Christ in Middle Earth

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Date
2021-05
Authors
Welte, Benjamin
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Yager, Susan
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English

The Department of English seeks to provide all university students with the skills of effective communication and critical thinking, as well as imparting knowledge of literature, creative writing, linguistics, speech and technical communication to students within and outside of the department.

History
The Department of English and Speech was formed in 1939 from the merger of the Department of English and the Department of Public Speaking. In 1971 its name changed to the Department of English.

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1939-present

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  • Department of English and Speech (1939-1971)

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Honors Projects and Posters
University Honors Program

The Honors project is potentially the most valuable component of an Honors education. Typically Honors students choose to do their projects in their area of study, but some will pick a topic of interest unrelated to their major.

The Honors Program requires that the project be presented at a poster presentation event. Poster presentations are held each semester. Most students present during their senior year, but may do so earlier if their honors project has been completed.

This site presents project descriptions and selected posters for Honors projects completed since the Fall 2015 semester.

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Abstract
More than half a century after its initial publication, J.R.R. Tolkien’s best-selling book, The Lord of the Rings, remains a landmark of popular culture in the English-speaking world, and the story’s abundant elements of naturalism, philology, and premodern European myth represent Tolkien’s eclectic personality well. But to limit Middle Earth’s inspiration to these interests would omit the single most important feature of Tolkien’s life: his devout Catholic faith. This essay attempts to analyze the role of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Catholic religion in shaping the story, characters, and message of The Lord of the Rings. Specifically, it examines parallels between the implicit soteriology, ecclesiology, and Christology in Middle Earth and the Catholic theology that enlivened Tolkien’s imagination. A comparison between The Lord of the Rings and the Catholic faith illumines the significance of the story’s events and reveals the purpose their author saw behind both his life and the lives of his readers.
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