Imagination

“Beowulf” and the Men of the Twilight

By |2019-10-20T22:16:00-05:00October 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 [...]

Fate and Will in Tolkien’s “Beowulf”

By |2019-10-18T17:12:40-05:00October 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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

The Death of Eros & the Tragedy of Love in “Antony and Cleopatra”

By |2019-10-11T12:59:16-05:00October 10th, 2019|Categories: Imagination, Literature, Love, Paul Krause, Politics, Senior Contributors, William Shakespeare|

Antony and Cleopatra is one of the most mature of William Shakespeare’s tragedies. As such, it is arguably one of his finest and deepest works. Pride, love, and the Fall all factor into the play as much as does the contest between temporal politics and eternal love. Antony and Cleopatra are passionate and energetic [...]

The World Spins On: “The Value of Herman Melville”

By |2019-10-07T12:22:17-05:00October 9th, 2019|Categories: Fiction, Great Books, Herman Melville, Imagination, Literature|

The quest to write the Great American Novel has long been the American literary equivalent of the quest for the Holy Grail. Among the perennial roster of contenders for this legendary status, there is a strong case to be made for “Moby-Dick.” With the generosity of a patient teacher, Geoffrey Stanborn makes that case in “The [...]

How Edgar Allan Poe Ensured That Gothic Stories Will Never Die

By |2019-10-06T22:47:52-05:00October 6th, 2019|Categories: Christine Norvell, Edgar Allan Poe, Fiction, Imagination, Literature, Senior Contributors|

At the same time that writers were bringing depth of character to the gothic setting in the 19th century, Edgar Allan Poe revitalized the genre in mid-century America. Suddenly Tales of Horror had a distinctly American flair and a surprising psychological depth. This nuance captivated readers then and still does today. Two hundred and [...]

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 Wonder of G.K. Chesterton

By |2019-10-02T15:12:49-05:00October 2nd, 2019|Categories: Christianity, G.K. Chesterton, Imagination, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Senior Contributors, StAR|

What makes Gilbert Keith Chesterton so wonderful is that he is full of wonder. He doesn’t merely see trees, or clouds or sky; he sees glorious creatures charged with what Gerard Manley Hopkins called the grandeur of God. He sees that seeing is itself a miracle. “Give me miraculous eyes to see my eyes,” he [...]

The Earliest Days of the Inklings

By |2019-09-30T23:36:32-05:00September 30th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, C.S. Lewis, Imagination, Inklings, J.R.R. Tolkien, Literature, Senior Contributors|

J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis talked, dined, drank, and walked together. And then, other friendships began to form around this critical one. Some arrived by chance, some by circumstance, and others by design. Eventually, they adopted a name: “The Inklings.” With the friendship of Tolkien and Lewis having grown into something almost preternaturally solid, [...]