This coming Tuesday, the Small Group shall look at “The Sign of the Broken Sword,” one of G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown mystery stories.
This group has romped through the Great Tradition fairly broadly thus far. We have looked at creeds, at theological texts, at liturgies, at poetry, at devotional writing, at mystical works, at sermons, at essays. We have looked at ancient writers, mediaeval writers, Reformation writers, modern writers. But we have not sampled fiction, and (as I like to say) ever since Joseph and Aseneth was a runaway second-century bestseller, Christians have been writing fiction. Therefore, this week we shall read a Father Brown story by GK Chesterton.
I am looking forward to this not only because it is the first piece of fiction the group will sample, but because it is Chesterton. This guy was larger than life. Essayist, journalist, literary critic, poet, novelist, mystery writer, amateur theologian, hagiographer, church historian—little was untouched by the girth of his corpus (he was also corpulent). He is most famous for his Father Brown detective stories, the novel The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare, and the non-fiction books Heretics and Orthodoxy. His most famous poem is the “Ballad of the White Horse.” He was a convert to Roman Catholicism partly on the grounds that on the Catholic Church could have produced St. Francis of Assisi.
I look forward to a pleasant evening of good storytelling and good discussion.