Dear Tolkien-loving Christians,
Wesaþ ge, friend, hale! (“Be you well, friends!”)
I am sad to report that our planning team at Ancient Faith Ministries is canceling the conference.
This thing was conceived back in 2019, before the world was wracked with the chaos and death of a world-wide pandemic. With the onset of the pandemic, we subsequently postponed it twice. And even as I write, the region around our event site is now cascading with more COVID-related restrictions. Building momentum for a major new conference in the midst of all this uncertainty is very difficult.
That said, this idea is not dead, because we know that Christians who love Tolkien want to gather — to discuss, to celebrate, to share our thoughts and our stories, to form a properly hobbitish and/or Rivendellish community in-person. So we’re not canceling the idea. We’re just going to wait for when the time is right to make this conference happen. We don’t know when, though, so if you purchased a ticket, you will get it refunded.
In the meantime, we are still moving ahead with some of our plans, and we’re going to be adding some new ones. Here’s what’s happening:
- Those who submitted academic papers that were accepted will be contacted about having them published in Hælend, the new journal that our partner the St. Basil Center was already intending to create with the conference papers. So watch your email.
- We plan to create a blog to begin posting Christian reflections and comments on Tolkien.
- Discussions around founding a Christian Tolkien Society continue.
- The Christ & Tolkien Facebook group continues and just surpassed 3,000 members.
So, stay tuned. And please subscribe to the blog on this site for updates on all this.
Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick
Chief Content Officer at Ancient Faith Ministries
With the rescheduling of the conference to May 19-21, 2022, the deadlines for both the Call For Papers and Call For Stories have been extended! We’ve gotten many good submissions so far, but there is still time to submit your work for consideration by our team.
Call For Papers deadline is now Nov. 15, 2021.
Call For Stories deadline is now Dec. 1, 2021.
Dear Tolkien Enthusiasts, Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The Christ & Tolkien Conference has been rescheduled for May 19-21, 2022.
We know that this is now the second rescheduling that has happened for this event (originally scheduled for Oct. 2020 then for Oct. 2021). But because of the events of the global pandemic, we all understand why. But we will not give up, and the enthusiasm and hope for this event continue and grow.
If you bought tickets and the new dates don’t work for you, you can receive a full refund by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadlines for both the Call For Papers (CFP) and Call For Stories (CFS) have also been extended into 2022. If you submitted a paper or a story and want to withdraw your submission or have other concerns, please contact us and let us know (CFP: email@example.com; CFS: firstname.lastname@example.org).
We plan to keep the vision of holding such a wonderful conference in place and not to accept a “second best” of debuting as a wholly online conference. We continue to have an incredibly positive response, and we are more convinced than ever of the great need for creating and nurturing opportunities for Christians to share our mutual love for Middle-earth and all of Tolkien’s literary creations.
We pray that restrictions will soon be lifted and that the fight against this worldwide affliction will be fully victorious.
Meanwhile, keep praying, hold on, and we’ll see you next year. Forth Eorlingas!
The Christ & Tolkien Conference Planning Committee
TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW.
Dr. Lisa Coutras, one of our three plenary speakers for the conference, appeared on the September 25 episode of the Amon Sûl Podcast to discuss her book Tolkien’s Theology of Beauty:
Tolkien scholar Dr. Lisa Coutras joins Fr. Andrew to talk the theology of beauty in Tolkien’s legendarium, including deep dives into the tales of Beren and Luthien and Turin Turambar. They wrap up with your indispensable wishlist items for a Hobbit birthday.
As part of the Christ & Tolkien Conference, a Call For Stories has been released. Approved submissions will be published in an edited anthology, be mentioned publicly at the conference, and also entitle the author to a free ticket to the conference!
Do you love the stories of J. R. R. Tolkien? Have you ever been inspired by them to write yourself?
Epic fantasy author and Russian Orthodox deacon Nicholas Kotar is editing a volume of original short fantasy stories inspired by J. R. R. Tolkien’s writing and the power of his work to envision Paradise.
In conjunction with the Christ and Tolkien Conference in Fall 2021, we are looking for submissions of stories that engage and grapple with imaginatively presenting a vision of paradise in a fallen world.
As a participant of the 2019 Ancient Faith Writing and Podcasting Conference said, there are few compelling visions of Paradise in the imaginative literature of the west outside of a few inklings in Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. Now is your chance to do just that—write a story, inspired by Tolkien’s vision of the world to come, and even have it presented officially at the Christ and Tolkien conference in 2021!
Read the full release here.
Welcome to all our email and blog subscribers! Being the inaugural post for our blog, we’re going to give you a rundown of everything that’s been added to our website up to now:
Still coming: Call for Stories, plus information on featured lectures, music, films, panels, gaming, trivia & art contests and vendors.
Also be sure to subscribe to the Amon Sûl Podcast for not just Christian Tolkien content but also forthcoming interviews with our plenary speakers.