About this event

Many people know J. R. R. Tolkien as the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Some know that he was a Christian. But few are familiar with the specifics of Tolkien’s faith—baptized as an Anglican in South Africa and raised as a Catholic in England. Fewer still understand his struggle to live out his faith through great personal loss and the tumultuous events of two world wars.

Scholar Holly Ordway, PhD, recently published the definitive work on these subjects, Tolkien’s Faith: A Spiritual Biography. In this talk, she will explore Tolkien’s religious belief and practice against the historical backdrop of his life in twentieth century England. This talk is for all who love the stories of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, who are curious about the man behind these great works of fantasy, who are interested in the relationship of Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism, or who wish to explore the role of the Christian faith in imagination and artistic creation.

Copies of Tolkien’s Faith will be available for purchase and signing.

About Holly Ordway 

Holly Ordway is the Cardinal Francis George Professor of Faith and Culture at the the Word on Fire Institute and Visiting Professor of Apologetics at Houston Christian University. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is a Subject Editor for the Journal of Inklings Studies.

Her book Tolkien’s Modern Reading: Middle-earth Beyond the Middle Ages (Word on Fire Academic, 2021) received the 2022 Mythopoeic Society Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies. Her newest book is Tolkien’s Faith: A Spiritual Biography.

Her other books include Tales of Faith: A Guide to Sharing the Gospel through LiteratureApologetics and the Christian Imagination: An Integrated Approach to Defending the Faith, and, as editor, As Kingfishers Catch Fire: Selected and Annotated Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins. She has also contributed chapters on imaginative apologetics, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Inklings to volumes such as C.S. Lewis in Poets’ CornerThe Inklings and King Arthur, and C.S. Lewis’s List.