Disney’s New Film “Tolkien” Erases the Christian Faith and the Western Literary Tradition From the Story of the Author of “The Lord of the Rings” | PJ Media

Disney’s treatment falls far short in addressing two fundamental touchstones of Tolkien’s life and work: the ancient and medieval texts of the Western literary tradition and the Catholic faith of the author.

Source: Disney’s New Film ’Tolkien’ Erases the Christian Faith and the Western Literary Tradition From the Story of the Author of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ | PJ Media

Disappointing but, sadly, not surprising:

The new Disney film cuts out some of the most important influences in his life. The movie does not once mention the great ex-atheist and Christian author C.S. Lewis, a close friend of Tolkien… The movie also does not mention the Inklings, the society of writers who read each other’s works and spurred both Lewis and Tolkien on to greatness. The film focuses on the early influences of Tolkien’s life, so these cuts may be justifiable.

Worst, however, is the film’s neglect for Tolkien’s faith, which inspired his entire life. The movie also cuts out the literary works that inspired his imagination — touchstones of the Western literary tradition. In fact, the author’s literary masterpiece The Lord of the Rings is heavily influenced not just by the Western literary tradition but by Christianity and Jesus in particular.

I had been looking forward to seeing this movie, but now I am not at all sure I want to spend the time or the money. Perhaps unsurprisingly, in light of all this, the Tolkien Estate have disavowed the film. In a statement on 23 April, the Estate said:

“The family of J R R Tolkien and the Tolkien Estate are aware of the Fox Searchlight motion picture entitled ‘Tolkien’ that is due for release in May 2019. The family and the estate wish to make clear that they did not approve of, authorise or participate in the making of this film. They do not endorse it or its content in any way.”

The PJ Media post linked above notes that “Joseph Loconte, Ph.D., an associate professor of history at The King’s College in New York City and author of the recent book A Hobbit, A Wardrobe, and a Great War: How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-18, saw the film… and noted the glaring omissions in remarks to PJ Media,” inter alia:

“As a student at the King Edward’s School at Birmingham and later at Oxford, Tolkien was immersed in works such as The Aeneid, Le Morte d’Arthur, and Beowulf. Here are stories of the noble quest: the tragic hero who answers the righteous call on his life, acts with courage, and performs his duty — regardless of the chances of success,” Loconte said. “The triumph of multiculturalism, however, has mostly marginalized these works from the academy, along with the ideals and virtues they embody. Despite its respect for Tolkien’s intellectual life, the film’s writers seem unable or unwilling to explore it with care.”

Worse yet, Tolkien’s strong Catholic Christian faith has been sidelined or ignored entirely in the movie, as Loconte explains:

“Tolkien’s Christian faith is another great factor in his life and career, a force that animates all of his creative energies… Yet there is no hint that Tolkien possessed a faith of his own, or that it was a source of strength and comfort during the tragedy of the war.

“In fact, Tolkien was a regular churchgoer, and even attended Mass whenever he could while a soldier at the Western Front. In explaining the power of myths to grip our imagination, Tolkien spoke of the eucatastrophe — the reversal of a catastrophe through ‘a sudden and miraculous grace.’

And the ultimate eucatastrophe, as Tolkien himself pointed out, was the Crucifixion and Resurrection itself, the core of the Christian faith, and the greatest outpouring of grace the world has ever known. Loconte continues,

“Until Hollywood acknowledges this grace as a divine reality, as an authentic source of literary imagination, its treatment of Tolkien will remain small and insular, like a fretful hobbit afraid to ever leave the Shire.”

Sad. But as I say, not surprising!

Advertisements

Sir Roger Scruton: on being an intellectual conservative | YouTube (with reflections by me, on politics, economics, and society)

Image result for sir roger scruton

Source: Sir Roger Scruton: How to Be a Conservative | YouTube

“It is not unusual to be a conservative. But it is unusual to be an intellectual conservative. In both Britain and America some 70% of academics identify themselves as being ‘on the Left,’ while the surrounding culture is increasingly hostile to traditional values, or to any claim that might be made for the high achievements of Western Civilization.”

— Sir Roger Scruton

And like it or not, the academic world does have a major impact – directly, through the pronouncements of academics, and even more significant, indirectly, through its graduates (who end up in business, media, and politics) – on the wider culture.

The “Benedict Option” (or what Sir Roger here calls “catacomb culture”) is valid and likely essential as a short-term strategy for survival of traditional values, ideas, and ideals (and perhaps, for traditional people who wish to bear and raise children in those values, ideas, and ideals), but it is not an end in itself.

Remember that the monks of medieval Europe did not merely remain in their monasteries, but in some cases actively evangelized (think the Celtic monks, Franciscan friars, and the preaching orders), or in the case of the Benedictines themselves, served as “leaven in the loaf” of the wider culture.

It’s not enough merely to “opt out” of secular culture – although, as I say, that can be an important first step, and survival strategy, just as the monks made the decision to leave their secular lives and enter the monastery. We have to keep the longer-term goal in mind: taking it back. Continue reading “Sir Roger Scruton: on being an intellectual conservative | YouTube (with reflections by me, on politics, economics, and society)”

QOTD: Courtney Lawes on acceptance

“And by the way If you’re going to say you’re accepting of everyone then be accepting of everyone, not just the people you agree with.”

— (rugby player) Courtney Lawes

Source: Lawes defends Vunipola freedom-of-speech | RugbyPass

Full quote:

“I don’t have a faith like yourself my brother so I don’t share the same views in this matter but I do believe you should be able to voice your own opinions and beliefs as you see fit. 

