J. R. R. Tolkien was many things: English Catholic, father and husband, survivor of two world wars, Oxford professor, and author. But he was also a theologian. Tolkien’s writings exhibit a coherent theology of God and his works, but Tolkien did not present his views with systematic arguments. Rather, he expressed theology through story.
In Tolkien Dogmatics, Austin M. Freeman inspects Tolkien’s entire corpus—The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and beyond—as a window into his theology. In his stories, lectures, and letters, Tolkien creatively and carefully engaged with his Christian faith. Tolkien Dogmatics is a comprehensive manual of Tolkien’s theological thought arranged in traditional systematic theology categories, with sections on God, revelation, creation, evil, Christ and salvation, the church, and last things. Through Tolkien’s imagination, we reencounter our faith.
This is a well-researched, one-of-a-kind work that will appeal especially to those who have gone out the front door to engage in the dangerous business of walking the Way of Christ, pursuing their own adventures as inhabitants of the twenty-first-century, demystified Middle-West.
–Kevin J. Vanhoozer, research professor of systematic theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Austin M. Freeman is a lecturer at Houston Baptist University and a classical school teacher.