I first read The Lord of the Rings when I was eleven. My mother gave me the boxed set (see above) for Christmas, and I read all four books in one trip to our grandparents’ house by New Year’s. Imagine my 11-year-old self struggling with the hobbits across Middle-earth as my mother drove us across the middle of America from Kentucky to Texas (and back again), and you will get some sense of the effect that it had on me.
Of all the things that drew me to become a medieval historian, reading (and re-reading, and re-reading, and re-reading) Tolkien is at the top of the list, although it took me decades to admit it. Tolkien lived in my imagination somewhere between stories I remembered reading as a child and my first (magical) visit to England with a school trip in high school—not really real, certainly not the stuff of serious scholarship.
Latin and Chartres drew me to study the history of medieval Christianity, not elves, hobbits and dwarves.
Our cities are in flames, and our citizenry is busy choosing sides against each other. Now is NOT the time to be giving into despair.
Next Sunday, August 2, at 12pmEST/11amCST, join me and an AMAZING panel assembled by Alice Maher, MD, and Niquie Dworkin, PhD, to talk about how we can change our public dialogue through respectful listening and conversation.
Panelists include professionals in education, psychotherapy, and entrepreneurship. We come from a wide variety of faith backgrounds—Presbyterian, Catholic, African Methodist Episcopal, Hindu, Muslim, and Jewish—and from both the United States and abroad (U.K. and India).
We have agreed to certain guidelines to facilitate our conversation: To speak for ourselves and from our own experience, using “I,” not “you,” when expressing our thoughts.To refrain from criticizing each other or attempting to convince each other that our viewpoint is correct.T…
Let's say it up front: Marxism is a Christian heresy. I know, I know, "religion is the opium of the people," and all that. But it is precisely because Marxism is a Christian heresy that Marxists are so adamant about how awful Christian orthodoxy is.
"Why an ABC?," you ask. Because of course the first thing the Party needed to do was set up schools so as to catechize its members in proper doctrine. And schools need a textbook because faith, sorry, communism begins with knowledge. Why? Because "ever…
Alex von Marstall and Richard Storey had a question for me!
As the radical left is on an iconoclastic crusade to entirely and selectively erase Western history, we discuss the more sinister and dark side of their motivations with Professor Rachel Fulton Brown.
Rachel Fulton Brown, PhD, is Associate Professor of History, Fundamentals, and the College at the University of Chicago, where she has taught since 1994. She is the author of Mary and the Art of Prayer: The Hours of the Virgin in Medieval Christian Life and Thought and From Judgment to Passion: Devotion to Christ and the Virgin Mary, 800-1200, and she blogs regularly at Fencing Bear at Prayer. She teaches courses on the history of Christianity in medieval Europe, as well as on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. She is best known in the public sphere for her friendship with Milo Yiannopoulos, whom she has characterized as a “holy fool.” Her own work emphasizes the importance of empathy, imagination, and play for the training of the s…