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Posts tagged "J.R.R. Tolkien"

Fear and the Reality of Horror, Part 3

Fear and the Reality of Horror, Part 3

Find the other installments in “Fear and the Reality of Horror” here: Part 1 and Part 2. The perpetual complication that hinders the attempt to understand evil is that of isolating what exactly evil is in its being. In many ways it seems as plain as the meaning of time: immediately intuited as a resource […]

Another Week Ends: Compassion at School, Kathy Griffin, Dystopian Fiction, the Feeling of "Liget," Transference in Therapy, and a Robot Priest

Another Week Ends: Compassion at School, Kathy Griffin, Dystopian Fiction, the Feeling of “Liget,” Transference in Therapy, and a Robot Priest

1. A segment from NPR this week poignantly illustrated how the law and the gospel play out in real life. The story takes place in New Orleans, where the aftermath of Katrina sent kids’ trauma levels off the charts and schools have begun to pivot away from “no excuses” disciplinary models. The particular school profiled here, Crocker College Prep, formerly expected […]

The Gospel According to Gandalf

The Gospel According to Gandalf

It’s no secret that J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy is full of Christian imagery, but upon diving into The Fellowship of the Ring, I soon realized that I had vastly underestimated the extent of said imagery. I was so taken aback and borderline giddy by the powerful, convicting metaphors I was reading that […]

The Eternal Solution of Vampirism or, "If I Were a Vampire"

The Eternal Solution of Vampirism or, “If I Were a Vampire”

Last weekend I made what I should publically refer to as a “shame-purchase.” When nobody was looking, I bought the entire movie collection of The Twilight Saga. Don’t make it a thing, but modern teen vampire stories are my kryptonite, and they almost always follow the same plot structure: Awkward, fragile human (female) falls in […]

Another Week Ends: Trigger Warnings, Performance Bias, More Tinder, More True Detective, Plus Donald Trump, J.R.R. Tolkien, Gandhi and Tolstoy

Another Week Ends: Trigger Warnings, Performance Bias, More Tinder, More True Detective, Plus Donald Trump, J.R.R. Tolkien, Gandhi and Tolstoy

1. The Atlantic’s cover story this month comes from social science favorite Jonathan Haidt. His topic is the apprehension-du-jour, the ever-growing problem of P.C., especially in the realm of college classrooms and student learning. Haidt, a professor himself at NYU, sees the trend of “trigger warnings” and “vindictive protectiveness,” different from the political correctness interest […]

Another Year Ends: Evangelical Decline, more Les Mis, Tebow Absurdity, Anxious Parents, The Hobbit, Apatow in Crisis, Millenial Affirmations and A Muppet Family Christmas

Another Year Ends: Evangelical Decline, more Les Mis, Tebow Absurdity, Anxious Parents, The Hobbit, Apatow in Crisis, Millenial Affirmations and A Muppet Family Christmas

1. An uncommonly insightful piece by John Dickerson appeared in The NY Times about “The Decline of Evangelical America.” Writing as an evangelical himself, Dickerson recites some jarring statistics before launching into a sympathetic and genuinely hopeful conclusion, ht SZ: In 2007, the Institute for Jewish and Community Research, in a survey of 1,300 college […]

Escapism? Life as Real as British Fantasy Television

Escapism? Life as Real as British Fantasy Television

This piece comes from Lynn MacDougall, who reflects on last month’s Fall Mockingbird Conference, the suffering human pull between good-and-evil and, of course, the illustrious genre of fantasy television. “In each of us, two natures are at war – the good and the evil. All our lives the fight goes on between them, and one […]

Tis the Season for Highly Anticipated Trailers