Hogwarts in History: The Neo-Medieval Vision of Harry Potter

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K. Rowling writes that the Dursleys “had a very medieval attitude toward magic.”[1] Here Rowling either reveals a bit of ignorance, uncharacteristic carelessness, or perhaps she teases us with a tongue-in-cheek jab at modern prejudices. It is the modernist represented by the Dursleys and not the medievalist […]

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Cosmos

Revolution! Copernicus did fling ……Earth’s sphere into high orbit. Luna laughed as Terra stumbled to conceive ……Her own reeling, tethered traverse. Neither up nor down, twin poles tip and taunt, ……Horizons are lost and words echo naught. Love no more moves her celestial spheres, ……The airless void is Eve’s womb now. Beyond Terra’s fragile veil, […]

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Courage at the Crossroad: Death and Immortality in The Lord of the Rings

In a letter from 1958, J.R.R. Tolkien noted that his fantasy epic, The Lord of the Rings, was “mainly concerned with Death, and Immortality.”[1] Although Middle-earth is full of vast beauty and great light, the dark shadow of death indeed looms over all the story of the Ring. Mortal peril is the character most often […]

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Book Review: Cultural Apologetics by Paul Gould

In a little article titled “A Defence of Penny Dreadfuls,” G.K. Chesterton censures the modern intelligentsia because they “rate the gutter-boys for their immorality at the very same time that [they] are discussing (with equivocal German professors) whether morality is valid at all.”[1] One hundred years after Chesterton’s rebuke, our culture is so permeated with […]

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Reviving a Sacred Imagination

In the fourth chapter of Proverbs, Solomon instructs his son to diligently tend his own soul: My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their […]

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The Cure Has Begun

  Salvation as Illuminated by the Planetary Imagery in The Chronicles of Narnia   Like most fairy tales, The Chronicles of Narnia are salvation stories. As the parables of Jesus demonstrate, salvation is communicated best through a story because the Gospel is itself the great tale of rescue and restoration. Just as a marriage is […]

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Finding Faith in Fairy Tales: Answers for Modern Skeptics from C.S. Lewis’s The Silver Chair

In 2003, Oxford fellow Michael Ward discovered a secret imaginative scheme which C.S. Lewis had embedded into The Chronicles of Narnia. Comparing Lewis’s poem “The Planets” to his discussion of Medieval literature in The Discarded Image, Ward realized that Lewis had used the  imagery of the seven heavens to shape the mood and atmosphere – […]

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Searching the Stars

Last weekend, my youngest daughter and I attended a “Sky Party” offered at the Guadalupe Mountains National Park campground. Beneath the dark and wonderfully star-studded sky, we fleece-clad campers sat clustered on rows of benches while the host shared why he found astronomy so exciting. As we prepared to look into the two large telescopes, […]

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Literary Apologetics: A Spell for the Refreshment of Spirit

“I had always felt life first as a story: and if there is a story there is a storyteller.”[1]  ~ G.K. Chesterton   As Christian apologists, we at An Unexpected Journal seek to demonstrate the truth of the Christian faith. In modern culture, this endeavor has most frequently taken the form of propositional argument. However, […]

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