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November 1, 2021 57 min

At the end of his academic career at Oxford University, J.R.R. Tolkien gave his “Valedictory Address,” an analysis of the decline of humane letters, the specious distinction between “lang” and “lit” that has grown up in the academy, and a stirring expression of hope in the future of philological study even amidst unfavorable conditions. Colin Chan Redemer, a professor at Saint Mary’s College of California and Vice President of the Davenant Institute, joins Jonathan and Ryan to discuss Tolkien’s vision for the liberal arts and what proponents of Great Books education have to learn from him.

Tolkien’s Valedictory Address (free):

Tolkien’s Valedictory Address in essay collection The Monsters and the Critics:

Ad Fontes podcast:

Davenant Hall:

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