Christianity

Fate and Will in Tolkien’s “Beowulf”

By |2019-10-14T15:49:10-05:00October 15th, 2019|Categories: Beowulf, Beowulf Series, Bradley J. Birzer, Christianity, Imagination, Literature, Myth, Senior Contributors|

Arguably one of the finest stories in the Western Tradition, “Beowulf” concerns the advent of a hero and his timely end. Throughout, questions of fate, free will, good, and evil predominate. Most prominent, though, are the theological questions of will and grace, one pagan and the other Christian. In 1926, when merely a thirty-four [...]

“Prince Caspian” and Political Extremism

By |2019-10-15T12:21:48-05:00October 15th, 2019|Categories: Books, C.S. Lewis, Conservatism, Literature, Politics, Populism|

Those who object to globalism find themselves in a frustrating, even infuriating position, even now in the age of Brexit and Donald Trump. Three years after the 2016 votes were counted there is still no wall, Britain is still stuck in the EU, and an anonymous White House “adult in the room” has gotten [...]

Dante on Jealousy

By |2019-10-14T22:17:54-05:00October 14th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Dante, Great Books, Imagination, Letters From Dante Series, Louis Markos, Senior Contributors|

Too many of your theologians and preachers have rejected an aspect of God that is made clear in the scriptures: our God is a jealous God. And you’ve rejected it, not because you have disproved it, but because you are embarrassed by it. You simply cannot imagine that God could have anything in common with [...]

St. Augustine and J.R.R. Tolkien

By |2019-10-14T10:03:55-05:00October 13th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, J.R.R. Tolkien, Literature, Myth, Senior Contributors, St. Augustine, StAR, Timeless Essays|

As with St. Augustine as the barbarians tore through Rome’s gate on August 24, 410, at midnight, J.R.R. Tolkien looked out over a ruined world: a world on one side controlled by ideologues, and, consequently, a world of the Gulag, the Holocaust camps, the Killing fields, and total war; on the other: a world [...]

Saint John Henry Newman, Sacramental Economist

By |2019-10-13T09:17:15-05:00October 12th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Catholicism, Christianity, David Deavel, Economics, Senior Contributors, St. John Henry Newman, Virtue|

John Henry Newman wished people to flee from the love of money, but he didn’t wish them to stop making it. He wished them to flee similarly from love of erudition for its own sake, but he didn’t want them to stop loving the Lord with mind as well as heart, soul, and strength. [...]

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Sanctifying Myth

By |2019-10-12T14:11:46-05:00October 11th, 2019|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, Imagination, J.R.R. Tolkien, Myth, Senior Contributors|

Myth, J.R.R. Tolkien thought, can convey the sort of profound truth that is intransigent to description or analysis in terms of facts and figures. But, Tolkien admitted, myth can be dangerous if it remains pagan. Therefore, one must sanctify it. As an artist, a scholar, and a mythmaker, Tolkien gave us a glimpse of [...]

Europe Without Europe

By |2019-10-11T12:43:13-05:00October 9th, 2019|Categories: Classical Education, Education, Europe, Glenn Arbery, Senior Contributors, Wyoming Catholic College|

Europe would not be Europe without the current of tradition once inculcated by classical education. It is such an education we must seek to preserve. Though its immediate effects are not manifest, without it the culture would be ceded to those who wish to shape it for a radically secular agenda, perhaps even a posthuman [...]

The Permanence of Russell Kirk

By |2019-10-14T12:29:01-05:00October 7th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christian Humanism, Conservatism, Russell Kirk, Senior Contributors, The Conservative Mind, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|

With the phenomenal success of The Conservative Mind—selling over a million copies during the three decades after its initial release—Kirk worried that “conservatism” might prove to be a hollow answer for the post-war world. Afterall, he reasoned, conservatism must, by necessity, be highly subjective, centered around a specific time and place, even while embracing [...]

Revisiting “The Return of the King”

By |2019-10-05T22:21:17-05:00October 5th, 2019|Categories: Books, Culture, Film, J.R.R. Tolkien, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Senior Contributors, Uncategorized|

I’ve just completed the sixteen-hour marathon, run over three consecutive Tuesday evenings at a friend’s house, watching all three extended editions of Peter Jackson’s movie magnum opus, The Lord of the Rings. I’ve already shared my impressions of watching The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers for the first time in possibly [...]

Paganism, Poetry, and Pointers: Why the Old Stories Matter

By |2019-10-05T22:29:50-05:00October 5th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Dwight Longenecker, Imagination, Myth, Senior Contributors|

Myths are not simply fanciful stories that are untrue; they are simple, fanciful stories that are very true, woven into the very fabric of the universe we perceive. There is, in the human heart, some kind of poetry that sees meaning in everything and everyone, and this meaning is expressed in fantastic stories and [...]

The Problem With Anne Hutchinson

By |2019-10-04T23:31:40-05:00October 4th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Culture, History, Religion|

Anne Hutchinson bewitches most college students. When analyzing her trial transcripts, with her clever and sarcastic repartee with Massachusetts Bay Governor John Winthrop and the Puritan ministers, they come to admire her greatly. Whiggishness creeps into their interpretation of her words and actions, seeing her as a harbinger of contemporary liberty. They believe that [...]

“Il Poverello”: Saint Francis’ Piety for Man and Animals

By |2019-10-04T10:34:46-05:00October 3rd, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Culture, History, Michael De Sapio, Senior Contributors|

Saint Francis of Assisi took no created thing for granted, finding them all reflections of God and reasons to praise Him. For Francis, even the birds themselves praised God by their singing—an action we perform consciously with the assent of our reason and will. Some of the earliest literature in the Italian language owes [...]

Traditional Education & the Future of Europe

By |2019-10-02T15:25:41-05:00October 2nd, 2019|Categories: Classical Education, Conservatism, Europe, Glenn Arbery, Liberal Arts, Senior Contributors, Western Tradition, Wyoming Catholic College|

Near the end of his recent book, Conservatism: An Invitation to the Great Tradition (highly recommended), the English philosopher Roger Scruton makes a very interesting observation about what is possible in America but not in Europe. As he puts it, the burden of American conservatism has been to define the customs and traditions most [...]