading for anyone who does not understand or sympathize with the sentiment and romance of the Christian faith.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By George R Dekle on August 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
George Bernard Shaw, the subject of one of the essays in this book, once wrote that morals were for the middle class. The lower class couldn't afford them and the upper class could afford to do without them. Modern day "thinkers" assail the Judeo-Christian ethic as irrelevant to any class and pride themselves on their thoroughly contemporary avant-garde world view. How ironic it is that this thoroughly modern iconoclasm has been around for at least 100 years.

Chesterton weighs in on the "heretics" of his day who prided themselves in their heretical superiority to conservative orthodoxy. These heretics seem to have had a worldview not much out of step with modern avant-garde thought. Chesterton's critique of these ideas is lucid, lyrical, and logical. The passage of 100 years has obscured the context of much of what he says, but his conclusions are as timely today as they were yesterday.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By James E. Egolf VINE VOICE on January 7, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
G.K. Chesterton wrote HERETICS c. 1905. Yet this book is still timely in that popular gurus change opinions and social theories very quickly never realizing how dated the newest fad becomes. Chesterton had the rare ability in exposing many new fads as actually some varient of some ideas that were in vogue during Ancient History.

Chesterton never engages in ad hominem arguments. He is careful to metion the merits of those with whom he disagrees. Chesteron focuses on the logical fallacies of his critics and never engages in bitterness or smear tactics.

Readers should carefully read Chesterton's cirticisms of G.B. Shaw. Chesterton asserts the validity of Shaw's Socialism. Chesterton does not argue with Shaw's socialist views per se. He does critisize Shaw's tendenacy toward a mechanical view of society and politics. One should note that in spite of their repeated debates and crticisms of each others' work, Chesterton and Shaw remained life long friends.

Chesterton has some interesting comments on political power. Chesteron was probably not a democrat, and his views beginning on page 168 are note worthy. Chesterton remarks condemns those who pick a Caesar. He remarks that people falsely look favorably on such an individual because he, the Strong Man or the Caesar, is not an ordinary man. In other words, men may domocratically opt for someone whom ordinary think is better. This is a form despotism or slavery where the ruler has the sanctions of the victim. Other rulers hold position by heredity right whereby men accept this notion only because of the social order rather than false praise or respect for someone who may be evil and take advantage of men's sychophantic blind obedience to self appointed knaves.
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