Diocesan News

‘Reborn in Wonder’ series continues with Tolkein lecture

Newman Institute hosts Dr. Ralph Wood on ‘Vision of Wonder in a Time of Terror’

Lincoln (SNR) – The “Reborn in Wonder” series continues Wednesday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. with a lecture by Dr. Ralph Wood entitled “J.R.R. Tolkien’s Vision of Wonder in a Time of Terror.”

The free, public event will begin with the lecture, followed by a wine and appetizer reception. It is hosted by the Newman Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture at St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center, 320 N. 16th St., Lincoln.

All are invited to hear Dr. Wood’s insights on J.R.R. Tolkien’s vision of wonder.

Wood, Baylor University professor of theology and literature, has written extensively on the interaction of religion, literature and culture of the 20th and 21st centuries. He holds a B.A. and M.A. from Texas A&M University - Commerce (formerly East Texas State College), and his A.M. and Ph.D. from University of Chicago. In his teaching and scholarship, Wood’s stated aim is to “show the relevance of these books to the witness of the Church as well as the life of secular culture.”

Dr. Freeh, director of the Newman Institute, expressed his admiration of Wood’s ability to convey the relevance of these authors.

“Ralph Wood is adept at showing the relationship between literature and life,” Freeh explained. “In his impressive scholarship on Tolkien and other 20th century writers, Dr. Wood reminds us of how great imaginative literature can serve to diagnose the very real ills of a culture that has lost its hunger for truth.”

Tolkien, in his well-loved “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and other works, captivated imaginations with his depictions of Middle Earth and its characters.

Free said Wood’s scholarship explores how Tolkien “uses fantasy to reexamine long-forgotten or neglected aspects of perennial wisdom. In so doing, Tolkien seeks to free us from the errors and prejudice of our own age.”

The Newman Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture is an integrated humanities program that provides opportunities to engage with fundamental human questions through study of great works and ideas of the Western tradition. The primary initiatives of the institute include offering accredited humanities courses for college students, sponsoring cultural events and trips, and hosting the “Reborn in Wonder” lecture series.

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