Christendom College will host a Tolkien Conference in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of J.R.R. Tolkien’s death on Wednesday, September 20. The event, which be held in the college’s St. John the Evangelist Library, will be from 7-9:00 p.m., with beverages, light refreshments, and presentations from various Christendom faculty on the life and works of Tolkien.

Dr. Adam Schwartz, from the Department of History, will present a biographical overview of Tolkien’s life and thought, highlighting his religious biography and historical, literary, and cultural legacy. Professor Michael Strickland, from the Department of English Language and Literature, will survey Tolkien’s Middle English scholarship, particularly on Chaucer, and then further examine how his work on Chaucer potentially influenced Tolkien’s Legendarium as he was writing. Dr. Daniel McInerny, from the Department of Philosophy, will close the evening with a talk on Tolkien’s philosophy of stories, reflecting on the power of stories, and learning to understand our own lives as part of a greater story. 

J.R.R. Tolkien has left his mark as the father of modern fantasy within the literary world, particularly through his The Lord of the Rings series, with his work contributing deeply to Christendom’s very own curriculum. The St. John the Evangelist library contains dozens of books and essays by Tolkien, as well as hundreds of commentaries and biographies within the database. Tolkien’s work as a translator, especially in such works as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Beowulf, as well as his brilliance as an author, have left their mark, not only for global audiences but even more deeply for Catholics seeking a true education in literature that is compatible with the True, the Good, and the Beautiful. 

Students, faculty, and visitors are welcome to attend this event to celebrate and learn more about this beloved author’s life and work.

Contributed by Helen Davis ’25.

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