Word on Fire’s Dr. Holly Ordway delivered a talk on famed author J.R.R. Tolkien’s Catholic Faith at Christendom College on January 29, 2024, as part of the college’s Major Speaker Series. Fifty years after Tolkien’s death, his writings are more popular than ever; The Lord of the Rings and his other Middle-earth writings are internationally beloved, loved by millions who do not share his religious beliefs. Yet Tolkien declared, “I am a Christian (which can be deduced from my stories).” His writings were not allegories, so how, then, were his faith and his fiction related? Ordway aims to answer this question biographically, looking at some of the ways that Tolkien’s dramatic life story, including his being raised by a Catholic priest at the Birmingham Oratory, and his experiences in the Great War, shaped his faith and found their way–in a subtle and complex manner–into his writings. Ordway is the Cardinal Francis George Professor of Faith and Culture at the Word on Fire Institute and the author of the award-winning Tolkien’s Modern Reading.