Lewis & Tolkien

Lewis and Tolkien

C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien are two of the most widely read fantasy and science fiction authors in the modern era; however, their works are rarely studied together. Students will examine the friendship and work of Lewis and Tolkien in this course and their influence upon each other.

January 16, 2017
12 Weeks
LITA 5302


Dr. Corey Olsen – suit and tie
Corey Olsen
University President; Board Member: President; Lecturer

What similar ideas did Lewis and Tolkien explore? How are they similar in the exploration of these ideas? How are they different?

C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien are two of the pillars of modern fantasy, and their friendship is well known. Despite the fact that the two authors are so frequently associated with each other, however, their works are rarely examined closely together. In this class, we will engage in a careful comparison of Lewis’s and Tolkien’s fiction, paying close attention to those moments when they are both exploring similar ideas or undertaking comparable literary enterprises. What do these two authors really share in common, and where do their primary differences lie?

Course Schedule

Week 1 – Literary Theories

Myth and Storytelling

Week 2 – Introduction to Fantasy I

The Hobbit

Week 3 – Introduction to Fantasy II

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

Week 4 – Perilous Realms

  • “Smith of Wootton Major”
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Week 5 – Myths Revisited Ia

Till We Have Faces

Week 6 – Myths Revisited Ib

Till We Have Faces

Week 7 – Myths Revisited II

“The Lost Road” and “The Notion Club Papers”

Week 8 – Cosmogony

“Ainulindale” and The Magician’s Nephew

Week 9 – The Fall I


Week 10 – The Fall II

  • Quenta Silmarillion, Chapters 7-9
  • “Akallabeth”

Week 11 – Eschatology I

  • “Leaf by Niggle”
  • “Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth”

Week 12 – Eschatology II

The Last Battle

Required Texts

Optional Texts

Course History

This course has been offered in the following semesters.

Lewis & Tolkien Offerings
Spring 2017Dr. David Russell Mosley
Fall 2014Sørina Higgins, Liam Daley
Spring 2012Dr. Faith Acker, Liam Daley