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THINKING

The Everlasting People: G. K. Chesterton and the First Nations

by Matthew Milliner

What does the cross of Christ have to do with the thunderbird? How might the life and work of Christian writer G. K. Chesterton shed light on our understanding of North American Indigenous art and history?

This unexpected connection forms the basis of these discerning reflections by art historian Matthew Milliner. In this fifth volume in the Hansen Lectureship Series, Milliner appeals to Chesterton's life and work—including The Everlasting Man, his neglected poetry, his love for his native England, and his own visits to America—in order to understand and appreciate both Indigenous art and the complex, often tragic history of First Nations peoples, especially in the American Midwest.

The Hansen Lectureship series offers accessible and insightful reflections by Wheaton College faculty on the transformative work of the Wade Center authors.


To purchase a copy of The Everlasting People: G. K. Chesterton and the First Nations, visit:



Matthew J. Milliner (a.k.a. "millinerd") has been teaching art history at Wheaton College since 2011. In a previous life he earned a Ph.D. and an M.A. in the Department of Art & Archaeology at Princeton University, where he specialized in Byzantine and medieval art. In the life before that, he graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary with an M.Div. degree. In the life before that, he was the Director of Youth Ministries at Media Presbyterian Church in suburban Philadelphia. In the life before that, he went to Wheaton College, where he was an art history major (and married the other art history major). In the life before that, he grew up in New Jersey, Brazil and Indiana. And in the life before that, he did nothing, because the Origenist doctrine of the pre-existence of the soul was condemned in 553 AD.

Matthew is also a member of the board for both the WaterTable Trust and Bridge Projects, a previous speaker at Fieldstead, and a good friend of the Ahmansons.