Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: G.K. Chesterton, natural theology, and apologetics
Author: Pickering, David
ISNI:       0000 0004 9356 7494
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2020
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Access from Institution:
In this dissertation I argue that G.K. Chesterton’s work is built around a distinctive natural theology, which gives coherence and substance to his thinking across the various genres in which he wrote. In chapter one I introduce his natural theology and explain why this central aspect of his work has been very largely neglected in Chesterton scholarship up till now. In chapter two I outline the basic structure of his natural theology. Then, in chapter three, I explore the ways in which he developed it, in the course of his apologetics, demonstrating that it is in fact at the heart of all his work, across the numerous different genres he worked in. In chapter four, I analyse this natural theology in relation to his apologetics, showing how it shaped that apologetics, and was expressed in terms of apologetics. My analysis investigates both his overall strategies and also the linguistic expression of his ideas. Then, in chapter five, I consider the main exception to this rule, Chesterton’s treatment of the Incarnation. In chapter six, I review the arguments of the thesis, conclude that this understanding of Chesterton unites the seemingly disparate and unconnected aspects of his work in a coherent whole, and draw certain further conclusions. This dissertation is original because the natural theology in Chesterton’s work has been very little studied. It is significant because Chesterton’s natural theology enabled him to pursue a very original and creative form of apologetics, and it has potential today to open up new possibilities in discussions between different religious and ideological views. Chesterton’s natural theology also included creative use of narrative theology and of the imagination in theology, among other innovations.
Supervisor: McGrath, Alister ; Kennedy, Philip Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Natural Theology ; Apologetics