Till They Have Faces: Lewis’s Psyche Meets the Modern Helen of Troy and Circe

I saw well why the gods do not speak to us openly, nor let us answer. Till that word can be dug out of us, why should they hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?[1] Orual in C.S. Lewis’s Till We Have […]

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Planets, Poetry, and the Power of Myth in Halo and Destiny

“Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point . . . A chastity or honesty, or mercy, which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions. Pilate was merciful till it became risky.”[1] – C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters #29 […]

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Once a Prince or Princess: MacDonald’s Moral Superheroines and Heroes in the Princess Tales

Of all the stories I have read, including even all the novels of this same novelist, [The Princess and the Goblin] remains the most real, the most realistic . . . the most like life.[1] – G.K. Chesterton How do we become good or evil? . . . All these philosophers [Plato, Aristotle, Confucius, Lao […]

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Global Superheroes from the Disneyverse and Studio Ghibli

“Of course, there are universal rules to which all goodness must conform. But that’s only the grammar of virtue. It’s not there that the sap is. He doesn’t make two blades of grass the same: how much less two saints, two nations, two angels. The whole work of healing Tellus depends on nursing that little […]

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From MacDonald to Magical Realism: Faith and Fantasy with the Romantics, Marquez, Murakami, and Van Halen

In a genuine fairy-story, everything must be miraculous, mysterious, and interrelated; everything must be alive, each in its way. The whole of Nature must be wondrously blended with the whole world of Spirit.[1] Novalis, cited in George MacDonald, Phantastes While reading Phantastes I knew that I had crossed a great frontier. I had already been […]

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Lilith and The Queen’s Gambit: Two Ingenue Who Learn Love Through Sacrifice

Lilith, MacDonald’s final novel written forty years after Phantastes, continues its themes of nature throbbing with vitality, shrouded in beauty, and birthing joy. One key insight from Phantastes, that love is only complete when it is fully self-sacrificing, is central to the message of Lilith. The sacrifice in Lilith goes beyond mere selflessness to become […]

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Phantastes: Enchanting Beauty and Sacrificial Love

“My spirits rose as I went deeper into the forest … I found cheerfulness to be like life itself – not to be created by any argument”[1] – George MacDonald, Phantastes “I did not yet know the name of the new quality, the bright shadow, that rested on the travels of Anodos. I do now. […]

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Francis of Assisi

“Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures, especially through my lord Brother Sun … Sister Moon … Brother Wind … sister Water … Brother Fire … Sister Mother Earth … Sister Bodily Death”  Francis of Assisi, Canticle of the Sun, 1224   The Medievals persist in their relevance for the present day. Several Italians, […]

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Dante for Moderns

“Midway upon the journey of our life, I found myself in a dark wood, for the straight way was lost”[1]  – Dante, Inferno   “Already were all my will and my desires Turned – as a wheel in equal balance – by The Love that moves the sun and the other stars.”[2] – Dante, Paradise […]

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Spacemen without Chests? Virtue and Technology in Star Trek and Dune

“What we call Man’s power over Nature turns out to be a power exercised by some men over other men with Nature as its instrument.”[1] C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man “Your highly emotional behavior is most illogical.”[2]  Spock “It is by will alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the juice […]

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