An Introduction to Tolkien’s Theology of the Fairy-Tale

$99.00

This course uses Tolkien’s theology of the fairy-story to examine examples of the genre: one which he highly favored, two which he translated from Middle English, and five which he himself wrote. Unlike his larger works, these are less in the epic romance tradition of Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, and yet form a foundational set of readings for understanding Tolkien’s corpus. We will give particular attention to Tolkien’s view that fairy-stories should not be seen as merely for children, but that the careful reading of such stories edifies the adult mind. Taught by Dr. Anthony Cirilla.  Runs 6/1 – 8/7/20.

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Description

J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, “The Gospels contain a fairy-story, or a story of a larger kind which embraces all the essence of fairy-stories…But this story has entered History.” In other words, the literary effects of the fairy-story occur at their highest perfection in the true Gospel narrative, and herein is the value of fairy-stories: they train our imaginations to respond more fully to, as Tolkien put it, the “Christian joy, the Gloria.” This course uses Tolkien’s theology of the fairy-story to examine examples of the genre: three written by others which he admired and five written by Tolkien himself. Unlike his larger works, these shorter fairy-tales are less in the epic romance tradition of Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, and yet form a foundational set of readings for understanding Tolkien’s corpus. In Tolkien’s view, the fairy-tale disciples the adult Christian imagination to desire more deeply the good news of the Gospel: this theme will be investigated throughout the course.

 

Taught by Dr. Anthony Cirilla.  Runs 6/1 – 8/7/20. You can view the syllabus here. For more details, email Anthony at [email protected]

Online only, runs 10 weeks, meeting 1 hr./wk. via videoconference. Students will also have the option to participate in a class discussion board. Register to reserve your spot and schedule will be set after a poll of participating students; if the class time does not fit your schedule, you will be eligible for a full refund. Note: all classes are offered dependent on demand and require a minimum of four participating students.