With guest Lisa Coutras Terris
In today’s episode, Julia Golding is joined by Lisa Coutras, author of Tolkien’s Theology of Beauty: Majesty, Splendor, and Transcendence in Middle-earth. Lisa is a theologian with an interest in beauty as it appears in the works of Tolkien. We discuss how this quality underpins his world, a reflection of the values of his Catholic faith but written so as to be accessible to all as it is not narrowly allegorical or theological. For Tolkien, true beauty was the radiance of God’s glory so we discuss where this is seen in The Silmarillion, and in the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Lisa explains how the first is from the elven perspective where the gods are much more present, whereas the last two are from the Hobbit’s eye view and Providence is less obvious but still infused in the world. At the end, in Lisa’s honour, we ask, where in what fantasy world is the best place for transcendent beauty?