Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. A Christian Tolkien Conference

 

Ricochet has many Tolkien fans and many Christians, so I thought you might want to pencil in a new conference. Aptly titled Christ and Tolkien, it will be held Oct. 1-3, 2020, in Deerfield, IL, just north of Chicago.

Tolkien’s works present many Christian themes, though not quite as obvious as those of his dear friend C.S. Lewis. JRR’s defense of the faith helped CS abandon atheism and embrace Christianity. The two went on to found the Inklings, a famous literary discussion group held at the Eagle and Child pub near the University of Oxford. (Full disclosure: I stole the name “Inkling” for my college graphic design business.)

The Christ and Tolkien Conference will discuss and celebrate the author’s works from all traditional Christian points of view, be they Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, or Protestant. It’s a chance for Tolkien fans and scholars to engage more deeply with his writings and each other.

Speakers announced so far include Bradley J. Birzer, Ph.D. (Russell Amos Kirk Chair in American Studies and Professor of History, Hillsdale College); Lisa Coutras, Ph.D. (author of Tolkien’s Theology of Beauty: Majesty, Splendor, and Transcendence in Middle-earth); and Gary Jenkins, Ph.D. (Director of the St. Basil Center for Orthodox Thought and Culture at Eastern University). The conference is sponsored by Ancient Faith Ministries, the only podcasting outlet that consumes nearly as much of my time as the Ricochet Audio Network itself.

So if you’re in striking distance of Chicago or can get there next October, give it a look!

Published in Literature, Religion & Philosophy
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There are 8 comments.

  1. Merrijane Member

    I love these kinds of things. I took a class in college about Christianity in different works of fantasy and science fiction. We studied Tolkien and C.S. Lewis among others and I really enjoyed it. I wish I could attend this.

    • #1
    • December 2, 2019, at 3:08 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  2. Aaron Miller Member

    I read a biography of Tolkien by Joseph Pearce. Tolkien himself reflected that his series’ Christian elements were more in mind during editing than during the writing. Tolkien said he hated allegory. But in reviewing his own work he realized why he had made some choices and favored some designs. 

    • #2
    • December 2, 2019, at 3:44 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  3. James Gawron Thatcher

    Jon,

    The history of the 20th century is wrapped around Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. However, it is not solely the Christian point of view that they are discussing. The 20th century descends into amoralism even anti-moralism. Few have the strength to directly challenge the prevailing intellectual climate that is so soul-destroying.

    Tolkien & C.S. Lewis had what it takes. Thus we feel this beautiful uplift from them (even non-Christians). We get our own courage back and fearlessly embrace our own souls again. Like a moral oasis in a soulless desert, their writing brings us back to life

    Regards,

    Jim 

    • #3
    • December 2, 2019, at 4:01 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  4. Vance Richards Member

    Some of it could be very interesting, but I would be afraid that at some point a guy would be making a way too serious point and I would end up asking, “You do realize that Hobbits don’t actually exist, right?”

    • #4
    • December 2, 2019, at 4:37 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  5. Western Chauvinist Member

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    I read a biography of Tolkien by Joseph Pearce. Tolkien himself reflected that his series’ Christian elements were more in mind during editing than during the writing. Tolkien said he hated allegory. But in reviewing his own work he realized why he had made some choices and favored some designs.

    Yeah, if Joseph Pearce is invited, I’d consider the trip.

    Tolkein actually said he hated formal allegory, as is so prevalent in the Narnia series. His allegories are much more subtle and diffuse, but despite what Skyler says, Tolkein himself said LoTR is a religious and Catholic work. ;-)

    • #5
    • December 2, 2019, at 4:50 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  6. The Reticulator Member

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Some of it could be very interesting, but I would be afraid that at some point a guy would be making a way too serious point and I would end up asking, “You do realize that Hobbits don’t actually exist, right?”

    Historical revisionist

    • #6
    • December 2, 2019, at 6:08 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  7. James Gawron Thatcher

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Some of it could be very interesting, but I would be afraid that at some point a guy would be making a way too serious point and I would end up asking, “You do realize that Hobbits don’t actually exist, right?”

    Historical revisionist

    Vance,

    Hobbits are a very frugal lot. As carpeting is very expensive they decided to grow hair on the bottom of their feet to keep warm and save money. This is the kind of resourcefulness that leads to success. In dragon slaying or evil wizard fighting especially, you can rely on a Hobbit.

    Regards,

    Jim

     

     

    • #7
    • December 2, 2019, at 7:25 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  8. Henry Castaigne Member

    I’ll check it out through the power of the internet come winter 2020.This movie was the best of its kind. It was an action adventure movie, which was liked by kids, teens, elders, and older than elders too. #LordOfTheRingsPoster #LordOfTheRings #MoviePoster

    Christianity teaches us that evil totally sucks and we need to fight it with swords and magic stuff. — Tweet by J. R.R. Tolkien.

    • #8
    • December 3, 2019, at 4:09 PM PST
    • 3 likes