Joseph Loconte, Ph.D., Author and Historian
Joseph Loconte, PhD, is the Director of the B. Kenneth Simon Center for American Studies at the Heritage Foundation. He also serves as a Senior Fellow in Christianity and Culture at The King’s College in New York City. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War: How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-1918 (Harper Collins, 2015) and winner of the 2017 Best Article award from the Tolkien Society for his article How J.R.R. Tolkien Found Mordor on the Western Front.
Mr. Loconte previously served as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University, and was a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Loconte’s other books include: God, Locke, and Liberty: The Struggle for Religious Freedom in the West (Lexington Books, 2014); The Searchers: A Quest for Faith in the Valley of Doubt (Thomas Nelson, 2012); The End of Illusions: Religious Leaders Confront Hitler’s Gathering Storm (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004); and Seducing the Samaritan: How Government Contracts Are Reshaping Social Services (The Pioneer Institute, 1997).
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"Many have written about Erasmus and religion. God, Locke, and Liberty is as good a statement as we are likely to get for Erasmus as the great inspiration of Locke’s thinking about religious liberty."
— Ian C. Harris, University of Leicester
"John Locke considered toleration ‘to be the chief characteristic mark of the true church.’ This book helps us to see Locke as he saw himself—a religious reformer in the tradition of Erasmus, calling his fellow believers to stop persecuting and start imitating ‘the perfect example of the Prince of Peace.’ There is much more to be said about Locke and toleration, but Loconte shows how the ethos of Christian humanism was used to tame post-Reformation religion, paving the way for the ameliorated Christianity of the Enlightenment."
— John Coffey, University of Leicester
"Loconte reconstructs the meaning of Locke’s ideas on religious toleration with exceptional clarity, erudition, and a dynamic, engaging style. He has the rare ability to make seventeenth century writings seem urgently relevant, without ever wrenching them out of their specific historical contexts."
— Ian McBride, King’s College London
"This is one of those rare books that scholars and ordinary lovers of history alike will profit from. And it comes not a moment too soon. In a world where the foundations of freedom are buckling under the weight of both religious and secular fanaticisms, this book cannot find too wide a readership."
— Greg Forster, Kern Family Foundation
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The First World War laid waste to a continent and permanently altered the political and religious landscape of the West. For a generation of men and women, it brought the end of innocence—and the end of faith. Yet for J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, the Great War deepened their spiritual quest. Both men served as soldiers on the Western Front, survived the trenches, and used the experience of that conflict to ignite their Christian imagination. Had there been no Great War, there would have been noHobbit, no Lord of the Rings, no Narnia, and perhaps no conversion to Christianity by C. S. Lewis.
Unlike a generation of young writers who lost faith in the God of the Bible, Tolkien and Lewis produced epic stories infused with the themes of guilt and grace, sorrow and consolation. Giving an unabashedly Christian vision of hope in a world tortured by doubt and disillusionment, the two writers created works that changed the course of literature and shaped the faith of millions. This is the first book to explore their work in light of the spiritual crisis sparked by the conflict.