Dale Ahlquist

Dale Ahlquist (born June 14, 1958, in St. Paul, Minnesota) is an author, public speaker, Evangelical convert to Catholicism, and Catholic apologist. He has written, edited, or contributed to more than fifteen books on G. K. Chesterton, including The Apostle of Common Sense, Common Sense 101: Lessons from G. K. Chesterton, The Complete Thinker, and In Defense of Sanity. Ahlquist is the president and co-founder of the American Chesterton Society and the publisher of its magazine, Gilbert. He is the creator and host of the television series, The Apostle of Common Sense, on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). He is also the co-founder of Chesterton Academy, a Minneapolis-based high school rated one of the top 50 Catholic schools in the United States.[1]

Ahlquist is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences, speaking on Chesterton’s wit and wisdom, his prophetic insight, and his role in the New Evangelization. He has given over 600 lectures at major colleges and universities and other venues, including Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Notre Dame, Oxford, Cal-Berkeley, Caltech, Rice, Penn, Dartmouth, San Pablo (Madrid), the Vatican Forum in Rome, and the House of Lords in London.

In 2012, he was named a Senior Fellow of the Chesterton Library at Oxford University.[2]

Dale Ahlquist
Dale Ahlquist
Dale Ahlquist, president of the American Chesterton Society
Born14 June 1958 (age 60)

Background and education

The fifth of six children, Ahlquist grew up in Mendota Heights, Minnesota, across the Mississippi River from downtown St. Paul. He graduated from Henry Sibley High School, where his father, Albert, was a biology teacher.

Ahlquist received a B.A. from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota,[3] and M.A. from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

His sister Pamela was formerly married to Jesus Rock singer Larry Norman. His brother David is a physician at the Mayo Clinic.

Conversion to Catholicism

Raised in a Baptist household, Dale Ahlquist observed the developing fragmentation of Protestant denominations. Reading G. K. Chesterton’s The Everlasting Man during his honeymoon in Rome profoundly changed his life and inevitably led to research into the Early Church Fathers and the history of the Catholic Church. Systematically, Dale began to see his point-by-point objections to Catholicism wither away on matters of the papacy, the sacraments of the Catholic Church, and the Blessed Virgin Mary.[4] In 1996 he founded the American Chesterton Society. He was received into the Catholic Church on the Feast of the Holy Family in 1997, along with his two oldest children Julian and Ashley. His wife, Laura, who had not been a practicing Catholic when they met, also returned to the Church.

American Chesterton Society

The American Chesterton Society (ACS) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization co-founded by Dale Ahlquist in 1996 with the mission of promoting interest in the 20th century’s most prolific English author, G. K. Chesterton.[5] The ACS is the leading resource for scholarly research on Chesterton, hosts annual conferences across the United States and abroad, international pilgrimages, and offers guidance to more than 60 local societies dedicated to Chesterton around the world including Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, France, Italy, Spain, and Russia.[6]

In 2000, Ahlquist quit his job as a political lobbyist to run the American Chesterton Society full-time.[7]

Gilbert: The Magazine of the American Chesterton Society

Gilbert! is the flagship magazine of the American Chesterton Society and is published and edited by Dale Ahlquist (formerly edited by Sean P. Dailey.)[8] It is published six times a year. Each issue contains original writings by and about Chesterton, but also covers a wide variety of subjects including family life, the arts, politics, faith, current events, popular culture, literary and film criticism, and original short fiction.

The magazine initially came about as the result of combining three modest newsletters: Midwest Chesterton News, published by John Peterson in Chicago, All Things Considered, published by Ron McCloskey in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and Generally Speaking, published by the American Chesterton Society. The original name of the magazine was Gilbert!, and Vol. 1, No. 1, was published in September, 1997. The name changed to Gilbert Magazine, with the subtitle Outlining Sanity, with Vol. 7, No.1, in September, 2003. It became Gilbert: The Magazine of the American Chesterton Society with Vol. 17, No. 1, in September, 2013.

