Tolkien Begins the Sequel to “The Hobbit”

By |2020-09-25T12:23:31-05:00September 25th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christian Humanism, J.R.R. Tolkien, Literature, Senior Contributors|

J.R.R. Tolkien intended the new book, which would later develop into “The Lord of the Rings,” to be a simple sequel to “The Hobbit.” Yet somehow the sequel was growing more adult, and Tolkien admitted it reflected the “darkness of the present days” in the shadow of the Second World War. On September 21, [...]

A Proper Anthropology

By |2020-09-08T11:18:53-05:00September 8th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christian Humanism, Christianity, Equality, Modernity, Senior Contributors|

Many today believe that men are just so many atoms, having nothing in common, defined only by time, place, and skin color. However, this is contrary to the wisdom of the Jews, the wisdom of the Christians, and the wisdom of the pagans. Unless we get our anthropology correct, we’ll never have order or [...]

Going to Purgatory With J.R.R. Tolkien

By |2020-09-03T15:27:03-05:00September 6th, 2020|Categories: Art, Christian Humanism, Christianity, Fiction, Imagination, J.R.R. Tolkien, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Senior Contributors|

In his short story, “Leaf by Niggle,” J.R.R. Tolkien provides a much more colourful and comforting purgatorial vision than that afforded by Dante. Niggle, a personification of the Artist, recognizes the landscape as the perfect, living form of which his painting was but a shadow or a foreshadowing. J.R.R. Tolkien expressed a dislike for [...]

The True, the Good, and the Ugly in “Till We Have Faces”

By |2020-09-01T11:31:32-05:00September 1st, 2020|Categories: C.S. Lewis, Christian Humanism, Christianity, Christine Norvell, Literature, Love, Myth, Senior Contributors|

In the midst of a dream, Orual’s doubts are finally answered by the gods. Once Psyche gives her the gift of beauty, and the God of the mountain appears and speaks to her, her ugliness is washed away. It takes all of Orual’s life to come to this point of faith and cleansing, and [...]

Going to Heaven With C.S. Lewis

By |2020-08-30T16:15:53-05:00August 30th, 2020|Categories: C.S. Lewis, Christian Humanism, Christianity, Heaven, Joseph Pearce, Senior Contributors|

As with Dante’s glimpse of the beatific vision in the final Canto of the “Divine Comedy,” we are all ultimately rendered speechless in the presence of ineffable Beatitude. We do not have the words to describe the Word. And yet Lewis gives us in the final lines of “The Last Battle” glimpses of glory [...]

John Colet, Catholic Humanist

By |2020-08-25T14:26:21-05:00August 28th, 2020|Categories: Catholicism, Christian Humanism, Christianity, Education, History|

John Colet’s life and learning represent Catholic humanism at its finest. He advocated for such reforms in education as the soundest minds of his day also desired. He knew the value of learning and—unlike more than a few intellectuals—he knew also the limits of its advantages. To play about carelessly with the words “humanist” [...]

Going to Hell and Purgatory With C.S. Lewis

By |2020-08-20T16:32:43-05:00August 23rd, 2020|Categories: C.S. Lewis, Christianity, Heaven, Joseph Pearce, Literature|

C.S. Lewis depicts Hell in "The Great Divorce" as the Grey City, a place where Pride is given enough rope and spends eternity hanging itself. The damned get everything they want by just imagining it, which seems like “heaven,” which is why they don’t desire to leave. In last week’s essay I surveyed the manner [...]

In Defense of Patriarchy

By |2020-08-10T10:03:43-05:00August 9th, 2020|Categories: Christendom, Christian Humanism, Christianity, Christopher Dawson, Family, Marriage|Tags: |

“Patriarchy” is a word that has almost ceased to communicate a definable meaning in contemporary discourse. Feminist theory deploys the term so loosely that it may be applied to any institution or instance in which men dominate women or are perceived to do so. “Most feminist criticism,” Heather Jones avers, “tends to represent the [...]

Positive and Negative Morality

By |2020-08-09T17:36:56-05:00August 9th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Civilization, Conservatism, G.K. Chesterton, Hope, Modernity|

When our hopes for the coming time seem disturbed or doubtful, and peace chaotic, let us remember that it is really our disappointment that is an illusion. It is our rescue that is a reality. A vast amount of nonsense is talked against negative and destructive things. The silliest sort of progressive complains of [...]

America’s “Logres”: The Mythology of a Nation

By |2020-08-10T16:01:28-05:00August 6th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, C.S. Lewis, Culture, Flannery O'Connor, Imagination, Literature, Myth|

C.S. Lewis believed that every nation possesses what he called a “haunting,” a “Logres,” which baptizes it with a unique inner life. What, or where, is America’s Logres? Who is the mythological hero that could guide the American identity the way Arthur guided Britain and inspired generations of English poets and artists? During my [...]

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 [...]

Conserving in A.D. 2020 or 499 B.C.

By |2020-07-21T17:58:07-05:00July 21st, 2020|Categories: Aristotle, Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Conservatism, Culture, Edmund Burke, Politics, Russell Kirk, Senior Contributors, Socrates, Thomas More|

In times of chaos, it’s profoundly necessary to remember those who have come before us and the innumerable sacrifices they made. Each of these great men, whatever his individual faults, sought to live according to the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. They preserved, and they conserved. As a way of perceiving and a [...]

Abuse of Love: “Till We Have Faces”

By |2020-06-28T01:34:05-05:00June 27th, 2020|Categories: C.S. Lewis, Christian Humanism, Christianity, Fiction, Literature, Love|

In “Till We Have Faces,” the story of Orual and Psyche which Lewis weaves is so powerful because it presents us with the hope that even the greatest cruelty perpetrated by selfish love can be forgiven by true love. Picture the scene, cliché as it is: A young teenager’s parents have just refused her permission [...]

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 [...]

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