Christendom College

Tolkien Expert Joseph Pearce to Unlock Catholicism of Lord of the Rings at Christendom College

March 10, 2015

pearceRenowned author, speaker, and professor Joseph Pearce will deliver a lecture titled “Unlocking the Catholicism of The Lord of the Rings” to the Christendom College community on March 30 at 7:00 p.m. in St. Lawrence Commons. Launching the college’s Major Speakers Program for the spring semester, the talk is open to the public.

Pearce, the director of the Center for Faith and Culture at Aquinas College, is the co-editor of the St. Austin Review, the executive director of Catholic Courses, the series editor of the Ignatius Critical Editions, and one of the world’s most acclaimed authors. Born in London, England, Pearce was formerly involved with radical politics in his youth, before a discovery of the works of G.K. Chesterton led him to convert to Roman Catholicism in 1989.

Tolkien described The Lord of the Rings as “a fundamentally religious and Catholic work.” In his talk, Pearce will unlock the Catholic symbolism that allows Tolkien’s epic to be read and understood on the deepest level of religious significance.

Pearce is an internationally renowned author or editor of over twenty books, including the bestsellers The Quest for Shakespeare, Tolkien: Man and Myth, The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde, C. S. Lewis and The Catholic Church, Literary Converts, Wisdom and Innocence: A Life of G.K. Chesterton, Solzhenitsyn: A Soul in Exile, Old Thunder:  A Life of Hilaire Belloc, and his most recent work, Race with the Devil: My Journey from Racial Hatred to Rational Love. He is a world-recognized biographer of modern literary figures, with his books being published and translated into Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, and Polish.

A frequent guest on national and international television and radio programs, Pearce has hosted two 13-part television series about Shakespeare on EWTN, and has also served as a consultant for film documentaries on J.R.R. Tolkien and Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

Christendom College’s Major Speaker Program is an important aspect of the academic life at the College, offering the students and community an opportunity for cultural, intellectual, and spiritual enrichment beyond the classroom. The program offers students the opportunity to gain greater insights and depth of understanding of important issues, and to interact personally with a wide range of men and women who are shapers and critics of our society.

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