The Apostle of Common Sense television series

The television program, G. K. Chesterton: The Apostle of Common Sense,[9] appears on EWTN. For seven seasons Dale Ahlquist hosted The Apostle of Common Sense featuring Chuck Chalberg as G. K. Chesterton and Kevin O’Brien as Stanford Nutting, Father Brown, and Nietzsche, amongst other characters, with guest appearances by Julian and Ashley Ahlquist, Kaiser Johnson, and Frank C. Turner. The series is designed to help viewers discover and rediscover G. K. Chesterton, to be challenged by his ideas, to see the completeness of his thought, and to experience the joy and depth of his faith. Ahlquist has covered Chesterton’s most popular books and beloved characters on the show, including the famous sleuth Father Brown, Innocent Smith, and Chesterton’s friends and foes George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, and Clarence Darrow.

Chesterton Academy

Dale Ahlquist is the co-founder of Chesterton Academy, a high school in Minneapolis, Minnesota, that is centered on G. K. Chesterton’s ideas of integrated learning.[10] Launched in the fall of 2008 with just 10 students, the school now enrolls more than 100 students in grades nine through twelve and offers summer school programs, options for homeschool students, and adult enrichment classes.

Chesterton Academy educates young men and women in the Catholic tradition of faith and reason, centered on the truth of the Incarnation, Crucifixion, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through the study of art, music, literature, language, history, mathematics, science, philosophy, and religion, the school aims to prepare children to think both rationally and creatively, to defend their faith, and to contribute positively to society.


  • The Gift of Wonder: The Many Sides of G.K. Chesterton (Editor), American Chesterton Society, 2001. ISBN 978-0970891105
  • The Apostle of Common Sense, Ignatius Press, 2003. ISBN 978-0898708578
  • G.K. Chesterton's Sherlock Holmes (Contributor), The Lilly Library, 2003, ISBN 0-964878844
  • Lepanto (Editor), Ignatius Press, 2004. ISBN 978-1586170301
  • A Miscellany of Men (Introduction), IHS Press, 2004, ISBN 0-97182861X
  • Common Sense 101: Lessons from G.K. Chesterton, Ignatius Press, 2006. ISBN 978-1586171391
  • The Well and the Shallows (Introduction), Ignatius Press, 2006. ISBN 978-1586171261
  • The Catholic Church and Conversion (Introduction), Ignatius Press, 2006. ISBN 978-1586170738
  • G.K. Chesterton on G.F. Watts (Contributor), Watts Gallery, 2008, ISBN 978-0954823092
  • In Defense of Sanity (Editor), Ignatius Press, 2011. ISBN 978-1586174897
  • Manalive (Editor), Ignatius Press, 2011. ISBN 978-1586174798
  • The Universe According to G. K. Chesterton: A Dictionary of the Mad, Mundane and Metaphysical (Editor), Dover Publications, 2011. ISBN 978-0486481159
  • The Complete Thinker, Ignatius Press, 2012. ISBN 978-1586176754
  • The Defendant (Editor), Dover Publications, 2012. ISBN 978-0-486-48602-4
  • The Soul of Wit: G.K. Chesterton on William Shakespeare (Editor), Dover Publications, 2012. ISBN 978-0-486-48919-3
  • The Hound of Distributism (Contributor), ACS Books, 2012. ISBN 978-1-50510-477-6
  • Knight of the Holy Ghost: A Short History of G.K. Chesterton, Ignatius Press & The Augustine Institute, 2018. ISBN 978-0-9993756-4-8


  1. ^ "2012 Catholic High School Honor Roll Top 50". Catholichonorroll.org. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
  2. ^ "G.K. Chesterton Library". Chestertonlibrary.blogspot.it. 2012-07-18. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
  3. ^ Carleton College, Dale Ahlquist '80 interviewed in Star Tribune
  4. ^ "Upon This Rock — That Doesn't Roll – Conversion Story of Dale Ahlquist | The Coming Home Network". Chnetwork.org. 2012-10-31. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
  5. ^ "American Chesterton Society | G.K. Chesterton for the 21st Century". Chesterton.org. 2013-08-06. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
  6. ^ "Local Societies". Chesterton.org. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
  7. ^ Katherine Kersten At home with British mastermind's legacy. Minneapolis Star-Tribune, June 6, 2005
  8. ^ "Gilbert Magazine". Chesterton.org. 2012-10-13. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
  9. ^ "EWTN Series". Ewtn.com. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
  10. ^ "Board of Directors". Chesterton Academy. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
Battle of Lepanto

