The Genius of G.K. Chesterton (MP3 Audio Course Download)

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The Genius of G.K. Chesterton: The Life and Thought of the Prince of Paradox

Join Professor Joseph Pearce as he examines The Genius of G.K. Chesterton, "The Prince of Paradox", through a look at the formative moments and remarkable works of his fascinating life. As Professor Pearce unfolds, G.K. Chesterton significantly influenced many illustrious and famous writers in their journey towards conversion to the Church. Chesterton was known as a "controversialist with no enemies"; this is one reason why he was so influential in growing others' love for the Church. He was capable of discussing the most politically and philosophically controversial topics, in light of the Catholic Church's teaching, without creating enemies - rather, he welcomed others into the Church with open arms and a sharp wit.

Born in 1874 and dying in 1936, Chesterton lived through one of the world's most trying times - the first World War. Many of Chesterton's economic and political opinions were built around his first-hand experience of the suffering the world endured at that time. He provided his readers with an elevated and transcendent sense of hope during a time of deep sorrow and terrible loss.

Chesterton was known for his love of the truth. In these eight fascinating lectures, your Professor Joseph Pearce will guide you through a study of Chesterton's greatest works, discussing topics such as:

  • St. Thomas Aquinas' influence on Chesterton 
  • The role of philosophy in conversion 
  • Progress and progressivism
  • The relationship between education and truth 
  • Catholic doctrine and economics

Chesterton's works can rightly be studied as theological, philosophical, political, or just merely entertaining literature. They truly embodied all such disciplines. Chesterton was known in his time for his theological influence on Catholics and non-Catholics alike. He had a beautiful and profound way of calling his readers to holiness. Join Professor Joseph Pearce in this enchanting eight-part lecture series where he uncovers the beautiful Catholicity of the life, thought and works of G.K. Chesterton.


  1. Introducing G.K. Chesterton
    Begin to dive into the life and thought of G.K. Chesterton. Discover the illustrious and famous writers that have come to the Church largely because of Chesterton's works. Your professor, Joseph Pearce, discusses his influence on Catholics and non-Catholics alike and how though often perceived as a controversialist, Chesterton had no enemies.

  2. Humor and Humility
    There is a vast similarity between the perception of the way to virtue held by Chesterton and St. Thomas Aquinas. Like Aquinas, Chesterton provides context and focus to our vision of the Church. The joy of paradox is found at the heart of Chesterton, where we gain a correct view of Christianity.

  3. The Catholic Church and Conversion
    Discover how Chesterton's journey to Christian conversion was a journey home. Chesterton often alludes to and discusses the primary influences of such a conversion. Consider the role of philosophy, apart from theology, in Chesterton's journey to conversion.

  4. Progress versus Progressivism
    Chesterton often insisted that progress was not merely a problem but was the 'mother of problems.' It is necessary to understand what progress is and is not. Chesterton's account of the biggest issue with progress is that progress has become an end in itself, which provides the world with a disordered view of what should be aimed at.

  5. Education as if Truth Mattered
    Chesterton suggests that whether he realizes it or not, modern man is on a journey. Chesterton's engagement with the principles of education is nothing less than the effort for man to see the truth beyond himself. Discover Chesterton's account of a correct vision of this journey to truth sought through education.

  6. What He Saw in America
    What did G.K. Chesterton see in America that other authors and philosophers didn't see? He has a uniquely European perspective of the United States; he considers the issue of America from an Englishman's impression during the years between the two World Wars.

  7. Subsidiarity and Distributism
    Take a look at Chesterton's political and economic ideas. Consider his ideas on distributism and how it correlates to the Catholic Church's teachings, specifically on subsidiarity. Why does the Church teach economic and political ideologies?

  8. All Things Considered
    Consider some of Chesterton's essays in light of their political, economic, philosophical, and theological implications. Were these intended to be left by Chesterton? Consider socialism, capitalism, feminism, and other contemporary political topics of the time, as presented in some of his works.




A native of England, Joseph Pearce is the internationally acclaimed author of many books, which include bestsellers such as:

  • The Quest for Shakespeare
  • Tolkien: Man and Myth
  • The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde
  • C. S. Lewis and The Catholic Church
  • Literary Converts
  • Wisdom and Innocence: A Life of G.K. Chesterton
  • Solzhenitsyn: A Soul in Exile
  • Old Thunder: A Life of Hilaire Belloc

His books have been published and translated into Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Croatian and Polish.

He has hosted two 13-part television series about Shakespeare on EWTN, and has also written and presented documentaries on EWTN on the Catholicism of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. His verse drama, Death Comes for the War Poets, was performed off-Broadway to critical acclaim. He has participated and lectured at a wide variety of international and literary events at major colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, Britain, Europe, Africa and South America.

Joseph is Director of Book Publishing at the Augustine Institute, and editor of the St. Austin Review, series editor of the Ignatius Critical Editions, senior instructor with Homeschool Connections, senior contributor at the Imaginative Conservative and host of the TAN podcast series, The Authority. He previously served as the first Executive Director of TAN Courses, and has since taught Literature courses on Tolkien, Shakespeare, Chesterton and Lewis.

Joseph Pearce
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