A Landscape With Dragons

 


 

A Landscape with Dragons is about the shift in literature from a Christian-based world view to that of a new and revised paganism. The author examines the difference between the two and shows how the pagan message is being packaged to appear as “Christian” writing. But he deals with far more than just the problem of deception. He is examining a major crisis in traditional culture.

 

O’Brien uses anecdotes from his family life experiences, skillfully woven, insightful, and often amusing. He begins with a story of his own childhood night-time fears and the wise way in which his mother helped him to overcome them. Having captured our attention, he then explores the fundamental struggle that every person encounters between courage and terror. At this point he introduces us to one of the most helpful subjects covered in the book: the role of symbols, fables, and fantasy in the development of the imagination and of a healthy world view.


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A Landscape With Dragons

A Landscape with Dragons is about the shift in literature from a Christian-based world view to that of a new and revised paganism. The author examines the difference between the two and shows how the pagan message is being packaged to appear as “Christian” writing. But he deals with far more than just the problem of deception. He is examining a major crisis in traditional culture.

 

O’Brien uses anecdotes from his family life experiences, skillfully woven, insightful, and often amusing. He begins with a story of his own childhood night-time fears and the wise way in which his mother helped him to overcome them. Having captured our attention, he then explores the fundamental struggle that every person encounters between courage and terror. At this point he introduces us to one of the most helpful subjects covered in the book: the role of symbols, fables, and fantasy in the development of the imagination and of a healthy world view.

 

[Ignatius Press (for U.S.)
Amazon.ca (for Canada)]

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Chesterton and Paganism

An article published in the August-November, 1990, issue of The Chesterton Review

The sheer weight of Chesterton’s intellectual genius has tended to obscure a basic fact about his nature: he was fundamentally an artist. There has always been, of course, an abundance of evidence that he was a lover of visual imagery, ranging from boyhood doodles through a lifetime of humorous cartoons depicting the foibles of his contemporaries, to the cardboard characters which he created in later years for his toy theatre. There is also the fact that, when his friends went on to Oxford and Cambridge, he chose to attend an art school at St. John’s Wood and later the Slade School of Art. The real evidence, however, lies in the vivid metaphors and ingenious parallels produced during his career as a writer. They were drawn from a seemingly inexhaustible store of observed detail. He was a man who looked, and looked deeply, one who gradually came to understand the mysterious epiphany of meaning continuously uttered in creation. If he is more widely known as a philosopher at large, it is because the bulk of his creative output lies on the side of the printed word.

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