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From the archives of the Acton Institute, Acton Vault brings you stories, talks, conversations, and lectures from our 30-plus years of history – all focused on illustrating the Acton Institute's vision of a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
 
Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874–1936) has been called the “prince of paradox.” Time magazine observed of his writing style: “Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out.” His prolific and diverse output included journalism, philosophy, poetry, biography, Christian apologetics, fantasy and detective fiction. The title of Chesteron’s 1910 collection of essays was inspired by a title given to him two years earlie ...
 
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The Defendant

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The Defendant

G.K. Chesterton on Podiobooks.com

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A collection of essays by Gilbert Keith Chesterton, "Defences" of things at best less appreciated than they ought to be. "... It becomes increasingly apparent, therefore, that the world is in a permanent danger of being misjudged. That this is no fanciful or mystical idea may be tested by simple examples. The two absolutely basic words 'good' and 'bad,' descriptive of two primal and inexplicable sensations, are not, and never have been, used properly. Things that are bad are not called good ...
 
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On Thursday, Sept. 23, Rev. Robert A. Sirico, co-founder and president of the Acton Institute, debated Joshua Davis, executive director at the Institute for Christian Socialism, at the St. Augustine's Catholic Center at the University of Idaho on the question of Capitalism vs. Socialism: How does each system serve a Christian conception of a health…
 
Welcome back! We start a new season with Nancy Brown, our original host, and her new co-host, Noel Culbertson. Find out how they each got involved with G.K. Chesterton himself, with his writing, the Society and more on this episode of UncommonSense. Get ready to read Manalive with our friends Grace and Marie of Pints with Chesterton by ordering you…
 
What makes a president "good" or "bad"? Are historians always the best judge of such things? Or should we be getting second opinions? In this lecture, Larry Reed, president emeritus of the Foundation for Economic Education, offers his answers to these questions while taking us on a stroll through the triumphs and follies of some of the men who have…
 
Between Catholics and Protestants, the list of common beliefs, values, and practices is much longer and more substantive than the differences. (Assuming, of course, they are not heretics to their own traditions.) Why, then, has our alliance been so weak in stemming the tide of public secularization, immoralism, and decadence? In this episode, we br…
 
In this episode, we are bringing you a presentation that was delivered as part of the 2014 Acton Lecture Series featuring John “Chuck” Chalberg as he plays the role of G.K. Chesterton. In his performance, Chesterton speaks about America, which he thought was the only country with the soul of a church. He also addresses the state of the family, past…
 
On September 11th, 2001 terrorists struck the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. A fourth hijacked airliner was crashed in a field near Shanksville, Penn., after a group of passengers rushed the cockpit to take the plane back. The attacks resulted in the deaths of thousands of Americans. This attack challenged …
 
Most of you probably don’t know about the G.K. Chesterton Collection at the University of Notre Dame London Global Gateway. It is a magnificent collection of Chesterton’s writings and personal items. In this episode, Nancy Brown and Adrian Ahlquist interview the priest who provides oversight to the collection, Fr. Jim Lies. You won’t want to miss t…
 
Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse describes how the socialist ideal of equality has played an independent role in the breakdown of the family, arguing that socialism has attacked the family directly and has adopted policies that have led to demographic collapse. This presentation was delivered as part of the 2008 Acton Lecture Series. Bio | Jennifer Roback…
 
In this episode, we're bringing you a plenary session featuring a conversation with Fr. Robert Sirico and Michael Novak which was delivered as part of Acton University 2012. The life of Novak has been a story of intellectual exploration, with philosophy, Roman Catholic theology, and economics as the pillars of his career. Novak has changed the hear…
 
In this episode, we're bringing you a plenary speech given by Joel Salatin which was delivered as part of Acton University 2015. Salatin is a full-time, third generation alternative farmer in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. He speaks on defending small farms, local food systems, and the right to opt out of the conventional food paradigm. His farm, Po…
 
We should all know by now that C.S. Lewis was deeply influenced by G.K. Chesterton. But there is another renowned English writer who looked to Chesterton for inspiration: Poet, crime writer, and translator Dorothy L. Sayers. Listen to Crystal Downing, director of the Marion E. Wade Center, give a fascinating history of how Chesterton affected the p…
 
Our 40th Annual Chesterton Conference is this Thursday through Saturday in Lisle, IL. Don’t worry, if you can’t join us in person, you can attend the conference virtually. Register at www.chesterton.org/conference. In this episode, Nancy Brown is back with us to share why the Chesterton Conference will be one of the greatest experiences of your lif…
 
Communism took power in Cuba through deceit and intrigue in 1959. While Fidel Castro denied he was a communist, promising to restore democracy in the island, he began consolidating totalitarian rule and exporting revolution in Latin America and Africa. As the totalitarian dictatorship became evident, Cuba's democratic resistance defied the Castro r…
 
Chesterton has something to say about everything, right? What about the world of medicine? Virginia de la Lastra, a medical doctor and infectious disease specialist from Chile, reveals that Chesterton has been secretly a doctor this whole time. He has a diagnosis for a world that is sick, but he also has the cure. Find out what it is on this episod…
 
For decades, the race to space was the domain of the state. Today space is rapidly becoming commercialized, opening vast opportunities for entrepreneurs. The commercialization of space also brings challenges. In this episode, we're bringing you a panel discussion featuring Daniel Britt, PhD., Joel Sercel, PhD., and Paul Stimers, PhD., that was deli…
 
