Author Archives: Joseph Pearce

The Age of Re-Enchantment


There is a very good reason for every Christian to know the great works of literature—and that is because the great works of literature help us to know ourselves. This is the reason that we should learn the humanities—because the humanities teach us about humanity, both our own humanity and the humanity of our neighbors. […]

Reading The Bible As Literature

Should the Bible be read literally or literarily? This question must not only be asked but answered if the Bible is to be read in conformity with the twin demands of faith and reason. As is often the case, it will serve us well to begin by defining our terms. What’s the difference between reading […]

Becoming Fully Human

Many years ago the English writer G. K. Chesterton claimed that the “coming peril” facing civilization was “standardization by a low standard.” Today, almost a century later, Chesterton’s words have something of the mark of prophecy about them. This “dumbing down” is exemplified in America’s woefully beleaguered education system. Standards of literacy and numeracy, to […]

Literature & Western Civilization

Literature & Western Civilization

Western civilization is often seen as the fusion of the cultures of Jerusalem, Athens, and Rome, baptized in the blood of Christ to form what is known as Christendom. The faith of Christendom, its theological foundation, springs from Jerusalem and the Jewish covenant with God fulfilled in Christ. The rational grounds for Christendom, its philosophical […]

Hilaire Belloc and the Humanizing Power of History

Hillaire Belloc

History … should above all explain: it should give “the how and the why.” It is the business of history to make people understand how they came to be; what was the origin and progress of the state of which they form a part; what were the causes which influenced each phase of change from […]

Wardrobes are for Grown-Ups Too

Grown-Ups Too

By any stretch of the imagination, and by any criteria, the Chronicles of Narnia are among the most popular books ever written. Several major surveys of the bestselling books of all time place The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in the Top Ten, a few places below The Lord of the Rings by C. […]

How J. R. R. Tolkien Used Middle-Earth to Reveal Who We Are

J. R. R. Tolkien

In his famous essay on fairy stories, J. R. R. Tolkien asserted that one of the most important facets of fairytales is that they hold up a “Mirror of scorn and pity towards Man.” The fairy story, Tolkien wrote, “may be used as a Mirour de l’Omme” (mirror of man), as something that shows us […]