God, Death, Free Will, & Eucatastrophe: Christian Themes in Lord of the Rings – Shane Van Diest

J.R.R. Tolkien is universally known for his Middle-Earth Legandarium (primarily the Lord of the Rings), and is somewhat known for his devout Catholic faith. Just how much did the latter influence the former? In this Theology on Tap presentation, Shane Van Diest will consider the Christian themes and symbolism found in Tolkien’s famous work, namely: God, creation, evil, immortality, death, sacramentality, divine providence/free will, pride, the Eucharist, and whatever Shane can jam into the allotted time.

Shane Van Diest holds an M.A. in Theology from the Augustine Institute, a B.A. in Mathematics and Biology from Carroll College, and is currently completing an M.A. in Thomistic Philosophy from Holy Apostles College & Seminary. He and his wife Marah have one daughter, Cecilia. Shane serves as the Director of the Office of Young Adult Ministry for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, and in the past has worked as a FOCUS missionary, a Division I college football coach, and a high school theology teacher at Duchesne HS in St. Charles. He loves good liturgy, climbing trees, and is, as one might expect, quite obsessed with J.R.R. Tolkien.