In Defence of Harry Potter, Or Harry Potter and the Magic of Christianity

Dear Friends and Family, I’m on what is something like my umpteenth reading of the Harry Potter series. This series, along with Tolkien’s Legendarium, and Lewis’s Narnian Chronicles and Space Trilogy, are books I return to every year. Sometimes I read them all multiple times a year. While I could easily make this a defence of the Fantasy genre, I rather wish to defend the Harry Potter series explicitly. It’s been my experience that this series more than any other… Read more

My Birthday: Growing Up and Imitation

Dear Friends and Family, Today I turn 26 years old. While to many of my friends, especially here in Nottingham, this seems quite young, to me it seems as though I am actually beginning to get older. Maybe it’s working with students who are eight years younger than I am. There is just something about this birthday that has finally made me feel as if I were getting older. Life is finally moving forward, it would seem. I’ve started writing… Read more

A Prayer for Scholars from Thomas Aquinas

Dear Friends and Family, I’ve been working on my first chapter this past week and a half. Writing is a draining, but ultimately rewarding process for me. Today, while I was doing some grading, I came across a tweet from Matthew Moser (twitter, blog) which led me here and to a prayer from Thomas Aquinas. I will now try and pray this every time I sit down to write: Creator of all things, true source of light and wisdom, origin of… Read more

Feast of St John, Or Three French Hens, Or The Word Became Flesh

Dear Friends and Family, Today in the Church Calendar we celebrate the life of John the Evangelist, known in the Eastern Orthodox Church as John the Theologian. I love that we remember the author of John 1 in the middle of Christmastide. You see, as my friend Colin has written, Christmas Doesn’t End After Dinner. Christmas goes from 25 December until 5 January. Thus, as well as being the Feast of St John, today is also the third day of Christmas (hence… Read more

The Waiting Is Nearly Over: The Final Sunday in Advent

Dear Friends and Family, The wait is nearly over. Tomorrow evening we begin the celebration of the birth of Christ into this world. For the next twelve days we contemplate and give praise for the greatest gift and mystery, God become man. To help usher in Christmastide, tonight a group of our (mostly) American friends will be attending a Christmas Eve (one day early) service at Southwell Minster. Tonight we’ll sing carols (something I’ve tried to avoid to help add to… Read more

In Defence of Father Christmas

Dear Friends and Family, As Christmas Day is fast approaching, I thought I would write on a subject rather close to my heart: Santa Claus, or as he is known here, Father Christmas. I believed in Santa Claus until I was 12, nearly 13. All in one day, I lost Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. I realise that I was older than most when I stopped believing. I had to ask my mom pointblank. She said, ‘Do… Read more

More Tolkien: Looking forward to the Hobbit

Dear Friends and Family, I just came across another video with Alison Milbank and thought I’d share it along with some other Tolkien related things I like. Also, make sure you check out The Tolkien Professor Podcast. Dr Corey Olsen has been doing this podcast for three years now and has provided some excellent insight into both Tolkien’s work and the Faerie tradition. Check out the podcast here. Also, make sure you check out his online Master’s program in English… Read more

Before The Hobbit

Dear Friends and Family, As The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, arrives on the silver screen for all peoples, I thought I would post two videos concerning Tolkien’s excellent work. The first is a video from the intelligent and wonderful Alison Milbank. The second is a video from myself on the first two, and only, so far as we know, two poems/songs that will be featured in the first film. I hope you enjoy and like me, anticipate seeing this film… Read more

A Contemplative Advent

Dear Friends and Family, Below is a link to a video on contemplation and Advent. The speaker is Phileena Heuertz and she has a website on contemplation here. I only have two comments about this video I sadly cannot embed. First, she says early on that since contemplation is about allowing ourselves to be open and receptive of God and Advent is also about making space for God in our lives, Advent isn’t a different time of year for her. I… Read more

St. Nicholas, Bishop

Along with my own brief post on St Nicholas, the poem provided by Colin here most certainly should be read. Read more

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