Christianity

Approaching Weathertop: Anatomy of a Scene

By |2019-10-29T21:01:16-06:00October 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, [...]

Europe’s Great Defender: Viktor Orbán and Christian Democracy

By |2019-10-24T15:01:45-06:00October 27th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Conservatism, Europe, Foreign Affairs, Immigration, Joseph Pearce, Politics, Senior Contributors, Viktor Orbán|

The rise of populist movements across Europe is seen most potently in the success of the Hungarian Civic Alliance, which, under the tenacious leadership of Viktor Orbán, has been the ruling party in Hungary since 2010. A recent speech by Mr. Orbán, given on September 21 in Rome, will be music to the ears [...]

Brexit and Evensong

By |2019-10-26T21:55:19-06:00October 26th, 2019|Categories: Conservatism, England, Europe, Glenn Arbery, Politics, Senior Contributors, Wyoming Catholic College|

While in London, my wife and I went to evensong at Westminster Abbey. Throughout the trip, evensong somehow gave us the symbol—high, formal, and beautiful—of the end of the day, both of British greatness and the vitality of Europe. After the Vanenburg Conference at Oxford earlier this month, my wife and I went to [...]

Dante on Hierarchy

By |2019-10-24T14:54:04-06:00October 24th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Dante, Great Books, Imagination, Letters From Dante Series, Louis Markos, Senior Contributors|

Rather than seek to create an artificial equality that violates God’s diversity of gifts, find your own unique place in the celestial hierarchy. And once you find your assigned part, take pride in it, without envying those above you in the hierarchy or condescending to those below. Author’s Introduction: Imagine if Homer, Virgil, Dante, [...]

The Noble Pagan

By |2019-10-24T09:33:42-06:00October 23rd, 2019|Categories: Beowulf, Beowulf Series, Bradley J. Birzer, Christianity, Imagination, Myth, Senior Contributors|

Beowulf came from the pagan world and would, for the most part, remain in that pagan world. Yet, his gifts—of strength, spirit, and fortitude—were the gifts of the Christian God, whether the poem allowed this or not. Much like Greek philosophy preparing the way of Christ for the Jews, it could be that Beowulf prepares [...]

“Beowulf” and the Men of the Twilight

By |2019-10-20T22:16:00-06:00October 20th, 2019|Categories: Beowulf, Beowulf Series, Bradley J. Birzer, Christianity, Imagination, Literature, Myth, Senior Contributors|

The “Beowulf” poem, J.R.R. Tolkien stressed, is fundamentally about the very nature of heroism. Beowulf is, of course, a “noble pagan.” Given such a consideration, questions arise: Does he advance only his own will, or does he take into account God’s grace? Can true heroism even exist in a Christian world of grace, or must [...]

The Radical Equality of Christianity

By |2019-10-20T00:12:23-06:00October 19th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christendom, Christianity, Civilization, Culture, Equality, Religion, Senior Contributors|

In our world of recriminating hatreds—in which we desire more to label those we don’t like as sexist, imperialist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, and, simultaneously, mark ourselves as victims—we often forget some important historical truths. Here’s one we conveniently ignore, dismiss, or mock: Nothing in the world has brought about more equality and justice than [...]

Fate and Will in Tolkien’s “Beowulf”

By |2019-10-18T17:12:40-06:00October 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 |2019-10-15T12:21:48-06:00October 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 |2019-10-14T22:17:54-06:00October 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 |2019-10-14T10:03:55-06:00October 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 |2019-11-08T15:26:00-06:00October 12th, 2019|Categories: 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. [...]