In The Gift of Wonder edited by Dale Ahlquist, an excellent group of writers offer Chestertonian perspectives on the Moral Imagination, Science, Law, Nietzche, Agriculture, Criticism, St. Francis, and more (including, of course, murder mysteries).
Those in the academy have never quite known what to do with Chesterton. They can’t figure out if he belongs in the English department or the Theology department. Or Medieval Studies. Since he cannot be assigned neatly to any category, they have found that the most convenient thing to do with Chesterton has been to ignore him. The other problem is that he represents too cumbersome an exception to everything else in the 20th century: the despair in philosophy, the decadence in art, the joylessness in literature, and the myopia in politics. He offered a possible alternative to the total trust that has been placed in science and technology. And against a rising tide of relativism and skepticism, he provided a clear and well-reasoned defense of Christianity in general and Catholicism in specific. But while it is possible to find Chesterton quoted to prove a point, it is all but impossible to see him studied as a whole. However, not only does Chesterton deserve to be studied, he should be required reading on the first day of class in every classroom, no matter what the subject. It is Chesterton more than anyone who provide the right frame of mind for any student opening the door on any subject. His message is this: What you are about to see you might have missed. What you are about to experience is a gift, wrapped up just for you. Unwrap it carefully. It is a treasure. And like all the best gifts, the best thing about it is that it is a surprise. It is not what you think it is.
The collection of includes contributions from David Beresford, Carl Hasler, Thomas Martin, Francis Farrell, Aidan Mackay, Sara and Michael Brown, John Tibbets, James Reidy, Ekaterina Volokhonskala, Peter Floriani, David Andrews, and Dale Alquist.
In the introduction, Dale Ahlquist writes,
“Not only does Chesterton deserve to be studied, he should be required reading on the first day of class in every classroom, no matter what the subject. It is Chesterton more than anyone who provides the right frame of mind for any student opening the door on any subject.”