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Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings: A Catholic Worldview (2011)

Host Joseph Pearce explores the many Catholic themes and elements that comprise the landscape of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy.


(as Stephen Beaumont)


Credited cast:
Joseph Pearce ...
Himself - Host
Kevin O'Brien ...
Allen Marsh ...
C.S. Lewis (as Al Marsh)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Paul Bardsol ...
Margaret Masny ...
Brian Shields ...


Joseph Pearce, author, biographer and catholic convert, explores the Catholicism of the Lord of the Rings, the book that many popular polls and critics called the most popular book of the 20-th century and one of the greatest books ever written. J.R.R. Tolkien himself calls it a fundamentally catholic work. By how is it Catholic if there's no mention of Christ or His Church anywhere in the book? Joseph Pearce begins by briefly talking about the key points in life of J.R.R. Tolkien, his affect on C.S. Lewis conversion to Christianity and then answers these questions, taking the viewer on a step-by-step journey through the most important allegories to the Catholic theology hidden in this masterpiece. The program features reenactment of characters of J.R.R. Tolkien and his literary friend C.S. Lewis on the subjects of religion and myths. Written by vvp_14

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Release Date:

6 April 2011 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


C.S. Lewis: At my first coming into the world I had been implicitly warned never to trust a Papist, and at my first coming into the English Faculty explicitly never to trust a philologist. Tolkien was both.
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User Reviews

A wonderful analytical glimpse of Tolkien's work
2 April 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When I first watched the movie and read the Lord of the Rings books, I instinctively new there were truths in this book (and so in the film) that were deeply Christian. Good and Evil, sacrifice that was an important part of the story, immortality, degradation of a person due to over-attachment to material things, God-the-Creator and the Evil Spirit that tries to corrupt all beings of the Middle-Earth with his servants who do his bidding. But having watched this program I was stunned how much the Lord of the Rings is actually deeply rooted in Catholicism, in the Truths that were revealed to us by God and through His Church, however allegorical these are in movie.

The Good and Evil in the film are not what the relativism-obsessed (or possessed?) modern society make them to be: a subjective opinions that depend entirely on the general public consensus on the subject or, on the individual level, on what you and I perceive good or evil to be. No, in Tolkien's universe these are objective realities of Good and Evil that exist, just as they are in Church's teaching, the God's view, exist regardless of the prevailing public opinions of the given time.

There is an amazing reenactment of the conversation between J.R.R. Tolkien and and C.S. Lewis on the existence of God and myths as well as a few important short monologues by both in this program. I loved the bits of artwork in the film as well, depicting the Lord of the Rings universe. Somehow they ring more true, mysterious and beautiful than in the movie.

I thoroughly enjoy listening to Joseph Pearce. His detailed and logical approach in telling the story, whether it's a biography or an analysis of a book is very clear and right to the point. There are a few of talks by Joseph Pearce on same subject on YouTube that give even more details about allegories to the Catholic Faith in the Lord of the Rings. One is given at Christendom College, another is called Courage given at the University of Saint Mary which also talks about C.S. Lewis, and a few others. He also made a similar film on The Hobbit about Catholic themes in the books and a series on William Shakespeare's Catholicism in his works. All are highly recommended for anyone who want to get a better understanding of the works of these authors and how their world views were reflected in their works.

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