The Battle of Lepanto was a naval engagement that took place on 7 October 1571 when a fleet of the Holy League, led by the Venetian Republic and the Spanish Empire, inflicted a major defeat on the fleet of the Ottoman Empire in the Gulf of Patras. The Ottoman forces were sailing westward from their naval station in Lepanto (the Venetian name of ancient Naupactus Ναύπακτος, Ottoman İnebahtı) when they met the fleet of the Holy League which was sailing east from Messina, Sicily. The Holy League was a coalition of European Catholic maritime states which was arranged by Pope Pius V and led by John of Austria. The league was largely financed by Philip II of Spain, and the Venetian Republic was the main contributor of ships.In the history of naval warfare, Lepanto marks the last major engagement in the Western world to be fought almost entirely between rowing vessels, namely the galleys and galeasses which were the direct descendants of ancient trireme warships. The battle was in essence an "infantry battle on floating platforms". It was the largest naval battle in Western history since classical antiquity, involving more than 400 warships. Over the following decades, the increasing importance of the galleon and the line of battle tactic would displace the galley as the major warship of its era, marking the beginning of the "Age of Sail".

The victory of the Holy League is of great importance in the history of Europe and of the Ottoman Empire, marking the turning-point of Ottoman military expansion into the Mediterranean, although the Ottoman wars in Europe would continue for another century. It has long been compared to the Battle of Salamis, both for tactical parallels and for its crucial importance in the defense of Europe against imperial expansion. It was also of great symbolic importance in a period when Europe was torn by its own wars of religion following the Protestant Reformation, strengthening the position of Philip II of Spain as the "Most Catholic King" and defender of Christendom against Muslim incursion. Historian Paul K. Davis writes that, "More than a military victory, Lepanto was a moral one. For decades, the Ottoman Turks had terrified Europe, and the victories of Suleiman the Magnificent caused Christian Europe serious concern. The defeat at Lepanto further exemplified the rapid deterioration of Ottoman might under Selim II, and Christians rejoiced at this setback for the infidels. The mystique of Ottoman power was tarnished significantly by this battle, and Christian Europe was heartened."

Chesterton Academy

Chesterton Academy is a private, co-ed, Catholic secondary school in Edina, Minnesota, United States. It is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

Launched in the fall of 2008 by Dale Ahlquist and Tom Bengtson, the school is centered on G. K. Chesterton’s ideas of integrated learning. It offers summer school programs, options for home-schooled students, and adult enrichment classes.Chesterton Academy has been recognized as one of the "Top 50 Catholic High Schools for excellence in Catholic identity, academics and civics education" by the Cardinal Newman Society.Beginning in the 2012–13 school year, Chesterton Academy moved from its former St. Louis Park location into the premises of Calvary Christian Reformed Church in Edina.Chesterton Academy has several campuses around the United States. Besides Edina, there is one in Saint Paul, Omaha, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Buffalo, New York. There is also a campus in Italy, whose students have sometimes visited the Edina campus. Chesterton Academy also sometimes receives foreign exchange students.

The Edina campus (if not other campuses as well) has influence from Traditionalist Catholics, as evidenced by all-male altar servers wearing cassocks, usually around 12 altar servers during Mass, and a significant portion of Friday Mass being said in Latin.

Christopher Ferrara

Christopher A. Ferrara (born New York, 6 January 1952) is a Roman Catholic attorney, pro-life activist, and journalist. He is the founder and current president of the American Catholic Lawyers Association. He is also a regular columnist of The Remnant, a traditionalist Catholic newspaper.

Cultural depictions of Philip II of Spain

Philip II of Spain has inspired artistic and cultural works for over four centuries, as the most powerful ruler in the Europe of his day, and subsequently a central figure in the "Black Legend" of Spanish power. The following list covers representations of him in drama, opera, film, novels, and verse. A small selection of the many artistic portrayals of Philip is shown in gallery form.

