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Orthodoxy Paperback – 1 Dec 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc. (1 Dec. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486437019
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486437019
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 14 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,231,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

" Whenever I feel my faith going dry again, I wander to a shelf and pick up a book by G.K. Chesterton."
--from the foreword by Philip Yancey, author of "What's So Amazing About Grace?" and "The Jesus I Never Knew
"
" My favorite on the list Ýof top 100 spiritual classics of the twentieth century¨ is Chesterton's "Orthodoxy." It offers wonderful arguments for embracing religious traditions, but it also has humor you don't typically find in religious writing."
--Philip Zaleski, author and journalist
Named by "Publisher's Weekly" as one of 10 " indispensable spiritual classics" of the past 1500 years.
"--Publisher's Weekly
"" Chesterton's most enduring book.... Charming."
"--World
"

"From the Hardcover edition."

"Whenever I feel my faith going dry again, I wander to a shelf and pick up a book by G.K. Chesterton."
--Philip Yancey, author of What's So Amazing About Grace? and The Jesus I Never Knew

"My favorite on the list [of top 100 spiritual classics of the twentieth century] is Chesterton's Orthodoxy. It offers wonderful arguments for embracing religious traditions, but it also has humor you don't typically find in religious writing."
--Philip Zaleski, author and journalist
Named by Publisher's Weekly as one of 10 "indispensable spiritual classics" of the past 1500 years.
--Publisher's Weekly
"Chesterton's most enduring book.... Charming."
--World
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Philip Yancey's 'desert island book'! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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4.6 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
Portly, fun loving, witty G.K. Chesterton decided to write this book as a companion volume to his book HERETICS. Since HERETICS had criticised contemporary philosophies, ORTHODOXY was written to present an alternative viewpoint, and is therefore both affirmative in tone and autobiographical in many places. A sampling of his chapter titles gives some idea of Chesterton's sense of fun as well as his unusual approach to the matter of Christianity. Chapter one is "In Defense of Everything Else" (one pictures Chesterton with a whimsical, impish smile on his face as he wrote this). There are also chapters on "The Suicide of Thought", "The Ethics of Elfland" (a really superb chapter), "The Maniac", and "The Paradoxes of Christianity". In this easily readable book (only 160 pages in the small paperback edition), Chesterton shows that theological reflections and philosophical ruminations need be neither boring nor incomprehensible. This was jolly good fun to read, being both funny and intellectually stimulating. Highly recommended.
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By A Customer on 23 Jan. 1998
Format: Paperback
G. K. Chesterton's book "Orthodoxy" argues forcefully that democratic reforms and revolutions must be founded on a fixed ideal, that the false concept of "progress" impedes real progress, that a doctrine of "Original Sin" is the only real basis for political equality, and many other things much worth thinking about. I highly recommend his chapters "The Suicide of Thought" and "The Ethics of Elfland" for a wonderful critique of modern philosophy. His style is superlative. Reading Chesterton is a joy.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an extraordinary book, a definite `must read' before you die. I was expecting a sort of early version of C.S. Lewis, a robust defence of traditional Christianity. It is much more than that. Whereas Lewis gently takes you along with a persuasive argument, Chesterton pulls you into a room full of mirrors and out of the box thinking, not just in the paragraphs, but almost in every sentence there's an irony, a contradiction, a reflection saying something you don't quite expect. Take the opening sentence of Chapter Two, entitled, `The Maniac' - `Thoroughly worldly people never understand even the world; they rely all together on a few cynical maxims that are not true.' As he gets into the argument, the crackling irony continues. A worldly maxim is that the man who believes himself will go far, the truth: `The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums'. Of course he's right, all the way through, and even if you don't agree with him, the polemic is superb. In this chapter he establishes that materialism, the void, makes men mad, and what keeps people sane is mysticism, the irony that `man can understand everything by the help of what he does not understand'. Every chapter is like a glass of cold water in a desert, but probably the best was `The Ethics of Elfland' Again we start with mirrors - `The vision is always a fact. It is the reality that is often a fraud.' And so soon he is turning our clichéd way of thinking on its head by passionately arguing for fairy tales, superior both to religion and rationalism, `the sunny country of commonsense'. This is not just to do with the morals you get from the tales, but that they are more accurate in their observations than science. The answer to both why eggs turn to birds, and Cinderella's mice to horses is the same: magic.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Orthodoxy is a work wit and exuberance. I wouldn't have discovered it if it hadn't been for Phillip Yancey's excellent chapter on him in his book `Soul Survivor.' So I was pleased to learn that Mr Yancey has written an introduction to a new edition (although not the one I read). Yancey praises Chesterton's childlike wonder and love of life, and indeed this does shine through the pages of `Orthodoxy.' But there is also an intellectual toughness and rigour that holds the hand of the child's wonder.
The opening chapters show Chesterton dismantling what he saw as the heresies of the time: materialism, nihilism, and existentialism. He's done this before in his work `Heresies,' and he explains in his first chapter that `Orthodoxy' is a response to a criticism that in `Heresies' he attacks other systems of thought but does not state his own.
But first, he lays into the heresies with gusto, and his deconstruction of them is charged by the passion of his abhorrence with what he sees as the harm and potential harm of them - nothing less that the "suicide of thought" and a route to individual and corporate madness. There a relevance to this too when one reviews the resurgent scientific fundamentalism of our own day. It would be great to read a Chestertonian response to "The God Delusion!"
Chesterton goes on to trace the roots of his own faith in his intuitions of the world as a child, and how the truths in fairy stories point to wider spiritual truths. He then develops his arguments to describe how his Orthodox Catholic faith is the best rebuttal to the heresies of his day, and why the Christian faith alone gives universal satisfaction to the problems of existence.
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