Dr. Ralph C. Wood

GEORGETOWN, KY – J.R.R. Tolkien predicted a time of terror like that of September 11, 2001, when more than 3,000 Americans were swept to their deaths.

Georgetown College’s 2014 Danford Thomas Lecture on Thursday, February 20, features a talk on J.R.R. Tolkien’s prediction by Ralph C. Wood, Professor of Theology and Literature at Baylor University in Texas. It is scheduled for 11 a.m. in John L. Hill Chapel.

Dr. Wood’s topic is “J.R.R. Tolkien: Writer for our Time of Terror.” This lecture will explore the nature of that terror, in the powers of the Ruling Ring: invisibility, deathlessness, and coercion. It will identify the Christian virtues – faith, hope, and charity – Tolkien proposed as ways of “keeping our feet” and not being swept off into terrors of our own making.

The Danford Thomas Lecture is open to the public free of charge.

A second J.R.R. Tolkien lecture by Dr. Wood will be presented that same evening in the Ward Room of the Ensor Learning Resource Center. Dr. Wood’s evening topic is “Chasing Adventure, Following the Quest.” Scheduled for 8 p.m., it, too, is open to the public.

Ralph C. Wood has served as University Professor of Theology and Literature at Baylor since 1998. He previously served for 26 years on the faculty of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he became the John Allen Easley Professor of Religion in 1990. He has also taught at Samford University in Birmingham, at Regent College in Vancouver, and at Providence College in Rhode Island. At Baylor, his main appointment is in the Religion Department, but he also teaches in the Great Texts program as well as the Department of English. He serves as an editor-at-large for the Christian Century and as an editorial board member for both the Flannery O’Connor Review and Seven: An Anglo-American Literary Review.

The Danford Thomas Lecture, endowed by the Danford Thomas Memorial Lecture Foundation, is an annual event that’s been held on the campus of Georgetown College since 1927. It honors the memory of one of the College’s first permanent faculty members (1839).