Tolkien Professor

Recently I have been listening to podcasts by a professor at Washington College on Tolkien and I have to say the are amazing. The professor, Corey Olsen, is currently teaching a class on Tolkien’s literature which makes up most of the podcasts. I tend to have a strong reaction to people who attempt to talk about Tolkien’s writings, yet really have poor understanding of it. Here is finally someone who approaches his literature how Tolkien would have wanted it to be interpreted. I just finished listening to the class sessions where he discusses Tolkien’s poem, Mythopoeia. The poem was written by Tolkien to C.S. Lewis right after their famous conversation with Hugo Dyson on the Addison Walk. It was that conversation that had a huge effect on Lewis coming to be a theist and finally a Christian. The poem shows how in-twined Tolkien’s view on mythology, fantasy, and story-telling were interwoven with his Christianity. I can’t help but guess that the professor is himself a Christian. In fact, as he unfolded the poem I came to the realization that unless you are a Christian it is almost impossible to fully appreciate Tolkien and his writings. His views on myth and fantasy flow out of his faith in astounding ways. The two are inseparable. In makes me sad to see how far much contemporary Christianity is from the understanding of reality that Tolkien had. If you like Tolkien you should check this out. http://www.tolkienprofessor.com/

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