Episode 19: On Enchantment, Magic, and Myth with Fr. Sciarappa
In this episode, I was joined by Father Anthony Sciarappa (twitter’s okayest priest) to talk about myth, magic, dragons, Harry Potter, the priesthood, and more. This was such a fun interview and I hope you enjoy listening to Father Anthony’s perspective.
Highlights from This Week’s Show
There are really two types of magic in The Lord of the Rings: Enchantment and Magic, which we could also call the Machine.
“Enchantment produces a Secondary World into which both designer and spectator can enter, to the satisfaction of their senses while they are inside; but in its purity it is artistic in desire and purpose. Magic produces, or pretends to produce, an alteration in the Primary World....it is not an art but a technique; its desire is power in this world, domination of things and wills.” - JRR Tolkien, On Fairy Stories
This distinction is something we can see especially well when looking at both Gandalf and Saruman. Saruman seeks dominion over all others—working to manipulate them for the purposes of his own will; Gandalf seeks to guide others— working for the good and freedom of all.
Tolkien often gets lumped in with Harry Potter or even Disney and such in terms of being banned by well-meaning religious parents because they see the word ‘wizard’ or ‘magic’ and it stresses them out, so I think it’s important to help people understand how Tolkien’s is different in that sense.