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TH 116: Christ, Myth, and Tolkien: Reading the Tolkien Legendarium through Ancient Biblical Christianity

SCHEDULE CHANGE: NEW DATES ARE OCT 25, NOV 1, 8, 15, AND 22

SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM TO REGISTER

Is there a relationship between Middle-earth and Orthodox Christianity?  What happens when you read Tolkien with the Bible in mind, especially the weird stuff like angels, gods, demons and giants?  Can reading Tolkien make someone Christian or a better Christian?  Join Orthodox Christian archpriest and Tolkien and Mythology scholar Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick for 5 nights in October/November 2022 to find out.

Teacher: Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick, host of "Amon Sûl" and "The Lord of Spirits" podcasts; author of the books Arise O God; An Introduction to God; and Orthodox and Heterodoxy

Dates: Oct 25, Nov 1, 8, 15, and 22
Length of course: 5 weeks
Time: Tuesdays at 7:00 PM Eastern 
Class length: ~60 minutes per class
Jurisdiction: Open to all jurisdictions.

Cost: $50

REGISTRATION OPENS JUNE 12TH AT 7 PM

Required reading prior to class:
- The Hobbit
- The Lord of the Rings
- Selected chapters of The Silmarillion will be assigned for certain sessions

Recommended reading:
- Beowulf (any translation is fine, but Tolkien's is preferred)
- Tolkien's essay "Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics"
- Tolkien's essay "On Fairy-stories"

 

Tentative Syllabus

SESSION 1:  A Taste for the Mythic: How J. R. R. Tolkien became my Forerunner to Orthodox Christianity

SESSION 2:  Tolkien's Gods: The Ainur, the Valar, and Whether the Professor is Secretly Pagan (read:  "Ainulindale" and "Valaquenta" in The Silmarillion)

SESSION 3:  Giants and Gigantomachy: Tolkien reads Beowulf and writes the assault on Isengard

SESSION 4:  Demons and Dragons:  Demonic Enchantment in "Of Turin Turambar" and Why the Hero Kills Dragons Alone (read:  "Of Turin Turambar" in The Silmarillion)

SESSION 5:  Harrowing the Barrow: Tom Bombadil and the Harrowing of Hell