Here is a excellent speech speech given by Dr. Michael Waldstein from 31 October 2006 in Heiligenkreuz (Austria): Tolkien and St. Thomas on Beauty
In it contains the quote Joseph Pearce is so fond to point out:
“The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. That is why I have not put in, or have cut out, practically all references to anything like ‘religion’, to cults or practices, in the imaginary world. For the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism.“ –Tolkien
An atheist that I worked with (and a severly limited-thought atheist at that) nearly had a core meltdown when she discovered that Tolkein was a practicing Roman Catholic and that the LOTR was a Christian allegory.
Up until that point, LOTR was her bible and her belief system.
I don’t know what she is doing for non-religion now but I suspect that the Narnia series is a definite no-no!
Stealth Catholicism the way I love it!
Joseph is at the Coming Home Network conference I am now attending here in Ohio. In his speech on Shakespeare, Catholicism and culture he said in the culture wars Shakespeare (and Tolkien too) is a ‘weapon of mass reconstruction.’
Dr. Waldstein is on the faculty of the International Theological Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family. The ITI was founded by Pope John Paul II in 1994 and is located in Gaming, Austria. The ITI is committed to the “study of theology on one’s knees”. This is accomplished through 4 pillars:
1. Study of theology as a unified whole.
2. As a bridge between East and West.
3. By studying the original writings of Sacred Scripture, the great Masters of Theology, and the Fathers and the Doctors of the Church.
4. All done within the context of a close-knit Catholic Community.
Check it out! http://www.iti.ac.at. It is an amazing place!
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