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Chesterton: The Nightmare Goodness of God (The Making of the Christian Imagination)

4.4  ·  Rating Details ·  10 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews

The literary giant G. K. Chesterton is often praised as the "Great Optimist"--God's rotund jester. In this fresh and daring endeavor, Ralph Wood turns a critical eye on Chesterton's corpus to reveal the beef-and-ale believer's darker vision of the world and those who live in it. During an age when the words grace, love, and gospel, sound more hackneyed than genuine, Wood a

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Hardcover, 358 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Baylor University Press (first published December 31st 2010)
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Jeremy
Apr 14, 2015 Jeremy rated it really liked it
I used part of this book (Ch. 6) for my Old English presentation on Alfred the Great (October 31, 2013). I read the same chapter more carefully on April 9, 2015, in preparation to lead an Honors Colloquium discussion.

155-58: Chesterton's movement away from triumphalism (see p. 161) and nationalism
155, 159-61: civilization brings both creation and destruction
162: truthful legend [cf. Plato's Myth of Er?]
163-67: Nietzschean ressentiment and Christian joy
168-70: Christians guard pagan things
170-73:
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Andrew Marr
GK Chesterton leaves me with mixed feelings these days after I read so many of this books with so much delight many years ago. I do have some good memories of those reads but also some growing concerns. GKC must be in the top ten among 20th century writers for quotable quotes such as "A man man is a man who has lost everything but his reason" and "I never seem to have enough nothing to do." GKC was filled with a love of the material world as God's creation and a grateful delight in its simple ...more
Baylor University Press
"Ralph Wood had given us an outstanding contribution to Chesterton scholarship, revealing both the depth of the author's intellect and the breadth of his imagination."
—Dale Ahlquist, President, American Chesterton Society

"Wood has triumphed once again. He shows how great Christian art is often paradoxically dark when conveying the light and he is a superb guide through the gloomy and yet glimmering wonderland of Chesterton's work."
—Joseph Pearce, Associate Professor of Literature, Ave Maria Univ
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Robert Balfour
Dec 15, 2014 Robert Balfour rated it really liked it
This was a very excellent book. I bought it to help me understand Chesterton better. Chesterton is one of God's great gifts to the English language.

I've listened to more of Chesterton than I've read. He is larger than life and, to borrow his own phrase, like a great rising wave looming above his readers ready to crash upon them. He's also really funny, and one of the best antidotes to modern sensibilities around.

Wood's reading of Chesterton was very helpful. I appreciated how he structured the b
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Ralph C. Wood has served as University Professor of Theology and Literature at Baylor since 1998. He previously served for 26 years on the faculty of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he became the John Allen Easley Professor of Religion in 1990. He has also taught at Samford University in Birmingham, at Regent College in Vancouver, and at Providence College in Rhode ...more
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Other Books in the Series

The Making of the Christian Imagination (4 books)
  • Betjeman: Writing the Public Life
  • The Devil as Muse: Blake, Byron, and the Adversary
  • Dostoevsky: Language, Faith, and Fiction

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