|"I will crush the Index!"|
JRR Tolkien, the Roman Catholic layman whose day job as a linguistics lecturer at Oxford was overshadowed by his brilliant books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, was not sufficiently Catholic in his writings according to a few absurd traditionalists (here and here). Tolkien—who shouted Et cum spiritu tuo after the local bishops conferences translated the Roman Mass into vernacular—is apparently analogous to those teachers of false doctrine against whom St. Paul warns us in his first epistle to St. Timothy. Does anyone think Tolkien proffered a real pagan alternative to Christianity? Does anyone think the Fantasy genre (and Tolkien ought not be confined to it) is real? If Paul read and quoted pagan writers in the Scripture he wrote why can we not read the fiction of an entirely orthodox Catholic?
The Rad Trad suspects the dangers of emotionalism and brashness forewarned in these lectures are actually the Catholic spirit and religious instinct, not the preferred manual-based formal theology. Honestly, if a 5th century believer read Return of the King and Ludwig Ott's manual on dogma which would he find more Catholic in its totality, not just in what it says its outlook and how it speaks?
As an aside I met Tolkien's daughter Priscilla once in Oxford. She was leaving the Sheldonian with a friend of mine one night during Trinity term after a performance of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis. I greeted my friend, with no idea who the lady to his left was. He said, "Oh! [Rad Trad], this is Priscilla Tolkien!" We chatted for only a quick moment and my friend and I went on our way. My friend nearly died during the encounter. Why, you might ask? She is on the petite side and he could only think of hobbits....