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 [...]

Discerning the Spirits: Gerhart Niemeyer as Culture Critic

By |2020-02-27T14:33:40-06:00March 4th, 2020|Categories: Art, Christian Humanism, Culture, Gerhart Niemeyer, Gregory Wolfe, Literature, Philosophy|

With Aristotle, Gerhart Niemeyer saw art as being closer to philosophy than to history. Like philosophy, art begins and ends in wonder—it promotes a deeper sense of the mystery that bounds our experience. In the great works of art and literature, the relationship between art and religion is that of a seamless garment, and [...]

Bradley Birzer’s “Beyond Tenebrae”

By |2020-03-02T10:33:54-06:00March 2nd, 2020|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, Christian Humanism, Christianity, Culture|

Despite the secularist’s attempts to lay claim to the word “humanism,” there’s nothing intrinsically secular about it. Using “humanism” as if it were in opposition to “theism” is to create a false dichotomy. Bradley Birzer’s “Beyond Tenebrae” serves to clearly illustrate that good theists can be good humanists—and are sometimes the best. Beyond Tenebrae: [...]

Maurice Denis: Keeping the Flame of Artistic Tradition

By |2020-02-20T13:29:28-06:00February 20th, 2020|Categories: Art, Christian Humanism, Culture, History, Michael De Sapio, Senior Contributors|

Maurice Denis reengaged with myth, symbol, and the human figure at a time when Impressionists had narrowed their focus to mundane subject matter. He showed that there could be an art that incorporated the best insights of abstraction, and the psychological focus of expressionism, but remained wedded to the canons of beauty, harmony, and [...]

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 [...]

T.E. Hulme on the Religious Attitude

By |2020-02-09T02:16:32-06:00February 8th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christian Humanism, Conservatism, Modernity, Senior Contributors, T.E. Hulme|

“Man is in no sense perfect, but a wretched creature who can yet apprehend perfection.”—T.E. Hulme The mediocrity and driftless purposelessness of liberalism had permeated and shattered true humanist culture at the turn of the nineteenth-to-the-twentieth century, the great historian and man of letters Christopher Dawson feared. Too many unthinking liberals had tried to [...]

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 [...]

Humanism as Realism

By |2020-01-17T15:33:35-06:00January 17th, 2020|Categories: Christian Humanism, Conservatism, Irving Babbitt, Modernity, Paul Elmer More, Philosophy, Political Philosophy, Religion|

We live in a world completely mastered and permeated by economic ideals, yet expecting better government within societies brought up on humanitarian thinking strikes us as yet another fantasy. Much has changed since the solutions posited by humanist thinkers of the last century, so what can we do in this world? What can we [...]

The Implications of the Logos for Christianity

By |2020-01-15T15:12:10-06:00January 15th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christian Humanism, Christianity, Culture, Religion, Senior Contributors|

If, as established in my two previous two essays*, the Logos has its roots in ancient pagan as well as ancient Hebraic thought, what does this mean for Christianity and its adoption of the term? Clearly, the most blatant manifestations of the Greco-Hebraic concept of the Logos—the eternal Word, the unending fire, thought, and [...]

The Virtues of Satire: Letter to Maarten Van Dorp

By |2020-01-21T04:53:14-06:00January 14th, 2020|Categories: Erasmus, Primary Documents, Satire|

Truth can seem harsh if unadorned, but with something pleasurable to recommend, it can penetrate more easily the minds of mortals. Pleasure is what catches a reader's attention and holds it when caught. Pleasure wins over all alike, unless someone is too stupid to be sensitive to the pleasures of the written word. What better [...]