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Father Ian Boyd
Retires As Editor
of The Chesterton Review

By on September 2, 2020

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ August 24, 2020—After forty-six years of outstanding service, Father Ian Boyd, C.S.B., has announced his retirement as editor of The Chesterton Review, the journal he founded in Canada in 1974. He will be succeeded as editor by Professor Dermot Quinn, his colleague and friend of many years at the G.K. Chesterton Institute for Faith and Culture at Seton Hall University. Father Boyd, who will continue to serve as Founder and President Emeritus of the Institute, hopes to return to Seton Hall for the fiftieth birthday of the Review in four years’ time. In the meantime, a plaque and permanent exhibition have been placed in Walsh Library to honor Father Boyd’s twenty years at Seton Hall and the work of the Chesterton Institute in Canada and the United States since 1974.

Father Boyd’s retirement brings to a close one of the longest editorships of any literary journal in the English-speaking world. Only Robert Silvers of The New York Review of Books has enjoyed a longer tenure. It also marks the culmination of a career of exceptional achievement. “There really is nothing like The Chesterton Review,” Professor Philip Jenkins has written, “and if there ever was, it existed in a bygone Golden Age of journals and magazines.”

By the same token, there is no-one like Father Boyd. A scholar of international reputation, he has been the leading figure in the world-wide revival of interest in Chesterton that has taken place over the last fifty years. Beginning with the publication of his ground-breaking monograph The Novels of G.K. Chesterton and continuing with his work as editor of The Chesterton Review, he has promoted serious academic study of Chesterton and his circle and of the intellectual tradition that they represent. In addition, he has traveled the globe to speak at Chesterton conferences and seminars, an instantly recognizable and much-loved figure in universities across the world, captivating audiences with his trademark erudition, wit, and humor. Like Chesterton’s Father Brown, Father Boyd has a way of appearing in unusual places and solving unusual problems, a scholar’s scholar but also a priest’s priest, gentle, firm, wise, insightful, and benign. Chesterton could have had no better representative for the last five decades.

“I have, almost literally, very large shoes to fill,” said Professor Dermot Quinn, paying tribute to Father Boyd’s work as editor of The Chesterton Review. “Everything he did for the journal was marked by his wonderfully sharp and penetrating intelligence, his extraordinary breath of reading, his creative editorial imagination, and his marvelous gift for anecdote and apposite quotation. He also insisted that good writing should be at the heart of the Review, that its prose should be worthy of its subject. I hope to continue that tradition.” A graduate of Trinity College, Dublin and New College, Oxford, Professor Quinn has been a member of the History Department at Seton Hall since 1990. The author of three books and many articles, he has written and spoken extensively on Chestertonian themes for over thirty years.