A Firm Foothold

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 of the Rings. It seems a dauntingly long tome…

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 title caught my eye: Is it Orthodox to Read…

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 myself, have often fantasized about moving to. In it,…

Cultural Recusancy in Quotations from Men Whose Names Start with Initials

…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 to 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 a civilized but non-Christian mentality. The experiment will…