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The Everlasting Man

In his classic book, Chesterton explores what it is that makes us humans uniquely human. Join Prof. Pearce to learn how The Everlasting Man’s thesis is ultimately that the Incarnation is central to an understanding of all history.

Total classes: 6

Prerequisite: The ability to read and enjoy The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton before the first day of class.

Suggested grade level: 9th to 12th grade

Suggested credit: 1/2 semester Literature or English. Add another literature or a writing course for a full semester credit.

Special notes: It is recommended (not required) that you precede this course with Prof. Pearce’s course The Picture of Dorian Gray, which starts in January, or with another 6-week literature course.


The Everlasting Man is G. K. Chesterton’s classic work of Catholic Apologetics. The book’s thesis is ultimately that the Incarnation is central to an understanding of history. Chesterton takes on the claim that man is simply the product of evolution, arguing that Christianity provides the True explanation for the genesis and purpose of human life. Chesterton wrote the book as a rebuttal to popular author H.G. Wells, whose secularist The Outline of History was influential at the time (1920s). As Dale Ahlquist, president of the American Chesterton Society, says, “Of all of Chesterton’s literary monuments, this is perhaps his greatest, for he eloquently and concisely packs the whole human story between the covers of one book.” In this course, we will unpack that story and study it together over six classes.

The Everlasting Man is arguably the best and most important of Chesterton’s books. In order to maximize their experience of this course students should read the reading assignment for each class, prior to the class, and then, after the class, re-read those passages specifically referenced in class and cited in the Class Notes. This will enable the student not only to understand the book but also to excel in the weekly class quizzes. 


Class one: Part I, chapters 1-3

Class two: Part I, chapters 4-6

Class three: Part I, chapters 7-8

Class four: Part II, chapters 1-2

Class five: Part II, chapters 3-4

Class six: Part II, chapters 5-6

Materials and Homework

Course Materials: G.K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man (Ignatius Press), ISBN #978-0-89870-444-0 (www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0898704448/catholictreas-20). This edition is necessary to follow along in the class so that page numbers match up with Professor Pearce’s lectures.

Homework: Completing the assigned reading for each class; taking six quizzes. Estimated homework time each week: 3 hours.

Important Dates

Class dates: Wednesdays, March 6 to April 17, 2024. No class March 27 (Holy Week.)

Starting time: 1:00 PM Eastern (Noon Central; 11:00 Mountain; 10:00 Pacific)

Duration per class: 55 minutes

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