Category Archives: Late Summer 2020

Fairy Tales and the Awakening of the Moral Imagination

moral imagination

The American writer Flannery O’Connor spoke a simple but profound truth when she said that “a story is a way to say something that can’t be said any other way. … You tell a story because a statement would be inadequate.” The great fairy tales and fantasy stories capture the meaning of morality through vivid […]

The Power of Russia’s Fairy Tales

Russia Fairy Tales

What is more wondrous than fairy tales? Or more dangerous? What can we learn from how a nation regards its legacy of fairy tales? Far from being fanciful stories to entertain a child, fairy tales offer sophisticated narratives cloaked in layers of symbolism and filled with nuanced or direct reflections of a culture’s fears, values, […]

Why to Mark a Book

In addition to the people, the books in my house are my treasures. Our books aren’t rare or collectible. We usually buy paperbacks. The titles vary wildly; they run the gamut from Hop on Pop to City of God. I have a habit of hoarding favorites. I own several copies of my daily devotional because […]

Primrose Went to the Party

When I learned that this issue of The Classical Teacher would focus on fairy tales, I sought in-house counsel. My daughter readily climbed up on a chair, grabbed a book from her tottering stack, and produced a worn collection. Bookmarked by a thin clear “glass” wand, such as a fairy godmother might wave over one’s […]

Sleeping Beauty and the Divine Author

One night when our family was together, my six-year-old grandson came up to me (as he often does), grabbed my hand, and asked me to read him a story. So I walked over to the bookshelf where we keep our children’s books; it was getting late, and we needed something fairly short. I glanced around […]

A Defence of Nonsense

defence of nonsense

There are two equal and eternal ways of looking at this twilight world of ours: we may see it as the twilight of evening or the twilight of morning; we may think of anything, down to a fallen acorn, as a descendant or as an ancestor. There are times when we are almost crushed, not […]

Are Faith and Reason Irreconcilable?

Faith and Reason

It is not unusual in today’s postmodern world to hear people criticize the idea of “binaries”—the idea that things can be classed into two distinctive groups. The distinction between males and females, right or wrong, beautiful and ugly, true or false—all of these distinctions are now to be interrogated and seen as questionable. And, of […]

Letter from the Editor Late Summer 2020: The Philosophy of Fairyland

In Orthodoxy G. K. Chesterton articulates the Christian worldview in a way that will sound odd to the modern ear. Like later writers he influenced (such as C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien), Chesterton was steeped in the mythology and literature of the West. His wide reading in the old Western literature gave […]

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