My 11-year-old brother and I watched “The Return of the King” last week, and the brief reminder from Middle-Earth inspired me to read the books again. So I’m working through “Fellowship” right now and loving it all over again.
Coincidentally, Justin Taylor over at Between Two Worlds linked last week to a series of lectures by Peter Kreeft — a philosophy teacher, Roman Catholic and “Lord of the Rings” admirer. I listened to all three this weekend, and commend them to you. I particularly suggest 10 Uncommon Insights Into Evil from The Lord of the Rings and Christianity in The Lord of the Rings, and the latter strongly. I think he makes a good argument for the Lord of the Rings as Christian sub-creation (though decidedly not allegory). I would add that short of a Christian story, it’s at the very least some extremely helpful (and entertaining!) common grace.
Literature professor Dr. Joseph Pearce spoke on this subject at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary a few years ago as well, and I would recommend this lecture and this forum (part 1 and part 2). Russell Moore runs the forum, so you know it’s good.
Kreeft borrows quite a lot from Tom Shippey’s J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century (which I have read; and am also re-reading), and especially Secret Fire: The Spiritual Vision of J.R.R. Tolkien by Stratford Caldecott. You can find an informative and brief review of the latter here.
Yeah, it was a Lord of the Rings weekend. But a good one. I might post about these things later. I might not.