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Chesterton, let’s face it, is thematically ataxic. He can’t keep to one idea; in the words of an acquaintance of mine, he sidesteps issues by making sense. Reading Orthodoxy was an experience analogous to hearing an inebriated genius swerve through celestial ideas. The book’s only lack is that its subject demands a structure it doesn’t provide.
Heretics is a different story. Here Chesterton is truest to his form. He’s free to roam the world of his improvised ideas as he surveys what he considers
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Heresy means a belief or opinion contrary to orthodox religious (especially Christian) doctrine and so a heretic would be a person holding such a belief or opinion. It’s a word we don’t use or hear much anymore, probably because we are afraid of certainty in religion. We prefer ‘tolerance’. This trend was gaining ground in Chesteron’s day. (Wouldn’t you love to hear what he would have to say about our world today?!)
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The Oxford English Dictionary
a person believing in or practising religious heresy.
a person holding an opinion at odds with what is generally accepted.
Heretics is by G.K. Chesterton’s own admission, a work that merely serves to point out the ‘heresies’ contained within the popular veins of thought surrounding him in society. It seems odd that such a word as ‘heretic’ could be applied to what is popular, when it is known that heresy normally tends to be the opinion against p