Beautiful Apologetics

Art and literature are powerful mediums to convey timeless truths.  In the Introduction to Catholic Literary Giants, Joseph Pearce declares the power of art to evangelize, a defense of the Catholic Faith he terms the “apologetics of beauty.”  He cites Dante, Shakespeare, Hopkins, Tolkien, and Waugh as a Catholic’s literary “weapons” to wield against the gloom of our darkened age.  Pearce discusses all of these writers and more, to a greater or lesser degree, over the 67 essays that make up the book, most of them previously published in a variety of journals.  He has grouped them into five parts: Tradition and Conversion, The Chesterbelloc, The Wasteland, J.R.R. Tolkien and the Inklings, and More Things Considered.  Taken as a whole, the collection—through literary criticism, reviews, and other essays—demonstrates Pearce’s unique insight into, and extensive knowledge of, Catholic writers over the last century.  Pearce covers other topics as well, including filmmaking, the visual arts, and feminism.

In “The Chesterbelloc: Examining the Beauty of the Beast,” Pearce discusses the literary merits of G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc, comparing them as poets, novelists, and socioeconomic and political commentators, as well as defenders of the Faith and apologists.  “G.K. Chesterton:...

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