T.E. Hulme on the Religious Attitude

By |2020-09-15T15:34:41-05:00February 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 [...]

The Pagan Roots of the Christian Logos

By |2020-01-10T09:38:29-06:00January 7th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christian Humanism, Christianity, Cicero, Classics, Great Books, Liberal Learning, Virgil|

Any understanding of human dignity in the twenty-first century demands an understanding of the Judeo-Christian Logos (Memra in Hebrew). Without it, there is only chaos and darkness, dispiritedness and confusion, blackness and the abyss. One only has to witness the evil sown by the attempted coup against the Judeo-Christian Logos in the last century [...]

The “Deplorable” G.K. Chesterton

By |2020-06-12T14:00:51-05:00January 2nd, 2020|Categories: Character, Conservatism, G.K. Chesterton, Politics, Sainthood|

Many scholars, heroes, and even martyrs among great Christian figures have either been forgotten or “sanitized” to meet modern standards. Others, like G.K. Chesterton, have simply become “deplorable”—i.e., utterly unacceptable to contemporary sensibilities. Is Mr. Ahlquist correct in deeming Chesterton a saint whom we might pray to rather than for? I leave that question up to [...]

Leadership, Hypocrisy, and Dante’s “Inferno”

By |2020-01-03T07:25:25-06:00January 2nd, 2020|Categories: C.S. Lewis, Christian Living, Christianity, Culture, Religion, Virtue|

C.S. Lewis once wrote that “of all the bad men, religious bad men are the worst.” Reflecting on the various revelations in the Church within the past year that involved poor leadership, hypocrisy, and scandalizing behavior to say the least, it is hard not to think of the words of C.S. Lewis and recall [...]

C.S. Lewis and His Critics

By |2019-12-25T22:55:32-06:00December 25th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, C.S. Lewis, Imagination, Literature, Senior Contributors|

Though C.S. Lewis’ reputation among most practicing Christians today is that of a saint, and though he was lauded as such in his own lifetime, the man, not surprisingly, has also accumulated a number of critics, some of them friendly and some of them brutal. In 1944, Charles Brady reported in the pages of [...]

C.S. Lewis’ “That Hideous Strength”

By |2019-12-23T10:44:48-06:00December 22nd, 2019|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, C.S. Lewis, Fiction, Imagination, Literature, Senior Contributors|

Though it would not see publication until August 1945, C.S. Lewis finished his greatest novel, That Hideous Strength, on Christmas Eve, 1943. In terms of depth, style, and audacity, That Hideous Strength is superior to its closest dystopian rivals, Brave New World and 1984. Its characters are far more realistic, and the setting—far from [...]

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 [...]

G.K. Chesterton’s Radical Vision for Conservatives

By |2020-05-28T15:36:41-05:00November 20th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Conservatism, G.K. Chesterton, Politics|

In response to the Trump presidency and alarming liberal trends, conservatives have been compelled to examine again the principles that unite them. In doing so, it would be worthwhile for them to look to G.K. Chesterton. The recent National Conservatism conference is one of many examples that conservatism is going through a significant re-evaluation [...]

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 [...]

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