Dave Armstrong (Catholic apologist)

Dave Armstrong (born 1958) is an American Catholic apologist, author, and blogger.

His blog, which includes material from his previous website, contains more than 2500 articles defending Christianity. It is award-winning and has had over two million visitors.

He has written over 18 books, including The Catholic Answer Bible.


Distributism is an economic ideology asserting that the world's productive assets should be widely owned rather than concentrated. It was developed in Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries based upon the principles of Catholic social teaching, especially the teachings of Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical Rerum novarum (1891) and Pope Pius XI in Quadragesimo anno (1931). It views both capitalism and socialism as equally flawed and exploitative, and it favors economic mechanisms such as small-scale cooperatives and family businesses, and large-scale anti-trust regulations.

Some Christian Democratic political parties have advocated distributism in their economic policies.


The Eternal Word Television Network, more commonly known by its initialism EWTN, is an American basic cable television network which presents around-the-clock Catholic-themed programming. It was founded by Mother Angelica, PCPA, in 1980 and began broadcasting on August 15, 1981, from a garage studio at the Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Irondale, Alabama, which Mother Angelica founded in 1962. She hosted her own show, Mother Angelica Live, until suffering a major stroke and other health issues in September 2001. Repeats now air as either the Best of Mother Angelica Live or Mother Angelica Live Classics. From then until her death on Easter Sunday of 2016, she led a cloistered life at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama.

The network, through diocesan television channels in other Catholic countries, advertises itself as the EWTN: The Global Catholic Network. Regular programs include a daily Holy Mass and sometimes Tridentine Mass format, the traditional Stations of the Cross, a taped daily recitation of the Rosary, and daily and weekly news, discussion, and Catechetical programs for both adults and children. Christmas and Easter programming; the installation Masses of bishops and cardinals; coverage of World Youth Days; and papal visits, deaths, funerals, conclaves, and elections are also presented. EWTN also has a presence on satellite and shortwave radio. Spanish language broadcasts are available on all platforms. On December 8, 2009, EWTN began broadcasting in high-definition.The network's current chairman of the board and chief executive officer is Michael P. Warsaw. While the network has trustees, it does not have shareholders or owners. A majority of the network's funding is from viewer donations about which it advertises 100% viewer supported, which keeps it from advertising secular or non-Catholic programming. Its traditional plea for donations is "Keep us between your gas and electric bill".EWTN also contributes to the publication of the National Catholic Register newspaper, which it acquired in January 2011, and to reports of Catholic News Agency, which it also owns. The network maintains an online presence through its primary site, EWTN.com, and it has a dedicated commercial site, EWTNReligiousCatalogue.com.As of 2017, Michael P. Warsaw, who is a consultor to the Vatican's Secretariat for Communications, leads EWTN.

Father Brown

Father Brown is a fictional Roman Catholic priest and amateur detective who is featured in 53 short stories published between 1910 and 1936 written by English novelist G. K. Chesterton. Father Brown solves mysteries and crimes using his intuition and keen understanding of human nature. Chesterton loosely based him on the Rt Rev. Msgr. John O'Connor (1870–1952), a parish priest in Bradford, who was involved in Chesterton's conversion to Catholicism in 1922.

G. K.'s Weekly

G. K.'s Weekly was a British publication founded in 1925 (with its pilot edition surfacing in late 1924) by seminal writer G. K. Chesterton, continuing until his death in 1936. Its articles typically discussed topical cultural, political, and socio-economic issues yet the publication also ran poems, cartoons, and other such material that piqued Chesterton's interest. It contained much of his journalistic work done in the latter part of his life, and extracts from it were published as the book The Outline of Sanity. Precursor publications existed by the names of The Eye-Witness and The New Witness, the former being a weekly newspaper started by Hilaire Belloc in 1911, the latter Belloc took over from Cecil Chesterton, Gilbert's brother, who died in World War I: and a revamped version of G. K.'s Weekly continued some years after Chesterton's death by the name of The Weekly Review.As an alternative publication outside of the mainstream press of the time, G. K.'s Weekly never attained a particularly large readership, with its highest circulation being some eight thousand. However, it attracted significant support from several benefactors, which included notables such as the internationally famous conductor Sir Thomas Beecham. Individuals whose work appeared in G. K.'s Weekly include public figures such as E. C. Bentley, Alfred Noyes, Ezra Pound, and George Bernard Shaw as well as (at the very beginning of his career) George Orwell. The relationship between the Distributist League and G. K.'s Weekly being a very close one, the publication advocated the philosophy of distributism in contrast to both the centre-right and centre-left attitudes of the time regarding socialism and industrialism.In terms of criticism, the publication has garnered condemnation for alleged anti-Semitic prejudice to be found in the views of Gilbert and Cecil Chesterton as well as of Hilaire Belloc. The controversy has involved sorting out the distinct differences in the opinions of the three men versus that of others within the publication, as essentially everyone featured had their own nuances to their viewpoints and would disagree among themselves. Critics have alleged that the writers often featured false stereotypes and made ignorant arguments about British capitalistic society while defenders have viewed the accusations as biased and misleading.

