Cultural Revolutions

On the Chesterton Review

The Chesterton Review continues on, after celebrating its 30th anniversary last year.  Back in 1974, on the centenary of the birth of the great English writer G.K. Chesterton, a small and seemingly insignificant literary journal was launched in England in honor of his memory.  At the time, it seemed that the memory was fading.  England, like the rest of the Catholic world, was in the grips of postconciliar confusion.  Modernism, which Chesterton had fought so fiercely and fearlessly in his own day, had reemerged with a vengeance, claiming, falsely, that it represented the “spirit of Vatican II.”  Heresy masquerading as “progressive” theology and liturgical abuse masquerading as “reform” were rampant.  The times called for a new Chesterton to proclaim the wonders of orthodoxy and the blunders of the heretics.  None was forthcoming.  Instead, the Chesterton Review sought single-handedly to resurrect the old one.  Few, at the time, would have forecast its success.  Chesterton’s reputation, so huge in his own lifetime, was waning.  He was seen as representative of an old-style Catholicism that had been swept away by the Council.  His influence would die away with the remnants of the aging generation who could still remember the heady days of the Catholic cultural revival of which he was a crucial part.  It was only a matter of time...

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