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Programme announced for The Tolkien Society Seminar 2018
Last year’s speakers

The programme for The Tolkien Society Seminar 2018—due to be held on Sunday 1 July at the Hilton Leeds City—has been announced.

About the Seminar

This year’s Seminar is a greatly anticipated day of papers exploring spirituality in Tolkien’s universe and reading his work through a variety of religious lenses. Looking beyond Tolkien’s claim that The Lord of the Rings is “a fundamentally religious and Catholic work“, the Seminar will examine how the readers’ spirituality shapes their understanding of Tolkien’s writing and how Tolkien’s fiction shapes their spirituality.

An informal innmoot—a visit to the local pub—will be held on Saturday 30 June from 7pm at the Scarborough Hotel.

Registration opens at 9am on Sunday morning with coffee and pastries. A buffet lunch will be provided at midday. The day will conclude at approximately 5.30pm.


The theme this year is Tolkien the Pagan? Reading Middle-earth through a Spiritual Lens.

Name Title
Ryan Haeker On the Providential Historicism of Middle-earth
Claudio Testi Pagan Saints in Middle-earth
Sultana Raza Shades of Indian Ideologies in the Fellowship
Putri Prihatini The Names of Turin Turambar and the ‘Spiritual Burden’ Concept in Javanese Naming Philosophy
Brad Eden Tolkien the Buddhist: Reincarnation, Inherited Memory and Theosophy, oh my!
Markus Davidsen Honouring the Valar, Seeking the Elf Within: the Curious History of Tolkien Spirituality and the Religious Affordance of Tolkien’s Literary Mythology
Justin Lewis-Anthony Tolkien’s Mandos. Pratchett’s Death
Nelson Goering Shrouded Shrines and Holy Harrows: a Philological View of (Un)holy Places in Middle-earth
Andrew Higgins ‘But Melko take them!’: why did the Elves think Men Worshipped Melko? An Analysis of ‘Si Qente Feanor’
Brighid Bardsley From Ents to Elbereth: Tolkien’s Trojan Horse of Paganism
Giovani Costabile Also Sprach Fëanor, Spirit of Fire: A Nietzschean Reading of Tolkien’s Mythology
Aslı Bülbül Candaş The Nature of Arda: An Artwork as the Embodiment of the Flame Imperishable
Richard Hronek ‘That’s what I’m Tolkien about!’: Tolkien Fandom and the Hermeneutics of the Digital Age
Jessica Yates The Origins of Vingilot


Bookings can be made online.

Registration costs £25 for members and £30 for non-members, and includes refreshments throughout the day and a buffet lunch.

For all booking queries, please contact the Bookings Officer, Francesca Barbini, directly.

If you would prefer to pay by cheque or bank transfer, download the PDF booking form.

About the Author: Anna Milon
Anna is the Education Secretary of The Tolkien Society.