Why Orthodox Christians Can Love Tolkien and Other Imaginative Fiction

I am a lifelong Tolkien fan, but now that I have a Tolkien podcast, I’ve found more time to explore how my love for Tolkien fits into my spiritual life as an Orthodox Christian. And it turns out that there is actually a specifically Orthodox Christian reason to love Tolkien and other works of imaginative fiction.

VIDEO: J. R. R. Tolkien and The Applicability of Stories

I was honored recently to be a guest on icon carver Jonathan Pageau’s YouTube channel The Symbolic World, discussing how the work of J. R. R. Tolkien is formative for the spiritual life and also my new Amon Sûl podcast, which is all about Tolkien: Enjoy the video, and I hope you’ll also check out Jonathan’s many other videos. It’s really excellent and mind-bending…

New Tolkien Podcast: Amon Sûl from Ancient Faith Radio

If you follow me on social media at all, you’re already aware of this, I’m sure, but just in case you’re one of the folks who follow this blog and not much else, I wanted to let you know about a brand new Ancient Faith Radio podcast that launched today: The Amon Sûl Podcast. Here’s the official description: Join host Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick…

A Tolkien-Shaped Mind

I do not know how aware most folks are of what books shape their basic imaginations—the formation that to a large part determines what brings them delight, what strikes them as worth attention, what gives them a vocabulary for the world. For me, there are really two sources that give me that shape—the Bible and the fiction works of J. R. R. Tolkien. This…

The Tolkien Legacy

It’s a rare, if not exceptional, case. In an era where most people would sell their souls to be talked about, Christopher Tolkien has not expressed himself in the media for 40 years. No interviews, no announcements, no meetings — nothing. It was a decision he made at the death of his father, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973), British author of the hugely famous…

A Firm Foothold

I feel that as long as the Shire lies behind, safe and comfortable, I shall find wandering more bearable: I shall know that somewhere there is a firm foothold, even if my feet cannot stand there again. —Frodo Baggins I happened upon this quotation again yesterday evening, while I was reading my daughter The Lord of the Rings. It seems a dauntingly long tome…

Orthodoxy, Allegory and Fantasy

Fantasy remains a human right: we make in our measure and in our derivative mode, because we are made: and not only made, but made in the image and likeness of a Maker. —J. R. R. Tolkien, “On Fairy Stories” There is a new post today on MyOCN‘s “Orthodox Writers, Readers, and Artists series,” whose title caught my eye: Is it Orthodox to Read…