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Chesterton Society Meeting

June 21, 2016 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

We will be continuing our reading of The Everlasting Man with Chapter 5. “Man and Mythologies

In the chapter God and Comparative Religion, which we read last month, Chesterton criticizes the whole idea and basis of the study of Comparative Religion. He maintains it is simply a ploy to organize the data in such a way that the uniqueness of the various religions is obscured (especially Christianity) and they are made to appear as mere variations on a common theme.

About a third of the way through the chapter, we find this paragraph, in which he presents his own method of classifying and analyzing the various religions:

In this sketch of religious history, with all decent deference to men much more learned than myself, I propose to cut across and disregard this modem method of classification, which I feel sure has falsified the facts of history. I shall here submit an alternative classification of religion or religions, which I believe would be found to cover all the facts and what is quite as important here, all the fancies. Instead of dividing religion geographically and as it were vertically, into Christian, Moslem, Brahmin, Buddhist, and so on, I would divide it psychologically and in some sense horizontally, into the strata of spiritual elements and influences that could sometimes exist in the same country, or even in the same man. Putting the Church apart for the moment, I should be disposed to divide the natural religion of the mass of mankind under such headings as these: God; the Gods; the Demons; the Philosophers. I believe some such classification will help us to sort out the spiritual experiences of men much more successfully than the conventional business of comparing religions and that many famous figures will naturally fall into their place in this way who are only forced into their place in the other. As I shall make use of these titles or terms more than once in narrative and allusion, it will be well to define at this stage for what I mean them to stand. And I will begin with the first, the simplest and the most sublime, in this chapter.

He then goes on in the remainder of the chapter to discuss the Pagan conception of God.

In our chapter this month he discusses “The Gods”, or Pagan mythology.

The next chapter for July discusses the remaining two topics the Demons and the Philosophers in the chapter titles, appropriately enough, The Demons and the Philosophers.

All very interesting stuff. And then he draws it all together and shows us how leading up to the time of Christ’s birth there was a tension and struggle between the paganism of the classical ancient cultures and a more demonic paganism. A struggle intense enough to lead to war and the ultimate destruction of the defeated society, with far reaching ramifications echoing down through history even to our own day, as Chesterton points out to us.

Good stuff that I’m sure you won’t want to miss.

And as if that weren’t enough , there’s a Father Brown Story to read as well – The Blast of the Book“.

Come join us June 21,
Until then,



June 21, 2016
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
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