People

J. R. R. Tolkien

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 129

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Guests on Volume 129: Nicholas Carr, on how automation technologies make our lives easier — while detaching us from the practices of engaging the world that are most fulfilling for us; Robert Pogue Harrison, on the challenges of nurturing the inner lives and loves of our children to enable them to receive the legacies of our culture; R. J. Snell, on how the vice of acedia denies the being of Creation; Norman Wirzba, on how a Scriptural imagination allows us to perceive the world as Creation (not just as nature); Philip Zaleski and Carol Zaleski, on how the Inklings were critical of modernity in the interest of restoring Western culture to its Christian roots; and Peter Phillips, on the “tintinnabuli” style of composition in the works of Arvo Pärt.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 99

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Guests on Volume 99: Marilyn Chandler McEntyre, on how the abuse of language creates distrust in the power of words and on how we can be better stewards of the gift of language; Paul A. Rahe, on the heresy of progressivism, which abandons vital convictions about human nature and political order and invites the advent of "soft despotism"; James L. Nolan, Jr., on how European countries have adopted the American model of "problem-solving courts" (and what they also get in the bargain); Andrew J. Cherlin, on why the twin American commitments to marriage and to expressive individualism hurt families; Dale Kuehne, on the faulty assumption that intimate relationships demand sexual involvement, and on how the essentially relational nature of the Gospel is ignored; and Alison Milbank on how the fantasy writings of G. K. Chesterton and J. R. R. Tolkien are intended to reconnect readers with reality.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 85

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Guests on Volume 85: C. John Sommerville, on how higher education, divorced from higher realities, has become socially irrelevant; Catherine Albanese, on American "metaphysical religion," varieties of gnosticism, and the quest for spiritual energy; Christopher Shannon, on how social scientists encouraged the rise of autonomous individualism in 20th-century America; Michael G. Lawler, on the development of the idea of marriage as covenant in Roman Catholic thought; Gilbert Meilaender, on lessons from Augustine in defining proper expectations for the Christian life; Matthew Dickerson, on J. R. R. Tolkien's vision of stewardship of the earth: the glory of trees and the shepherdhood of ents.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 66

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Guests on Volume 66: Leon Kass, on how various biotechnologies promise to fulfill certain legitimate human desires in illegitimate ways, and on how new technologies have changed the assumptions many people have about their children; Nigel Cameron, on why American churches have been negligent in promoting robust thinking about the current bioethical crisis; Susan Wise Bauer, on how adults can acquire many of the benefits of a classical education long after leaving school by reading wisely and well; Esther Lightcap Meek, on belief, doubt, certainty, authority, and how knowledge (of God and other matters) is acquired, sustained, and properly recognized; John Shelton Lawrence, on how John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Superman, and the governor of California all embody a great American myth; and Ralph C. Wood, on the disappointing discrepancies between Peter Jackson's films and J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 64

Guests on Volume 64: Paul Berman, on the links between Islamism and other totalitarian utopias; Jean Bethke Elshtain, on justice and the vocation of government, and on maintaining a sense of the holy; Hadley Arkes, on natural rights and "inadvertant treason," and on the rise of a new jurisprudence in Griswold v. Connecticut and Roe v. Wade; Ralph C. Wood, on the place of the seven virtues in J. R. R. Tolkien's vision of the moral life in The Lord of the Rings; and Jeremy Begbie, on what we learn about time, theology, and the structure of creation from the experience of music.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 58

Guests on Volume 58: Hubert Dreyfus, on the limits of artificial intelligence; Francis Fukuyama, on biotechnology and the arrogance of "participatory evolution"; Gordon Preece, on the underlying assumption of Peter Singer's ethical ideas; Gijs van Hensbergen, on the marvelous architecture of Antoni Gaudí; Ted Prescott, on why the idea of beauty was rejected in the 20th century, and how it is returning; and Bradley J. Birzer, on the mythic roots of Middle Earth in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion and on Tolkien's idea of myth.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 53

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Guests on Volume 53: Lawrence Adams, on the possibilities of religious pluralism in Islamic views of state and society; Dana Gioia, on the craft, popularity, and significance of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; Elmer M. Colyer, on theologian Thomas F. Torrance's understanding of the Incarnation; R. A. Herrera, on how the Christian view of Creation and Incarnation shapes an understanding of history; Margaret Visser, on learning to recognize the deep meaning in the design of Christian churches; and Joseph Pearce, on Tolkien's other writings and on his view of myth and story.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 52

Guests on Volume 52: Tom Shippey, on J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century; Jeffrey Meyers, on George Orwell’s illuminating use of language; Ralph McInerny, on natural theology and the "subjective turn" in philosophy; Daniel Ritchie, on William Cowper and how we know the world; Ian Ker, on John Henry Newman and the purpose of education; Mark Schwehn, on teaching, community, and virtue; Gilbert Meilaender, on ways to think about work; and Tiina Nunnally, on the prose of Sigrid Undset.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 49

Guests on Volume 49: David Lyon, on the reconfiguration of religion against the backdrop of communication technologies and consumerism; Christopher Wolfe, on homosexuality in American public life; Patrick Fagan, on how sexuality became separated from parenthood; Joseph E. Davis, on the struggle to preserve the self in a fragmenting era; Morris Berman, on The Twilight of American Culture; Frank Burch Brown, on Good Taste, Bad Taste, and Christian Taste: Aesthetics in Religious Life; Robert K. Johnston, on neglected opportunities for film and theology to interact; and Ralph C. Wood, on the peculiar heroism of Frodo Baggins of Bag End.

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 17

Maker of Middle-Earth

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While it is not a story set in the twentieth century, Tom Shippey (author of J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century) claims that The Lord of the Rings is very much a work of the twentieth century; the momentum of evil sweeps characters into action before they understand the events in which they are involved. Joseph Pearce (author of Tolkien: Man and Myth) defends The Lord of the Rings fantasy genre against those who would claim that realistic fiction is a better vessel for truth; because mythology is stripped of the factual, he explains, it can deal with truth unencumbered and therefore convey its moral more directly. Literary critic Ralph C. Wood explains why he has been drawn to J. R. R. Tolkien's moral Middle-Earth since his first reading of The Lord of the Rings in the 1960s. It is a world ordered by heroism, friendship, loyalty, and hope. These ties alone, he states, enable the hobbits to complete their quest and go where no one else can. 86 minutes.