Category Archives: Thoughtful Essays

Coleridge’s “Christabel,” Keats’ “La Belle Dame sans Merci,” and Early English Vampire Poems

I am preparing for my next discussion in “Folkloric Transformations: Vampires and Big Bad Wolves” at Signum University, and we have assigned Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s turn-of-the-century poem, “Christabel” (1797-1800). This 677-line poem comes out of Coleridge’s attempts to re-stage English … Continue reading

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“The Lady and Our Lady: Galadriel as a ‘Reflexion’ of Mary,” A Signum Thesis Theatre on Tolkien and Catholicism by Mickey Corso (Full Video)

Recently, Signum University MA student Mickey Corso presented his thesis “The Lady and Our Lady: Galadriel as a ‘Reflexion’ of Mary” to the public, which we were able to record for posterity. You can see the abstract and full discussion … Continue reading

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“C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien: Friendship, True Myth, And Platonism,” a Paper by Justin Keena

There is doubtless a significant amount of interest in the friendship of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis–both in the more formal setting of the Inklings and in their own literary and personal paths. I’ve written here and here about how … Continue reading

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Dance, Long, Leap, Speak, Conquer, Break: The Heart in C.S. Lewis’ Till We Have Faces

A friend of mine recently sent me a digital liturgy she had made for her church’s Zoom Vespers. As I typically haunt churches that look and feel more like small British rock revival concert, I am a bit of a … Continue reading

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Superinfection, COVID-19, and C.S. Lewis’ Till We Have Faces

I am sure I am not the only person who is looking back into history to help me think about the current moment of social unrest. In fact, I know I’m not. For example, I am following an engaging series … Continue reading

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The Grand Miracle, Or Easter in Everyday Life with C.S. Lewis (75th Anniversary)

On this Holy week near the close of WWII, C.S. Lewis preached a sermon called “The Grand Miracle” at St. Jude on the Hill Church in London. The talk was published two weeks later in The Guardian–following the last episode … Continue reading

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The Living Lie, But Dead Men Tell the Truth: The Screwtape Letters and Ivan Ilych

In Leo Tolstoy’s brilliant novella, The Death of Ivan Ilych (1886), there is a curious pun in the English translation I use (Aylmer Maude): “The dead man lay, as dead men always lie” (96). As the title suggests, The Death of Ivan … Continue reading

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I Am Legend: Book vs. Film(s)

I am preaching tomorrow on the topic, “It is not Good for Man to be Alone” (Gen 2:18). I have decided to use Robert Neville from I Am Legend as the starting point. I Am Legend took on a new … Continue reading

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Why the Logic of Prevention will Always Fail for Some: Steady Thoughts in Response to COVID-19

I awoke early this morning, before the alarm, thinking about teaching. Over the weekend, leaders in our largest colleges and universities and in our government have taken steps to limit the spread of COVID-19. It is not yet a state … Continue reading

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Orual and the King of Glome

On the surface of it, there is no greater contrast than Queen Orual and her tyrannical father. Even when we consider only Book 1 of C.S. Lewis’ great literary fiction, Till We Have Faces, Orual is not just a successful … Continue reading

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