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Re: [mythsoc] Joseph Pearce

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  • Mike Foster
    Matt, Jay s take on JP is pretty accurate. He is indeed a lively speaker. As a Tolkien scholar who s also a cradle Catholic, I ve written and lectured on
    Message 1 of 25 , Mar 5, 2006
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      Matt,
      Jay's take on JP is pretty accurate. He is indeed a lively speaker. As
      a Tolkien scholar who's also a cradle Catholic, I've written and
      lectured on JRRT's faith a time or six.

      That being said, I find JP's Catholic take on JRRT too Procrustean, too
      constraining, and too conservative: almost every one of JRRT's works
      ends with a revolution. Certainly JRRT's work have that element
      subsumed, but too narrow a focus reminds one of Aesop's blind man, who
      was sure that an elephant was very much like a rope.

      I said as much in a review of his book for -Faith & Reason-.

      Ave Maria is indeed very conservative, a university built by pizza.
      Makes my old school Marquette look like Arizona State.

      That being said, go see him. He's certainly fun to listen to and fences
      well with questioners. After the event, if you can spirit him off to
      some place with wine and [best case] Stilton cheese & lots of it, he'll
      be good company.

      Mike

      Jay Hershberger wrote:

      >Matt,
      >
      >Joseph Pearce came to Fargo-Moorhead and spoke at North Dakota State
      >University and at Shanley Catholic High School. He also met with the
      >Fargo-Moorhead GK Chesterton Society for dinner and my wife and I had
      >the pleasure of dining with him. He is currently a fellow in literature
      >at Ave Maria University in Naples, FL, and is editor of the Saint Austin
      >Review, which is a conservative Roman Catholic cultural and literary
      >journal.
      >
      >Pearce refers to himself as a cultural apologist for the traditional
      >idea of Christendom, which immediately places him at odds with a lot of
      >scholars.
      >
      >As to his work on Tolkien, he probably doesn't have anything
      >particularly new to say. He interprets Tolkien through the lens of
      >conservative British Catholicism, as Tolkien himself practiced. He has
      >also written about other British literary figures such as Chesterton,
      >Lewis, and Hilaire Belloc. I believe he also wrote a biography on
      >Solzhenitsyn. Pearce has a specific point of view: traditional
      >Catholicism, and he is very open about it. On a personal level he is
      >winsome and gentlemanly, and tolerated this Anglican's questions with
      >patience and courtesy.
      >
      >He is a lively speaker. By all means, attend his lecture.
      >
      >Cheers,
      >
      >Jay Hershberger
      >Moorhead, MN
      >
      >-----Original Message-----
      >From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
      >Of Walter Padgett
      >Sent: Saturday, March 04, 2006 10:31 AM
      >To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      >Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Joseph Pearce
      >
      >Yeah, I would definately go see him. He wrote =Tolkien: Man and Myth=
      >which
      >is a great book.
      >
      >On 3/4/06, Matt Williams <mrw1@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >>Joseph Pearce is speaking on Tolkien on Wed. at UNK. What does
      >>
      >>
      >everyone
      >
      >
      >>think of him? Worth seeing?
      >>
      >>Matt Williams
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >
      >
      >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >
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    • John D Rateliff
      Definitely worth seeing; he s the chief advocate of the Tolkien-as- Catholic-writer subschool of Tolkien studies, bringing a spotlight on an aspect of
      Message 2 of 25 , Mar 6, 2006
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        Definitely worth seeing; he's the chief advocate of the Tolkien-as-
        Catholic-writer subschool of Tolkien studies, bringing a spotlight on
        an aspect of Tolkien's thought that was rather skimped on before his
        collection TOLKIEN: A CELEBRATION and book TOLKIEN: MAN AND MYTH
        (which starts with a lively account of Tolkien winning that best book
        poll and the outcry that followed). He's also written on C. S. Lewis
        and G. K. Chesterton and Oscar Wilde, as well as less savory
        characters such as Roy Campbell; wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't
        do a book on Waugh someday. Be warned though that he doesn't let
        inconvenient facts get in the way of his arguments and his tolerance
        of contrary positions seems to be low.
        Which reminds me: haven't seen his new(ish) book LITERARY GIANTS,
        LITERARY CATHOLICS, which apparently covers not just Tolkien and
        Campbell but Lewis (not Catholic) and Owen Barfield (Christian but
        extremely heterodox), among others. Is it a sort of "greatest hits"
        collection like LITERARY CONVERTS (which included the actor Alex
        Guinness among the "Catholic Writers" he covered) or a new work with
        a new focus? Does he have anything interesting to say about Tolkien
        & the Inklings therein?
        At any rate, I'd definitely go if I were in the area. If you do
        make it, can you post a report of the event?
        --John R.


        On Mar 4, 2006, at 7:58 AM, Matt Williams wrote:

        > Howdy:
        >
        > We recently moved to Kearney, NE where I am library director and
        > discovered that there are 2 other Mythopoeic Society members here.
        > Anyway, Joseph Pearce is speaking on Tolkien on Wed. at UNK. What
        > does everyone think of him? Worth seeing?
        >
        > Matt Williams



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