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Ask Podcast 13 – Greg Sheridan on Culture – Lord of the Rings, Literature and more…

This weeks ASK podcast is here – Greg Sheridan and I discuss some aspects of Christ in popular culture – including portrayals of Catholics, Malik’s ‘a Hidden Life’, Graham Green, Evelyn Waugh;  Why is it easier to portray evil?  A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood; and a lengthier discussion of Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings.  Plus the worst movie Greg has ever seen!

Also on YouTube

The ASK Podcast 12 – Smuggling Christ into Popular Culture with Greg Sheridan




  1. Both Greene and Waugh were , as you know , RC converts.

    Greene , a former Communist , did a metaphysical square dance .

    Greene was born a Christian , jettisoned that baggage , became a Communist , then , without abandoning Marxism’s economic nostra , decided that old Jesus was back in his authorial good books ( unworthy pun intended ).

    As for Waugh , his Scottish border ethnic antecedents were Presbyterian .

    Waugh , the social climber non pareil , had no real conception of what Christianity’s egalitarianism entails .

    He always made a point , at aristocratic house parties and at Whites Club of stressing that he was not of Irish descent, thus distancing himself from the Hibernian immigrant working class whose colony in those days was Kilburn , or as EW called it “The Fenian Barracks.”

  2. “When you know Christianity , the films make a whole lot more sense.” Being a bible believer , and a professing Christian. I cannot make any sense of the film Lord of the Rings , or its relation to scripture, am I alone ? Admittedly , I had considered myself ” a bit of a thicko” during my schooldays , but I’m just putting it out there . Am I the only one ? I’ve no problem with Bunyon’s Pilgrim’s Progress or CS Lewis , Lion , The Witch and the Wardrobe . Help me !!

    David , You state that you may do an article on TLOTR. Good !! It may help ?

    PS I enjoy the passion of discussion between yourself and Greig .

    1. Gylen,

      I can understand your confusion with the movies. To really see the connection you’d need to read the books.

      Hope you are well!

      God bless and peace,

      1. Thank you , Blake , For that very gracious reply , and blessing . You are correct in suggesting , “read the books”, but I have my work cut out at the moment having received Gerald Bray’s latest tome on British Christianity for my Christmas , which came recommended by “You know who”.

        I have already listed a few questions concerning the Celtic church which my old history teacher might have viewed differently from Bray. It is , however a very informative read . Tolken , will have to wait !!

        The Lord bless you , also.


  3. Looking forward to Buchan. I wonder what he would make of our current cultural predicaments. Much as I admire Buchan and am fascinated by him I have the uneasy feeling that he never really understood the Christian faith at all. He kind of writes all round it. Strange for a son of the Free Church manse. But was it the same FreeChurch? There’s a theory that Tolkien’s LOTR narrative was influenced by Buchan and that indeed there are clues for the initiated scattered throughout the Fellowship volume. I would say Buchan was also a major influence on Le Carre. Buchan was very good on this business of people in flight from sinister enemies. It could be that this was an unconscious portrayal of his own flight from God, as in the Hound of Heaven. It’s fair to say that he saw the God of the Calvinists and specifically of the Covenanters as a malign force in the world.

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