Keller on Tolkien
Tolkien has helped my imagination. He was a devout Catholic—and I am not. However, because he brought his faith to bear into narrative, fiction, and literature, his Christianity—which was pretty ‘mere Christianity’ (understanding of human sin, need for grace, need for redemption)—fleshed out in fiction, has been an inspiration to me.
What I mean by inspiration is this: he gives me a way of grasping glory that would otherwise be hard for me to appreciate. Glory, weightiness, beauty, excellence, brilliance, virtue—he shows them to you in some of his characters.
When people ask: how often have you read Lord of the Rings?, the answer is: I actually never stop. I’m always in it.
As an aside, if you’d like to purchase a copy of LOTR, an edition that will withstand repeated use, Westminster Books now carries a gorgeously illustrated box set. I bought two sets last week and was really impressed with the quality. Find details here.