In the House of Tom Bombadil

In the House of Tom Bombadil

Blog articles always seem to start with some catchy hook – a ‘lede,’ we used to call them in my college writing class. A reader will only persist in finishing the article, so said my professor, if the earliest lines are pithy, terse, and challenging, like the turn in a sonnet, or the rhetorical question in a stump speech. I don’t have one of those this time around. I do, however, have a rambling thought or two about human nature brought on by contemplating one of my favorite characters in all of literature: Tolkien’s master of the woods, Tom Bombadil...

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The Lost Transcendental: Moral and Theme

The Lost Transcendental: Moral and Theme

In my last post, I examined the so-called ancient Greek “transcendentals,” truth, goodness, and beauty, and suggested that if these concepts are meant to describe qualities that bridge the gap between heaven and earth, we might be missing one. And, in fact, this lost transcendental should stand in front of the other three, like a lens that necessarily colors our attitude toward them. I am talking about grace, which recognizes our condition as flawed human beings and understands that perfect truth, goodness, and beauty can only exist in the Godhead...

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Matters of Conscience – Reactions to Harper Lee's "Go Set a Watchman"

Matters of Conscience – Reactions to Harper Lee's "Go Set a Watchman"

I ordered Go Set a Watchman for myself back in February, as excited by the reported “discovery” of the pre-quel as the rest of the nation seemed to be.  To Kill a Mockingbird stands a beacon of American literature and a guardian of the virtuous American Southern identity which it helped to forge...

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