The G.K. Chesterton Institute hosts conference in Ireland

28 Aug 2002

The G.K. Chesterton Institute at Seton Hall University,New Jersey, hosts weekend conference in Ireland

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — The G.K. Chesterton Institute at Seton Hall University will host “Chesterton’s Ireland Then and Now: A Call for Re-Evangelization,” September 13-15, 2002, at St. Patrick’s College in Maynooth, Ireland. The honorary patron of the conference is Cahal Cardinal Daly, Archbishop Emeritus of Armagh. The conference was originally scheduled to take place last year but was rescheduled due to the cancellation of trans-Atlantic flights following the tragic September 11 terrorist attacks.

Chesterton’s Ireland conference will explore the secular challenges faced by Ireland’s Christian tradition, and the broader, more powerful challenges that Christianity itself offers the secular world. It will consider historical and contemporary issues in a critical way, examining proposals for the recovery of Christian culture and suggesting that the Irish model can be effective throughout the world.

“Chesterton recognized Ireland as a model Christian nation,” says Dermot Quinn, D.Phil., associate professor of history and associate director of the G.K. Chesterton Institute at Seton Hall University. “He was greatly moved by her (Ireland) long tradition of fidelity to the gospel. Our conference will examine reasons for faith and for loss of faith, confident that in time, the former will once again triumph over the latter.”

For more information and to register for the conference, contact Bernadette Kealey via e-mail at [email protected] or Danute Nourse at 973-378-9808 or via e-mail at [email protected].

Drawn from academia, journalism, politics and the Church, conference participants reflect the depth and breadth of the issues involved. Speakers and topics include:

  • Cahal Cardinal Daly, Archbishop Emeritus of Armagh, “Irish Catholicism: Future Prospects”;
  • Garret Fitzgerald, former Taoiseach of Ireland, “Irish Impressions”;
  • Reverend Oliver Rafferty, S.J., Saint Patrick’s College, “The Bishops and The Crisis of Violence in Ireland”;
  • Mary Kenny, author of The End of Catholic Ireland,  “A New Beginning for Catholic Ireland?”;
  • Sheridan Gilley, distinguished biographer of Cardinal Newman, “Ireland and the Cleansing of the Imagination”;
  • Stratford Caldecott, Centre for Faith and Culture, Oxford, “New Strategies for Evangelizing the Culture”;
  • Reverend Ian Boyd, C.S.B., G.K. Chesterton Institute, “The Everlasting Chesterton”;
  • Owen Dudley Edwards, University of Edinburgh, “Chesterton and Cultural Recovery”; and
  • Dermot Quinn, historian and frequent contributor to The Chesterton Review, “Chesterton
  • and the Resurrection of Ireland.”

“The purpose of our conference is to provide fresh ways of looking at information that has become familiar and stale,” says Reverend Ian Boyd, C.S.B., Ph.D., president of the G.K. Chesterton Institute and editor of The Chesterton Review at Seton Hall University. “What all the conference speakers have in common is an ability to write well and an imagination which is wide-awake. Writing such as theirs has the power to awaken the imagination of their readers, so that as Chesterton once wrote ‘those who have been looking at a thing for nine hundred and ninety-nine times will be in grave danger of seeing it for the first time.’”

The G.K. Chesterton Institute, a non-profit educational organization incorporated in the United States, Canada and Great Britain, moved its main offices to Seton Hall University’s South Orange, New Jersey, campus in 1997. Also housed at Seton Hall, the Institute publishes The Chesterton Review, a widely respected academic journal reflecting the versatility of Chesterton’s thoughts.

“G.K. Chesterton delighted in God’s creation and expressed that delight with marvelous words and wonderful insight,” says Monsignor Robert Sheeran, president of Seton Hall University. “He is a splendid reminder, from a different time and place, of the greatness of our own mission here at Seton Hall.”

Poet, novelist, journalist and theologian, G.K. Chesterton was one of the most influential religious writers of his day (1874-1936). A convert to Catholicism, he wrote in a way that was profound and accessible to the general reader. His ideas have particular importance to those interested in the sacramental tradition, in the evangelization of culture and in Christian spirituality. Chesterton visited Ireland twice, wrote two “Irish” books, and thought deeply about its place in the Europe of his day. He saw Ireland as a model Christian nation, true to a long tradition of belief, faithful to a gospel that had enlightened an otherwise dark world. The conference will explore the Ireland Chesterton admired and what become of it.

The G.K. Chesterton Institute primarily focuses on promoting the tradition associated with the English writer G.K. Chesterton and his circle. More broadly, its aim is to explore the application of Chestertonian ideas in the contemporary world. The Institute publishes The Chesterton Review, a widely respected academic journal, and Gilbert, a more popular monthly magazine. For more information on the Institute, The Chesterton Review or Gilbert, please call (973) 275-2430. New subscribers to The Chesterton Review will receive a complimentary, jumbo issue on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

Founded in 1856, Seton Hall University is the nation’s oldest diocesan institution of higher education. Today, the University is made up of nine schools and colleges. One of six private universities in New Jersey and the only Catholic university in the state, Seton Hall currently enrolls nearly 10,000 students. For more information on Seton Hall University, see on the World Wide Web.  

28 August 2002