Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tolkien still informs the heart

for later reading: two essays that cite Tolkien.

via TeaAtTrinon:

Heidegger's scapegoat
While German Naziism partly informed Heidegger's recipe for Authentic 'rooted' Being, a contending outlook came from a contemporary, also a professor, who saw how industry challenged the European soul. This alternative came from J. R. R. Tolkien (1892-1973)...
A friend sniffily dismissed Tolkien's works as "children's stories," but this view completely misrepresents their significance. In England, Tolkien and his friend, C. S. Lewis(1898-1963) - like Heidegger in Germany - worried about the damage inflicted by industrialization on Western society. Both Tolkien and Lewis recognized the eternal human power of story-telling. ... Tolkien's Middle Earth stories were a form of modern Humanism, to help his readers cope with the fears and confusion sparked by industrial and technological alienation. ...rather than blaming another group or culture for the universal, existential malaise and stresses which arose from the advancement and transformation of society, Tolkien applied all his knowledge about myths and myth-telling to resolve that alienation.

then we have David Warren's essay
usually his writings take a bit of thought to read.
The first is about Hobbes, Hobbits, and the medieval way of seeing how people fit into society.
and then he has an essay on the church of nice...

They are upbeat, smileyface, welcoming, to a fault. The wolf, as we may see from Fr Rosica’s private, thuggish attempt at intimidation, may lurk behind the scenes, but in front we see only soft, glib, very comfortable sheepskin. We call this, “The Church of Nice.”The harrying from within of all Catholic tradition — the replacement of her moral teaching with a fake “mercy”; of her profound liturgy with cheap karaoke; of transcendent truth with cute bumpersticker — is a sign of the times. We must read it even as we continue to pray; and in the knowledge that inevitably, Christ will prevail.

Ha. Yeah, sweetness and light is a lot easier than cleaning up shitty diapers or having a drunk vomit on you in the ER while you are trying to stitch him up.

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