“You can say what you like, Gaffer, but Bag End’s a Queer place, and its folk are queerer.”
Twenty years on from Peter Jackson’s blockbuster film adaptations, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings is more popular than ever. As Amazon releases a mammoth five-season Middle-earth series in September 2022, an increasingly diverse audience is discovering Tolkien’s world of hobbits and heroes, dark lords and deep magic, elves and orcs and talking trees, for the very first time. But whenever someone tries to interpret the text in a progressive way, a chorus of naysayers emerge from the woodwork to shout: “Stop trying to ‘woke-wash’ LOTR! Don’t you know Tolkien was a Catholic???”
J.R.R. Tolkien was indeed a devout Roman Catholic. He once described LOTR as “a fundamentally religious and Catholic work.” And that’s exactly what makes it “woker” than its critics think.
Join Rev. Tom Emanuel, the associate minister at the First Congregational Church of Long Beach, for the free online class Queer and Back Again: The Gospel According to J.R.R. Tolkien. Each Sunday at 3pm PT, we’ll explore spiritual and religious themes in Tolkien’s life and work from an open-minded, open-hearted, progressive Christian perspective. (Including, you guessed it, queerness!) Every class session is meant to stand alone, so you can drop in and out as you have the time and inclination.
If you’d like to be added to the class email list, contact Rev. Tom at email@example.com. No matter who you are, no matter where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome to explore Middle-earth with us!
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 862 3142 4249
Call in: 669-900-6833
OUR MISSION AT FCCLB:
- to be a visible and prophetic presence in the church and in the world,
- to steadfastly proclaim the radically inclusive love of God,
- to be open to, and celebrate differences; to honor thinking for oneself,
- to faithfully work for the inclusion of, and justice for all people, regardless of age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, race or national origin, or any particular element of a person’s total humanity, and for all of God’s creation.