In the spring semester of 2003, I had a most extraordinary class of students at APU. We met in a stuffy little room on the second floor of the Mary Hill Center, and we spent our time reading books by Lewis and Tolkien and talking about connections.
On the first day of class, I issued a challenge: Do you want to do a standard write-it-for-the-English-teacher kind of research paper or do you want to work together and write a book?
Write a book? They looked at me blankly. A group of undergraduates? They looked at me, excited. Well, they said, why not!
They dove into the project with energy and vision. They formed an editorial board, they worked together in editing teams, and they read and argued and wrote a series of really great papers, all of them on different ways that Lewis and Tolkien connect. They entitled their volume Tollers and Jack: A Comparative Look at the Lives and Works of J.R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis.
One thing that touched me deeply was that this group dedicated the project to my daughter, Sierra Grace Glyer. The dedication of the book and, by extension, this webpage reads as follows: “Thank you for your patience and willingness to share your mom with all of us so that she could read and edit and help us along the way. May the blessings of Elves and Men and all Free Folk go with you. May the stars shine upon your face.”
The book was compiled, and everyone in the class got a copy. Then the editorial board tried and tried to find a publisher, but no-one picked it up. So we decided to do two things. First, we are posting the papers here so that others can read and enjoy this exploration of two of our favorite writers.
Second, we are issuing an invitation. If you are intrigued by some point of connection between Tolkien and Lewis -- a comparison, a contrast, a parallel, a resonance, an overlap, an argument -- then send it to us. If the board likes it, we’ll add it to our e-book and post it, too. We are now in the process of re-gathering these papers, cleaning them up a bit, and posting them here. Keep checking back so that you can participate in our on-going discussion. --Diana Glyer on behalf of Tollers and Jack.
Table of Contents
CHARACTERS WE KNOW
1. Faith and Friendship: Lewis and Tolkien
by Emily L. Manthei
2. Power According to Their Stature: Gollum and Uncle Andrew
by Andrew R. Petersen
3. True Independent Women: Jadis and Galadriel
by Neetha E. Mony
4. Women and Their Hidden Strength: Lucy and Eowyn
by Adria Lynn Stevenson
5. Elusiveness and Loyalty: Gandalf and Aslan
by M. Gabriel King
QUALITIES WE CHERISH
7. Christlikeness in The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia
by Kirsten Shaw
9. Temptation and Redemption: Good and Evil in the Works of Tolkien and Lewis
by Cheryl Peevyhouse and Allyson Eddy
10. A Forgiving Heart: Themes of Forgiveness as Seen in Tolkien and Lewis
by Courtney Evans