G. K. Chesterton

Gilbert Keith Chesterton, KC*SG (29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936), was an English writer, poet, philosopher, dramatist, journalist, orator, lay theologian, biographer, and literary and art critic. Chesterton is often referred to as the "prince of paradox". Time magazine has observed of his writing style: "Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out."Chesterton is well known for his fictional priest-detective Father Brown, and for his reasoned apologetics. Even some of those who disagree with him have recognised the wide appeal of such works as Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man. Chesterton routinely referred to himself as an "orthodox" Christian, and came to identify this position more and more with Catholicism, eventually converting to Catholicism from High Church Anglicanism. George Bernard Shaw, his "friendly enemy", said of him, "He was a man of colossal genius." Biographers have identified him as a successor to such Victorian authors as Matthew Arnold, Thomas Carlyle, Cardinal John Henry Newman, and John Ruskin.

Lord of the World

Lord of the World is a 1907 dystopian science fiction novel by Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson that centers upon the reign of the Antichrist and the end of the world. It has been called prophetic by Dale Ahlquist, Joseph Pearce, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.


Manalive (1912) is a book by G. K. Chesterton detailing a popular theme both in his own philosophy, and in Christianity, of the "holy fool", such as in Dostoevsky's The Idiot and Cervantes' Don Quixote.

Maurice Baring

Maurice Baring (27 April 1874 – 14 December 1945) was an English man of letters, known as a dramatist, poet, novelist, translator and essayist, and also as a travel writer and war correspondent. During World War I, Baring served in the Intelligence Corps and Royal Air Force.

The Ball and the Cross

The Ball and the Cross is a novel by G. K. Chesterton. The title refers to a more worldly and rationalist worldview, represented by a ball or sphere, and the cross representing Christianity. The first chapters of the book were serialized from 1905 to 1906 with the completed work published in 1909. The novel's beginning involves debates about rationalism and religion between a Professor Lucifer and a monk named Michael. A part of this section was quoted in Pope John Paul I's Illustrissimi letter to G. K. Chesterton. Much of the rest of the book concerns the dueling, figurative and somewhat more literal, of a Jacobite Catholic named Maclan and an atheist Socialist named Turnbull. Lynette Hunter has argued that the novel is more sympathetic to Maclan, but does indicate Maclan is also presented as in some ways too extreme. Turnbull, as well, is presented in a sympathetic light: both duelists are ready to fight for and die for their antagonistic opinions and, in doing so, develop a certain partnership that evolves into a friendship. The real antagonist is the world outside, which desperately tries to prevent from happening a duel over "mere religion" (a subject both duelists judge of utmost importance).

The Napoleon of Notting Hill

The Napoleon of Notting Hill is a novel written by G. K. Chesterton in 1904, set in a nearly unchanged London in 1984.

Although the novel is set in the future, it is, in effect, set in an alternative reality of Chesterton's own period, with no advances in technology or changes in the class system or attitudes. It postulates an impersonal government, not described in any detail, but apparently content to operate through a figurehead king, randomly chosen.

The New Jerusalem (Chesterton book)

The New Jerusalem is a 1920 book written by British writer G. K. Chesterton. Dale Ahlquist calls it a "philosophical travelogue" of Chesterton's journey across Europe to Palestine.

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