September 16, 2012

Tolkien and Law

Dear Readers,

    I have posted a working paper of mine, Tolkien and Law, on the Social Science Research Network. The paper is available for download and review, and I welcome commentary!

The opening paragraph:

In January of 2009, I engaged in an email conversation with Dr. Alison Milbank, who had written a book entitled, “Chesterton and Tolkien as Theologians.” The purpose of my email was to inquire if she had any inkling (pun intended) as to whether Tolkien had any connection to St. Thomas Aquinas. I had previously read, in an entry on Aquinas in the work “J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia - Scholarship and Critical Assessment," by Prof. Michael D.C. Drout that, “Though the name of Thomas Aquinas never appears in any of Tolkien's published writings or letters, it would be impossible for a Roman Catholic of his generation not to have been influenced by Thomism." While I suspected this was true, I hoped Dr. Milbank had run across something more substantial. Surely enough, she indicated that St. Philip’s bookstore in Oxford had for sale a copy of the Summa that had belonged to Prof. Tolkien, and containing Anglo-Saxon booklists, as well as handwritten notations by him. Dr. Milbank was able to review that copy in preparation for her book, but did not purchase it due to the high asking price. - (continued...)

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