Joseph Pearce

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Whatever Happened to the Catholic Literary Revival?

One of the most encouraging phenomena of the last two centuries is the Catholic Literary Revival, which, in its gestation period, from 1798 to 1845, saw the rise of neo-medievalism, beginning with Coleridge’s Mariner and Scott’s chivalrous...

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A Hiding Place for Holy Priests in Elizabethan England

As a hobbit in exile my heart’s hearth remains in the Shire; and, to be specific, to the English shire of Norfolk in East Anglia. For many people, the restfully rolling landscape of East Anglia will bring to the mind’s eye the works of John...

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Joyful Suffering with the Missionaries of the Poor

There are relatively few occasions in anyone’s life that can truly be called life-changing. It is rare indeed that something happens to us which is so startling, so seismic in its impact, that we are never the same again. One such moment...

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In Vino Veritas: Chesterton Proposes a Toast

As early as 1921, during his first visit to the United States, Chesterton had been horrified by the rise of Federal and corporate power and the consequent destruction of small government and small business. In an interview with a Boston newspaper...

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Recusants and Martyrs Who Resisted England’s Tudor Terror

One of the biggest mistakes that a student of history can make is to confuse the so-called English “Reformation” with its namesake on the continent. Whereas the Protestant Reformation in Europe was animated by the genuine theological differences...

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Recommended Reading for the Catacombs

On my many travels giving talks on topics related to Christian literature, I am often asked why the Christian Literary Revival of the 19th and 20th centuries has come to an end. Why are there no writers of the caliber of Newman, Hopkins,...

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We Live in the Best of All Impossible Worlds

G. K. Chesterton once remarked that we don’t live in the best of all possible worlds but in the best of all impossible worlds. Such apparent optimism might seem a little glib, at best, or outrageously naïve at worst. Wouldn’t it be much more true...

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The 20th Century Revisited

Actually I am a Christian, and indeed a Roman Catholic, so that I do not expect ‘history’ to be anything but a ‘long defeat’ – though it contains … some samples or glimpses of final victory. —J.R.R. Tolkien [T]ogether through ages of the world...

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Why Maidens and Dragons Are Enemies to the Death

In The Hobbit, Thorin Oakenshield gives Bilbo Baggins a beginner’s lesson on the nature of dragons, a sort of dragons for dummies, telling the unschooled hobbit that dragons “carry away people, especially maidens, to eat.” Dragons have a...

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Techno-Addiction and the Gollumizing of Culture

Is technology liberating? Does science-driven “progress” make us happier? Not so, says social psychologist Adam Alter in his book, Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked. “In the past, we thought of...