Dr. Jonathan Thorndike (Honors Program) presented “J. R. R. Tolkien: Heeding the Inner Vision Regardless of Cultural Change” at the Christian Editors and Publishers Annual Retreat last week. He discussed the development of the major works including The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, which were written while Tolkien was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Merton College of Oxford University in England. Tolkien was hopelessly out of step with modernity and pursued his creative vision with no awareness of market considerations. The fact that his books became bestsellers and enduring classics has enormous implications for editors and publishers who pay too much attention to current literary and cultural fashions. Thorndike teaches a course on C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien and the Inklings every other year at King’s College in London through the Cooperative Center for Study Abroad.
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