The second lecture in the 2015 Mythgard Academy Guest Lecture series is coming up soon! It will be Matthew Dickerson speaking on “Tolkien’s Environmentalism.” You can register here; space is limited, so sign up soon.
The lecture is entitled: “C.S.Lewis, J.R.R.Tolkien, and Wendell Berry: Theological and Philosophical Underpinnings and Imaginative Outworkings of Agrarianism.”
Here is an ABSTRACT: Living and writing in the immediate aftermath of the industrial revolution, it is not surprising that C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien would have something to say about industrialization. It should also come as no surprise, especially for careful readers of Lewis, that their thinking on this topic would be integrated with a whole host of other topics in a cohesive narrative and worldview. Still, for two Christian writers living and writing in an era before Rachel Carson, Wendell Berry, or Bill Mckibben, or the famous critique of Lynn White Jr., it may be surprising just how much Tolkien and Lewis thought and wrote about topics like agrarianism as opposed to industrialized agriculture–both the philosophical and theological underpinnings and the practical outworking of healthy ecology—and how much their thinking had in common with more recent writers like Wendell Berry.
Matthew Dickerson is a Professor at Middlebury College in Vermont, associated with the Department of Computer Science, the Program of Environmental Studies, and the New England Young Writers’ Conference at Bread Loaf (which he directs). He has written or co-written several important books on Tolkien and other fantasy literature, including Ents, Elves, and Eriador: The Environmental Vision of J.R.R. Tolkien; From Homer to Harry Potter: A Handbook on Myth and Fantasy; Following Gandalf: Epic Battles and Moral Victory in The Lord of the Rings; Narnia and the Fields of Arbol: The Environmental Vision of C. S. Lewis; and A Hobbit Journey: Discovering the Enchantment of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. He also writes novels, including a novelization of the “Finn and Hengest” story. In addition to his teaching and writing, he is a musicians, songwriter, and avid fly-fisherman. He lives on a 62-acre wooded hillside parcel of land, where he taps trees, makes his own maple syrup, raises honeybees, keeps a garden without pesticides, and heats his house using wood from his own property.
Register now for Matthew Dickerson’s guest lecture on Wednesday, June 17, 2015, from 5:30 – 7:00 pm (EDT)