excerpted from the beginning of my 9/6/22 newsletter. You can sign up to receive future newsletters here.
Early in the pandemic, I began rereading The Lord of the Rings for the first time since childhood. While I went to it partly for escapism, I was struck by how resonant it felt, the atmosphere of growing shadow and a call to resist nonetheless, knowing the odds are against you. I was also struck by its consistent ecological themes, its insistence that the trees and the horses and wild beasts all belong to themselves and that evil is the will to dominate other life in any form. So, with the new Lord of the Rings TV show just released, I was eager to talk about these issues with a true Tolkien expert, the Rev. Tom Emanuel.