Tuesday, December 4, 2018

My interview at the Tolkien Experience Project

Fellow Signumite and now PhD candidate at Cardiff Metropolitan University Luke Shelton graciously interviewed me a couple of months back for his Tolkien Experience Project. My responses to his questions went live today. There's a certain rightness in that, since today is the feast day of St John of Damascus.

Though he's less well-known or appreciated in the West, St John of Damascus was (depending on who you ask) either the first of the Scholastics or the last of the Greek Fathers. In his Three Treatises, he also put forward what would prove to be the basis for the classical Christian theology of art, a legacy which Tolkien ultimately inherited and developed in On Fairy Stories. I cannot stress enough how important On Fairy Stories has been to the development of my faith and understanding of the world and my role in it.

I may write more about this theology of art and incarnation in a future post if it isn't too far off the beaten path for this blog. In the meantime, I encourage you to check out the interview and Luke's whole project here.


  1. I know of no other place where I can hear that 'On Fairy-stories' has roots in the thought of St John of Damascus. And I don't doubt you are right. What is wrong with straying from the beaten path?

    1. Someone commented on my blog! It was so unthinkable that I didn't think to check for it.

      I am not even arguing that Tolkien was consciously influenced by St John of Damascus, but he was certainly consciously influenced by a lot of other people who were.


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