December 12, 2012

Learn About J.R.R. Tolkien’s Life & Works with 5 Free Audio & Video Resources

The film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens just about everywhere in the World this week. It is the first part in a three-part film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1937 novel The Hobbit which preceded his epic fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings. Today we are featuring five free audio & video resources covering the life and work of author J.R.R. Tolkien. Learn about what fueled his amazing works of fanatasy.

1. J.R.R. Tolkien Wikipedia Entry on Audio Download

We’ll start off with J.R.R. Tolkien’s Wikipedia article that we recorded on audio many years ago. Download this 25-minute article on MP3. You’ll learn about Tolkien’s eventful early life and many the life experiences that were later incorporated into his fantasy novels. You’ll also get learn about his education and his work as a University of Oxford professor which helped him with creating the language of his books.

2. Lewis & Tolkien: Scholars and Friends

In this streaming video released by UCTV, we are given a glimpse of the friendship between renowned authors C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Using diary entries, letters among friends and other direct sources as a basis, speaker Christopher Mitchell illustrates how a mutual religious faith between the two men formed the crux of their creatively fruitful relationship. A study first and foremost in how friendship can change lives, this is a must for anyone that wishes to learn more about two authors that have remained enduringly popular.

3. J.R.R. Tolkien: Father of Modern Fantasy Literature

Along with Lord of the Rings being one of the most popular books in the English language, J.R.R. Tolkien’s trilogy can also be read as a narrative example of faith in action. In this video lecture presented by the Veritas Forum, Dr. Christopher Mitchell makes claims for Tolkien’s legacy as not only a giant in popular literature, but also as a disguised evangelist. Here you will be made privy to Tolkien’s thoughts on the reception he anticipated for the books, and how the religious subtext may be worth further exploration on the part of the Christian community.

4. The True King: Tolkien and the Medieval

This lecture released by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute serves as a wonderful way you can learn more about Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien. Lecturer Bradley J. Birzer discusses the major themes in Tolkien’s work including the onslaught of modernity, the true value of good in the world and the gift of loyalty. Birzer ends with a beautiful description of the character Samwise Gamgee, and how his role in the book serves as a symbol of Tolkien’s belief system in action. Note: You’ll need to log in on the Intercollegiate Studies Institute website to access this lecture.

5. Escape to the Middle Ages: The Resurgence of Tolkien

Medieval Studies Professor Kathryn Lynch examines the current popularity of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien especially among her students. She gives a brief bio of Tolkien and his works and how they connect to the Middle Ages and mythology. She attempts to connect the popularity of Tolkien with our particular place in history. And she takes a look at the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy directed by Peter Jackson, and the response that these movies have had.

And if you want to learn even more about Tolkien we’ve got a few audio books about him (not free):

The Gospel According to Tolkien: Visions of the Kingdom in Middle-Earth by Ralph C. Wood

Tolkien’s Ordinary Virtues by Mark Eddy Smith

And if you want to get audio books by J.R.R. Tolkien check out our J.R.R. Tolkien author page:

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Works on Audio

And you can get the BBC Dramatization of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien for only $13.75 on audio download!

The Hobbit (BBC Dramatization) on Audio Download