By Joseph Loconte
Yet two extraordinary authors and friends-both soldiers in the First World War-rebelled against this prevailing mood. Rejecting the agnosticism and cynicism of their era, J.R.R. Tolkien (a Catholic) and C.S. Lewis (an Anglican) insisted upon a moral universe: evil was a force that threatened every human soul but God and goodness were the ultimate realities. Though often dismissed as escapism, Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia present a vigorous defense of the heroic tradition: a vision of human life tempered by the experience of war, yet nourished by a Christian sensibility.