A Tolkien-Shaped Mind

I do not know how aware most folks are of what books shape their basic imaginations—the formation that to a large part determines what brings them delight, what strikes them as worth attention, what gives them a vocabulary for the world. For me, there are really two sources that give me that shape—the Bible and […]

The Tolkien Legacy

It’s a rare, if not exceptional, case. In an era where most people would sell their souls to be talked about, Christopher Tolkien has not expressed himself in the media for 40 years. No interviews, no announcements, no meetings — nothing. It was a decision he made at the death of his father, John Ronald […]

A Firm Foothold

shire

I feel that as long as the Shire lies behind, safe and comfortable, I shall find wandering more bearable: I shall know that somewhere there is a firm foothold, even if my feet cannot stand there again. —Frodo Baggins I happened upon this quotation again yesterday evening, while I was reading my daughter The Lord […]

Orthodoxy, Allegory and Fantasy

Fantasy remains a human right: we make in our measure and in our derivative mode, because we are made: and not only made, but made in the image and likeness of a Maker. —J. R. R. Tolkien, “On Fairy Stories” There is a new post today on MyOCN‘s “Orthodox Writers, Readers, and Artists series,” whose […]

The Politics of Hobbits (The Transfiguration of Place, Part I)

The following is the introductory section of a talk I gave last week at the St. Emmelia Orthodox Homeschooling Conference at the Antiochian Village. The full talk is entitled “The Transfiguration of Place: An Orthodox Christian Vision of Localism.” There are six parts in all. There is a mythical place where many of us, including […]

Cultural Recusancy in Quotations from Men Whose Names Start with Initials

Weathered Porch

…the spirit of wickedness in high places is now so powerful and many-headed in its incarnations that there seems nothing more to do than personally refuse to worship any of the hydras’ heads. – J. R. R. Tolkien, from a 1969 letter to Amy Ronald The world is trying the experiment of attempting to form […]