Friday, November 29, 2013

Tolkien Versus the Modern World

The Ring and the Cross: Christianity and the Lord of the RingsThe Ring and the Cross: Christianity and the Lord of the Rings by Paul E. Kerry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think the multiple viewpoints (both pagan and Christian)are very interesting. Reading this book made me realize that Chesterton and Belloc had influenced Tolkien as a young man. Tolkien's myth confronts the Scientism and Capitalistic/Socialistic dualism of the modern world.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Chesterton and Our Fear of the Past

What started my Twitter rant today was this little Twitter post:
Eliminating the Middle Ages from history books? It reminds me of a Chesterton quote which is too long to place on Twitter:
The modern mind is forced towards the future by a certain sense of fatigue, not unmixed with terror, with which it regards the past. It is propelled towards the coming time; it is, in the exact words of the popular phrase, knocked into the middle of next week. And the goad which drives it on thus eagerly is not an affectation for futurity Futurity does not exist, because it is still future. Rather it is a fear of the past; a fear not merely of the evil in the past, but of the good in the past also. The brain breaks down under the unbearable virtue of mankind. There have been so many flaming faiths that we cannot hold; so many harsh heroisms that we cannot imitate; so many great efforts of monumental building or of military glory which seem to us at once sublime and pathetic. The future is a refuge from the fierce competition of our forefathers. The older generation, not the younger, is knocking at our door. It is agreeable to escape, as Henley said, into the Street of By-and-Bye, where stands the Hostelry of Never. It is pleasant to play with children, especially unborn children. The future is a blank wall on which every man can write his own name as large as he likes; the past I find already covered with illegible scribbles, such as Plato, Isaiah, Shakespeare, Michael Angelo, Napoleon. I can make the future as narrow as myself; the past is obliged to be as broad and turbulent as humanity. And the upshot of this modern attitude is really this: that men invent new ideals because they dare not attempt old ideals. They look forward with enthusiasm, because they are afraid to look back.
Chesterton, G. K. (Gilbert Keith) (2009-10-04). What's Wrong with the World (pp. 26-28). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Learning New Things Every Day

I just started reading Jesus of Nazareth (vol .2) by Benedict XVI this week.  One of the most interesting items I learned was abut an incident that Flavius Josephus describes.  The event took place in 66 A.D.  "At the Feast of Pentecost, when the priests had gone into the inner court of the Temple at night to perform the usual ceremonies, they declared that they were aware, first of a violent movement and a loud crash, then of a concerted cry:  'Let us go hence'".  He describes this as perhaps fulfilling the prophecy of Jesus that "Your house will be deserted."

Jesus of Nazareth, Part Two: Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What's Wrong with the WorldWhat's Wrong with the World by G.K. Chesterton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think he may have been incorrect about some differences between men and women. However, he seems spot on regarding modernity. He points out the problems with both Capitalism and Socialism. Soap and Socialism or Beer and Liberty!

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A Game of Thrones  (A Song of Ice and Fire #1)A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think that I mark it down for the moral ambiguity disguised as "realism". Basically the universe seems to be all about gathering power and avoiding pain. Is that realism? I may read more, but I also think I might look for something better.

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Sunday, February 19, 2012