Posted by: Billy Marsh | November 2, 2007

C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien: Friends and Scholars

C. S. Lewis & J. R. R. Tolkien

As a result of my recent discovery of iTunes University, I have been probing various online school halls for many different lectures and lecturers. I’ve struck oil on numerous occasions, and therefore, concerning this particular lecture, I absolutely have to commend you to it. If you search iTunes U for C. S. Lewis, Christopher Mitchell, or Seattle Pacific University, you will be able to find this lecture. It’s not a podcast; it’s simply a free downloadable file.

The lecture is entitled, “C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien: Scholars and Friends.” The message was given by Christopher Mitchell, who is the Assistant Professor of Theology at Wheaton College. He is also the director of The Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College. This is a very fascinating place, and it’s a good thing that I don’t attend Wheaton because I’d probably be there all the time. The Marion E. Wade Center is devoted to housing major research materials of C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, George MacDonald, Charles Williams, G. K. Chesterton, Dorothy Sayers,  and Owen Barfield. The Center also has an archival museum and is free and open to the public.

With regard to this particular lecture, Mitchell speaks for about an hour and a half, tracing the beginnings of Lewis and Tolkien’s friendship all the way to their elder years and Tolkien’s comments on Lewis’ death. This is an amazing and fascinating lecture, and Mitchell delivers the material with humor, warmth, and sincerity. He definitely captures the spirit of this unique companionship. Mitchell also discusses Tolkien’s involvement with Lewis’ conversion. And, for you Middle Earth and Narnia lovers, professor Mitchell does a tremendous job of giving us an inside peak at how these men influenced each other’s works, their likes and dislikes of each other’s stories, and how their two wonderful mythological worlds were birthed in light of their theological presuppositions.

This is an incredible talk from one of the world’s most renowned Lewis authorities. The lecture is full of depth and wonder which best captures the personas of these two men and their contributions to this world.

(P. S. I’ve been searching online for audio files of Francis Schaeffer’s lectures or him teaching. I have come up empty thus far, so if you can lead me to the right place, please leave me a comment with some links or send me an email through the tab “Contact Billy.” Thanks and enjoy!)


  1. I read a biography on Tolkien by Humphrey Carpenter (I recommend it), and he also talks about the relationship between Lewis and Tolkien. I really enjoy reading about that, because I like both of their books so much. Also, just wanted you to know that you should be careful, because I’m watching your theology. :)

  2. Yeah, I’m reading Surprised by Joy right now. I also want to read a good biography on Tolkien. And by the way, you should be watching your hubbie’s theology, I can’t be the only to keep him on the straight and narrow. It’s a hard job.

  3. i think that C.S.Lewis and J.R.R.Tolien are one of the beast riters i have ever red in my like and i dont thik that anyone could replas them as good as they are.

    sonsirly Sabine.Paglialonga an English sitason.

  4. i love the lord of th erings

  5. Lewis and Tolkien are my favorite authors. They have both been large influences on my own writings: The Lord of the Rings is a masterpiece.

    This is a nice blog you have. I’ll be checking out some of your other posts with great interest.

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