In January 1982, Marina Nemat, then just sixteen years old, was arrested, tortured, and sentenced to death for political crimes. Until then, her life in Tehran had centered around school, summer parties at the lake, and her crush on Andre, the young man she had met at church. But when math and history were subordinated to the study of the Koran and…
 
You might know something about relics of the saints and other holy people, but would you be able to tell if a relic is real or fake? Sean Pilcher, a uniquely qualified expert, is one of the few individuals in this country that can verify relics. In this episode, Sean explains how he actually verifies a relic, why we venerate them, and at the end of…
 
Have you ever wondered what the connection is between Star Wars and the Vatican II? That would be surprising if you have. Julian Ahlquist is here to present the case that the Star Wars saga could be an apt analogy for the history of Vatican II. In this episode of Uncommon Sense, you’ll get an entertaining way to learn about this important event in …
 
Saul Alinsky might be called the "anti-Acton". As Lord Acton warned that power corrupts, Saul Alinsky, the father of modern "community organizing", rejoiced that corruption empowers. Decades after Alinsky's death his ideas and teaching continue to shape the American political and social landscape. This lecture given by Joseph A. Morris, President o…
 
We are right between Chesterton’s birthday and future Feast Day, so why not talk about both? Dale Ahlquist joins again to give us all the details about the bookends of Chesterton’s life. He’ll tell us what Chesterton said about his own birthday, he’ll tell what the reactions were to his death, and he’ll reveal which famous figures were present at h…
 
In this episode, we're bringing you a presentation that was delivered as part of the 2021 Acton Lecture Series featuring Dr. Carl Trueman on his book The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self. In this timely work, he explores the development of the sexual revolution as a symptom—rather than the cause—of the human search for identity. Trueman surveys …
 
The greatest civilization of ancient times expired more than 1,500 years ago but the lessons to be learned from its experience are eternal. In this lecture, Lawrence W. Reed focuses on the Roman Republic—the key features, personalities and events that defined its rise as well as those that caused its decay in the First Century B.C. into an imperial…
 
ChesterCon21 is LIVE and back in person (and virtual) this summer! The theme of the 40th Annual G.K. Chesterton Conference is The Laughing Prophet: Finding Hope and Joy in this Crazy World. Why this theme? And what will you experience at this year’s conference? Dale Ahlquist answers these questions and more in this episode of Uncommon Sense.…
 
In this episode, we're bringing you a presentation that was delivered as part of the 2021 Acton Lecture Series featuring Jessica Hooten Wilson speaking on Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and his fight against propaganda using art to force "even an opposing heart to surrender." Through fiction, Solzhenitsyn provides a way to love our so-called enemies, encou…
 
Did you know that G.K. Chesterton had a profound influence on C.S. Lewis? Much of what Lewis wrote was inspired by what he read by Chesterton. Alan C. Duncan has gone through Lewis’ original manuscripts and documented the proof! In this episode of Uncommon Sense, we get to discuss with Alan the book he recently completed, Gilbert & Jack: What C.S. …
 
Have you ever asked yourself why God allows evil? Do you have an answer but you just can’t articulate it? In this episode, we seek the help of a brilliant Chesterton headmaster, Eric DeMeuse, from the Chesterton Academy of Milwaukee where he also teaches theology. In our conversation, we not only explore tough theological mysteries, we show how the…
 
In this episode we bring you an Acton Lecture featuring Dr. Patrick Gerry as he addresses the false promise of big government. The debate over the size and scope of the federal government has raged since the New Deal. So why have opponents of big government so rarely made political headway? Because they fail to address the fundamental issue. Patric…
 
Why is music so important that we require it at Chesterton? And how does it relate to anything else? Dr. Joshua Russell may have an answer for you. Joshua is the headmaster of Chesterton Academy of the Sacred Heart where he also teaches courses in history, literature, music, and writing. On top of all of that, he is a concert pianist. Listen to how…
 
Beginning with a conversation prompted by African American scholars like Dr. Alvin Poussaint of Harvard Medical School, to the current Black Lives Matter movement, there has been much debate about what led to the death of George Floyd as well as other systemic challenges that undermine black thriving. Anthony Bradley provides a distinctly Christian…
 
Chesterton in Iraq? The last place anyone imagined there could be a Chesterton Academy, let alone, to find out there is devotion to G.K. Chesterton in Iraq! But yes—the Kurdish regional Ministry of Education has approved a Chesterton Academy to open in Erbil, Kurdistan, an autonomous region within Iraq. Listen to the story of the exciting trip to E…
 
Join the Apostolate in prayer by starting a group within the Frances Chesterton Rosary League (FCRL). Victoria Darkey, our coordinator of the FCRL, explains how easy it is and how important this mission is to the Apostolate of Common Sense. Learn why Gilbert’s wife Frances is the patron of the Rosary League and the significant role she played in he…
 
On June 17th, 1997, United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia delivered the keynote address at the Acton Institute's 7th Annual Anniversary dinner. His remarks were entitled "On Interpreting the Constitution." Justice Scalia was arguably the Supreme Court’s most famous originalist in interpreting the Constitution. Scalia was equa…
 
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