Are We Becoming a Nation of Gollums?

By |2020-08-03T16:26:42-05:00August 3rd, 2020|Categories: Christian Humanism, Christianity, Evil, J.R.R. Tolkien, Joseph Pearce, Modernity, Senior Contributors|

As we watch our culture succumb to the power of Pride, we are witnessing the “gollumizing” of our brothers and sisters, as they shrivel into pathetic wrecks of the people they are meant to be. The only escape from this hell is rooted in heavenly love. This week, I met a good friend of [...]

Stand, Men of the West!

By |2020-06-15T15:35:37-05:00June 15th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Conservatism, J.R.R. Tolkien, Stephen M. Klugewicz, Western Civilization|

Western Civilization is undeniably in decline and indeed its very existence is in doubt. Yet these thoughts ought not to drag conservatives down into a morass of defeatism. Though the hour is late, a remnant must run to the barricades and shield itself and whatever is left of Western Civilization from the barbarians at [...]

In Defense of Those Who Protect Us

By |2020-06-08T00:31:36-05:00June 8th, 2020|Categories: Conservatism, J.R.R. Tolkien, Louis Markos, Memorial Day, Military, Timeless Essays, Veterans Day, Virtue, War|

We must respect the difficulty and danger of the jobs of those who protect us and stop willfully blinding ourselves to the unpleasant realities around us. Let us defend, support, and celebrate our police and our military; without them, our world would be a far more perilous place. This semester, I am happily exercising [...]

Tolkien: Entering Faerie

By |2020-04-24T15:23:57-05:00April 20th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Fiction, Imagination, J.R.R. Tolkien, Literature, Myth, Senior Contributors|

What, exactly, is Faerie? While not quite the realm of the supernatural, it is the realm of grace (and its enemies), and it can be, even in its greatest beauty, dangerous in the extreme. It is also, by its very nature, sacramental, tangible, and incarnational. On March 8, 1939, just five months shy of [...]

Tolkien’s “The Lost Road”: Brilliant But Unfinished

By |2020-04-18T18:37:55-05:00April 18th, 2020|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, Fiction, Imagination, J.R.R. Tolkien, Literature, Senior Contributors|

An endearing story about fathers and sons—and almost certainly an autobiographical understanding of J.R.R. Tolkien himself and his own, mostly imagined father, as well as Tolkien and his son Christopher—”The Lost Road” begins with a son, Alboin, asking his father, Oswin, about the origin of his name. Though Tolkien had already written and published [...]

The Mixed Legacy of Christopher Tolkien

By |2020-03-07T11:20:36-06:00March 7th, 2020|Categories: Fiction, Imagination, J.R.R. Tolkien, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Senior Contributors|

Only the works published during J.R.R. Tolkien’s lifetime should be considered canonical, whereas the unfinished works collected, collated, and edited by Christopher Tolkien should be considered extra-canonical. I would even venture to suggest that Christopher Tolkien’s work should be considered as footnotes to his father’s corpus and not an extension of it. In the [...]

Now Residing in the Blessed Realm: Christopher Tolkien

By |2020-02-11T16:45:42-06:00February 11th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Fiction, Imagination, J.R.R. Tolkien, Literature, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

After his father’s death, Christopher Tolkien became the literary heir of all things Middle-earth. He quit his prestigious academic professorship at Oxford and dedicated himself fully to his father’s legacy. We are a better people and a better civilization as a result. On Wednesday, January 15, 2020, the holy host of the Valar (all [...]

Vale, Christopher Tolkien: Middle-Earth Is Indebted to You

By |2020-01-29T16:37:58-06:00January 29th, 2020|Categories: Character, Fiction, Imagination, J.R.R. Tolkien, Literature|

If J.R.R. Tolkien was a Titan, Christopher was Atlas, with the weight of a cosmology on his back. On January 16, in France, and at the age of 95, Christopher John Reuel Tolkien quietly passed away. The headlines of many obituaries and tributes refer to him as the son of J.R.R. Tolkien, which indeed [...]

Gollum and the Spirit of Christmas

By |2019-12-09T17:50:09-06:00December 14th, 2019|Categories: Books, Christianity, Christmas, Imagination, J.R.R. Tolkien, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Senior Contributors|

When we think of writers associated with Christmas, Dickens would no doubt come to mind, as, perhaps, would Chesterton. It is unlikely, however, that the name of Tolkien would spring to mind. In Tolkien’s works, such as The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion, set in Middle-earth, there is no place [...]

Tolkien & Anglo-Saxon England: Protectors of Christendom

By |2020-02-01T12:32:53-06:00November 10th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christendom, Christian Humanism, England, History, J.R.R. Tolkien, Myth, Senior Contributors, StAR, Timeless Essays|

J.R.R. Tolkien believed that the Anglo-Saxon world might offer us strength to redeem Christendom. The hero of “The Lord of the Rings,” after all, is an Anglo-Saxon farmer turned citizen-warrior. Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Bradley J. Birzer, as he discusses J.R.R. Tolkien’s christological interpretation [...]

J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Leaf by Niggle”

By |2019-11-05T21:50:56-06:00November 5th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Fiction, Imagination, J.R.R. Tolkien, Literature, Senior Contributors, Tolkien Series|

J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Leaf by Niggle” must rank as one of the finest short stories of the twentieth century, breath-takingly beautiful, even by the highest Tolkienian standards. As with so many of his writings, “Leaf” takes seriously issues of goodness, free will, destiny, subcreation, and eternity. One very late night or early morning in 1939, [...]

Approaching Weathertop: Anatomy of a Scene

By |2019-10-29T21:01:16-05:00October 29th, 2019|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, Imagination, J.R.R. Tolkien, Literature, Senior Contributors, Tolkien Series, Writing|

Though the approach to the mountain Weathertop is only one scene in “The Lord of the Rings,” it is a telling one. Through romance, imagery of light and color, the voluptuousness of his landscapes, and the holiness of song and poetry, J.R.R. Tolkien brilliantly reveals himself as a master of the English language and, [...]

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