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The Universe and Mr. Chesterton

The Universe and Mr. Chesterton

By Scott Randall Paine

244 pp

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About the Book

The Bible’s opening words “In the beginning”—later echoed in St. John’s Gospel—suggest an affinity between the Christian project of saving the world and the philosophical project of understanding it. Philosophy too ponders the beginnings, the principles of our knowledge and our universe. Although G.K. Chesterton was hardly a professional philosopher, he did turn a particularly alert mind to those beginnings—not with treatises on metaphysics or ethics, but with the example of a life of writing that gave eloquent witness to the theoretical and moral principles of Western thought at its best. That witness not only invites us to take a more objective look at the claims of Christianity, but also to welcome the lessons of wisdom implicit in sense experience. If this stance put Chesterton at odds with much of modern philosophy, it was only because it put him face to face with a world many philosophers could no longer see, but only scrutinize. In the present book, Chesterton’s way of looking at the universe generates as much existential impact as a religious conversion. And conversions—whether religious or philosophical—redirect our easily distracted mind to a universe that is naturally evident only by being supernaturally significant.


“The definitive study of Chesterton, the philosopher.”


Gilbert Magazine

The Universe and Mr. Chesterton is an excellent introduction to the thought of the most Thomistic journalist who ever wrote. Paine shows why a man who never made a formal study of the Doctor Angelicus could write, according to Etienne Gilson, the best book ever written about him.”


Review of Metaphysics

“A stimulating work of great eloquence which will be of keen interest to the numerous fans of this author who ‘could not speak about anything without speaking about everything,’ but also to anyone interested in simply acquainting themselves with this colorful figure.”


Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review

About the Author

SCOTT RANDALL PAINE is a priest of the archdiocese of Brasilia, and professor of Medieval Philosophy and Oriental Thought at the University of Brasilia. A native of the United States, since 1974 he has lived, studied and taught in various countries of Europe, Asia and South America. He has published widely in both Portuguese and English on religious and philosophical topics, including most recently an anthology of the works of the British philosopher, Bernard Kelly (Angelico Press, 2017). He has been Visiting Scholar at Munich’s Hochschule für Philosophie, the National University of Singapore and Harvard Divinity School. His current writing and research can be followed at

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