Spirit of Tolkien

I took a class on Tolkien in college. I win at life. A full-semester of Tolkien and nothing else. My class Tolkien fanatics filled the classroom, along with those new to the author. I won’t lie, we did have a few drop-outs early on once the heavy course load was revealed.

Seriously though, it was a really awesome opportunity that was a no-brainer. I could get college credit discussing some of my favorite books. Who would turn that down? The course’s predominant was studying the theological references Tolkien used in his writing and his own upbringing. It was a private college, if you can’t tell.

I think I only had to buy three books on the required reading list, since I owned the rest of them…

We read each book in its entirety and we wrote essays on chapter themes and takeaways. I most appreciated the fact that it wasn’t one perspective. If you wanted a deep theological analysis, the essays gave opportunities for that. But if you were more interested in the man behind the books or solely analyzing the books–we rotated enough to meet each need. You didn’t have to be a religious person to get something out of the course.

Overall, I like that more schools are allowing for courses like this. While I adore citing the classics, there’s much to be said for discussing more current literature. And the more I can tie modern references to my life, the more inspired I become in my writing. My world view is increasingly interesting to expand.

Were you ever able to take a fun class in school? Or do you have an idea for the greatest course that could be offered?


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