Imagination

John Henry Newman: Conscience of the Age

By |2019-11-01T02:02:58-06:00October 31st, 2019|Categories: Catholicism, Glenn Arbery, Imagination, Moral Imagination, Senior Contributors, St. John Henry Newman, Virtue, Wyoming Catholic College|

What John Henry Newman says about conscience shocks the modern secular sensibility, which treats it (if at all) as the “socially constructed” result of any number of cultural influences. The conscience is a messenger from God: giving saints courage to resist tyranny, even unto death. The canonization of John Henry Newman was momentous for [...]

Shakespeare and the Saints

By |2019-10-28T15:19:26-06:00October 31st, 2019|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Imagination, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Sainthood, Senior Contributors, William Shakespeare|

When most of us think of Shakespeare we don’t immediately connect him with the saints. We might think of the play Sir Thomas More, on which he collaborated with other contemporary playwrights and which was banned during his lifetime for its volatile pro-Catholic perspective. We might connect him with the positive portrayal of Edward [...]

The Witches of “Macbeth”: A Weyward Translation

By |2019-10-30T17:42:37-06:00October 30th, 2019|Categories: Christine Norvell, Halloween, Imagination, Literature, Senior Contributors, Tragedy, William Shakespeare|

Enter three sisters as thunder and lightning clash above. Their very presence inspires both fear and wonder of the unknown. William Shakespeare’s broad audience of commoners, merchants, and nobility all readily acknowledge their supernatural presence, the stuff of superstition. But what was Shakespeare’s intent for their appearance? What are they? Imagine a smoking cauldron [...]

Dante on the Beatific Vision

By |2019-10-29T20:47:24-06:00October 29th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Dante, Great Books, Imagination, Letters From Dante Series, Louis Markos, Senior Contributors|

To achieve the Beatific Vision of Plato and his pre-Christian heirs is to move to a place of absolute serenity, removed from the passions and emotions of our world. That is not what I encountered in paradise. Far from a place of stoic calm, heaven overflowed with ecstasy and jubilation. Author’s Introduction: Imagine if [...]

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, [...]

The Accidental Marriage

By |2019-10-25T11:04:29-06:00October 25th, 2019|Categories: Books, Dwight Longenecker, Homosexual Unions, Imagination, Marriage, Senior Contributors|

Roger B. Thomas’ novels are refreshing because they are not overtly religious. Instead, as in “The Accidental Marriage,” he creates compelling tales of real people struggling with the pressures created by the decay of morality, the decline of religion, and the desert of relativism. The Accidental Marriage: A Novel, by Roger B. Thomas (219 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Sanctifying Myth

By |2019-10-12T14:11:46-06:00October 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 [...]