“To everyone getting worked up about these post I ask you if you don’t believe in the same things as them then what do these statements matter to you? Can we not disagree with someone without calling them a bigot or a homophobe or every other name under the sun?

And by the way If you’re going to say you’re accepting of everyone then be accepting of everyone, not just the people you agree with.”

This is in reference to a specific incident, but it certainly has much wider application! The irony is that it is – as is too-often the case, these days – the supposedly tolerant “liberals” and Leftists that are up-in-arms about supposedly anti-LGBT (actually merely family-friendly, and supportive of traditional mores) comments on social media by a few members of the rugby community.

I have said much the same on a number of occasions and in a number of fora: if you are going to position and present yourself as being in favor of “diversity,” “tolerance,” and “inclusion,” it is a sad irony when you refuse to afford others the right to their own opinions. Yet that is the modus operandi of much of the modern Left.

Those who make no claim to be tolerant of what they see as sins and vices – especially when they are promoted as being worthy of acceptance and even praise – at least have the virtues of consistency, frankness, intellectual honesty, and the courage of their convictions. Those who claim to be tolerant while, in fact, being anything but, have no such authenticity.

Old-school, classical liberals, of the “I may not agree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it,” would presumably be very disappointed in their present-day successors! At least, I hope they would…


For the record, I am of the opinion that what consenting adults get into, sexually, is their own business, being between them, their understanding of God, and their spiritual counselor or advisor, if any.

Unless, of course, they make it my business, either by requesting my spiritual counsel – in which case I will provide it, honestly but hopefully with compassion – or by throwing it in my face, and the face of society, of which I am a part, insisting that disordered passions be “affirmed” or even “celebrated.”

Then I may have no choice but to speak up.

 

How I was Kicked Out of the Society for Classical Studies Annual Meeting | Quillette

“I am a Classics Ph.D. who recently attended the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Society for Classical Studies (SCS—formerly the American Philological Association), a yearly conference that provides papers on classical subjects and interviews for academic positions. I now regret doing so since some remarks I made at the conference led to me being branded a ‘racist’ and the loss of my editing job with the Association of Ancient Historians.”

Source: How I was Kicked Out of the Society for Classical Studies Annual Meeting | Quillette

This essay is not easy reading. In fact, I found it both depressing and disillusioning (not that I had many illusions, to start with) and deeply angering. It is a classic example of the cultural Marxism prevalent in the academic world, and one of the reasons I did not choose to go on and obtain a PhD in Medieval History, as had been my original intention, since I saw the same trends developing in medieval studies, all the way back in the mid-’90s.

In this essay, Mary Frances Williams – note, this is a woman, not one of those dastardly males! – who describes herself as an independent scholar living in California, having received her doctorate from the University of Texas, Austin, recounts the way in which she was harassed, bullied, mischaracterized, and denied the right to have her voice heard in defense of Classics as a discipline… at a Classics conference (!), and purportedly, one devoted to the future of classics. Dr. Williams notes that

“Of all the academic disciplines, Classics alone has managed until now to withstand most of the corrupting influences of modern critical theory and ‘social justice’ activism. Ours is the last bastion of Western Civilization in the academy.”

Or at least, has been. Continue reading “How I was Kicked Out of the Society for Classical Studies Annual Meeting | Quillette”

Covington bishop apologizes to pro-life students: ‘we… allowed ourselves to be bullied’ | Lifesitenews

Featured Image

Source: BREAKING: Covington bishop apologizes to pro-life students: ‘we…allowed ourselves to be bullied’ | News | Lifesitenews

Bishop Roger Joseph Foys, of the (Roman Catholic) Diocese of Covington, writes,

“We are sorry that this situation has caused such disruption in the lives of so many. We apologize to anyone who has been offended in any way by either of our statements which were made with good will based on the information we had,” Foys writes in the letter. “We should not have allowed ourselves to be bullied and pressured into making a statement prematurely, and we take full responsibility for it.”

“I especially apologize to Nicholas Sandmann and his family as well as to all CovCath families who have felt abandoned during this ordeal,” he continues. “Nicholas unfortunately has become the face of these allegations based on video clips. This is not fair. It is not just.”

No, it is not. This semi-apology is both overdue, and rather weak-kneed. But late is better than never, I suppose…

 

Update / follow-up to “Heroic ‘Wren’ wins Military Cross”

Warning:

Don’t read this if you want to keep your nice, warm glow on.

Continue reading “Update / follow-up to “Heroic ‘Wren’ wins Military Cross””

Polish Politician Invites Covington MAGA Students to Speak Before Parliament | Dr. Steve Turley – YouTube

Source: POLISH POLITICIAN Invites Covington MAGA Students to Speak Before PARLIAMENT!!!

Dr. Steve Turley (who I wish would use slightly fewer exclamation points and all-caps in his titles… *grin*) comments on the Covington Catholic High School students who were accosted by both “Black Hebrew Israelites” and by Native American activists, and the fact that they have been invited to speak before the Polish Parliament.

He notes, in the process, that some folks abroad have shown them more respect than their own Diocese, which was quick to throw them under the bus when the first false reports started to come out – even speaking of possible expulsion – but which has been notably silent since it became all too clear that this was a textbook example of “fake news.”

He calls upon the Diocese of Covington to publicly exonerate the students, and apologize for its quickness to believe the worst, before all the facts were in. I agree with him! They should – but I’m not going to hold my breath until it happens. A shame that the Diocese seems to have so little moral courage.

What kind of example does that set, for its students?