Orthodoxy IV: The Ethics of Elfland

 

elfa elfb elfd elfc

The modern world as I found it was solid for Calvinism, for the necessity of things being as they are … All the towering materialism which dominates the modern mind rests ultimately on one assumption; false assumption. It is supposed that a if thing goes on repeating itself it is probably dead; a piece of clockwork. People feel that if the universe was personal it would vary; if the sun were alive, it would dance … Now, to put the matter in a popular phrase, it might be true that the sun rises regularly because he never gets tired of rising.

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Orthodoxy VIII: The Romance of Orthodoxy

There are certainly plenty of keen insights as to how an otherwise stultifying, byzantine term like “Orthodoxy” can have Romantic (at lest in the classical sense) overtures and undertones and at the same time, but I have not dug up any such as of yet.

Until we get to Chapter VIII, I leave a few random thoughts and images

Hmark1

 Hallmark captures the earthy Venusian essence of Romance

Trinity

Andrei Rublev’s Trinity (1411 – OR – 1425-1427)

Currently resides in Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

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Lewis, Tolkien, TS Eliot, Vikings, Virgil, Bill and Ted: On History

The hardy romp through theories, stages and general phenomenon of history, as provided by Mark Tiberius Gilderhus in History and Historians: A Historiographical Introduction, brings to mind the various intersections of a notion such as “historical consciousness” and a “philosophy of history” and various readings in cultural apologetics thus far.[1]  It would be nearly a crime to not begin with material from C.S. Lewis, given his significant role in modern apologetics, and so we begin, working backwards perhaps though history to find our way.

[1] And as this was written during my final course in the online MA program in Cultural Apologetics at Houston Baptist University, a number of such connections flooded my mind. Were I to have written a thesis, this might be the outline of how it could have gone.

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Beauty: A Gentle Introduction

   In speaking of this desire for our own far off country, which we find in ourselves even now, I feel a certain shyness… I am trying to rip open the inconsolable secret in each one of you—the secret which hurts so much that you take your revenge on it by calling it names like Nostalgia and Romanticism and Adolescence … We cannot tell it because it is a desire for something that has never actually appeared in our experience. We cannot hide it because our experience is constantly suggesting it, and we betray ourselves like lovers at the mention of a name. Our commonest expedient is to call it beauty and behave as if that had settled the matter. Wordsworth’s expedient was to identify it with certain moments in his own past. But all this is a cheat. If Wordsworth had gone back to those moments in the past, he would not have found the thing itself, but only the reminder of it; what he remembered would turn out to be itself a remembering. The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshipers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.

– CS Lewis, Weight of Glory

 

 

Blaue Blume / Langtans Blaa Blomma (Blue Flower of Longing) from wooden flower arrangement from recent local Octoberfest vendor;

Wanderer on the Sea of Fog by Caspar David Friedrich, 1818, German Romantic

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