SPIRITUAL FORMATIOM // Friday, Sept 29  2:45-4:30pm (Rm 210)

Chesterton’s Idea of Divine Participation: Humility and Wonder in the Artistic Endeavour 
Matthew Steem

It is often forgotten that G.K Chesterton, though primarily known for his apologetics on the reasonability of the Christian Faith, was first, an artist. As a crafter of stories and plays and poems—not to mention his respected commentary on numerous artists, poets and novelists—Chesterton has much insight to offer the hopeful artist about the interworking of creativity and the Christian imagination. With typical Chestertonian flair, he cogently presents—to the artistic and otherwise—a significant concept: a developed and flourishing spirituality will overflow into all aspects of the human life. Thus, for Chesterton, true art will contain within it spiritual value since it springs from a divine source. Perhaps this is why he asserts, “every true artist does feel, consciously or unconsciously, that … [her work] is touching transcendental truths.” For Chesterton, the act of artistic creation is not merely something humans enjoy as a pastime (though it is that too); the creative act is enshrined with divine legitimacy since it is an expression our Creator also takes pleasure in. Chesterton further asserts that for artistic imagination to share in the divine nature, it must be humble, yet also full-to-bursting with a sense of joyous wonder.


Matthew Steem is passionate about exploring the intellectual, imaginative and emotional vibrancy at the heart of the Christian tradition: a tradition all too frequently perceived, from both inside and out, as drab and bereft of true joy. A graduate of TWU (MAIH), Matthew is a regular writer for Off the Page (a ministry of Our Daily Bread) and Relief Journal: Art and Faith Unbound. His essays can also be found in White Gulls & Wild Birds: Essays on C.S. Lewis, Inklings and Friends & Thomas Merton (ed. Ron Dart, St. Macrina Press), Converge Magazine, Altarwork, Clarion Journal, and Christianity Today’s Her.meneutics.