Friday 23 October 2015

A line of minor prophets.

Tolkien is part of a line of English writers who have given us an understanding of the great history; the History of Salvation, God's mighty works on our behalf.
Bede's History of the English is beyond compare; the whole history of this country is presented from the perspective of the Redemption. Indeed, before Bede there was hardly any history written down at all, since it is Christ Jesus who throws light on human affairs.
Shakespear, although a Catholic, gave us only glimpses into a deeper reality, a reality that had to be hidden because the ruling clique of that age despised it.
Christopher Dawson, perhaps more so than any other English writer in the contemporary age, wrote about human history in the light of Christian Revelation, giving us a fuller appreciation of our past and also of the times in which we live.
Tolkien, whose fantasy literature can do no more than parallel the Mystery of Christ, has kept alight those genuine images and values, because they express the Life of Grace. Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings at at time when England was (perhaps sub-consciously) choosing anew the secular project. However, his work stands before us all and, whether you acknowledge its Christian references or not, that deepest of all relationships - Nature and Grace - is nonetheless expressed. A sign to us, whether we will or no, of a very great Love.

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