Journey to the Imaginal Realm: Reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings

Journey to the Imaginal Realm Course

Since I was 9 years old, I have been a devotee of the work of J. R. R. Tolkien and an avid explorer of the world of Middle-earth. I am therefore beyond excited to be teaching an online course through Nura Learning this autumn on Tolkien’s magnum opus, The Lord of the Rings. I feel as though I have been waiting half my life to teach this class, and at last such an opportunity has arisen. If you have never read The Lord of the Rings before, or wish to return to Middle-earth to deepen your connection with this remarkable tale, I would be delighted to have you in this course.

Learn more and Register

Course Description

The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien has been a beloved story to several generations since its publication in the mid-1950s. The story has a timeless quality to it, and engages with a complex struggle between good and evil, death and immortality, power and freedom. The Lord of the Rings blends otherworldly romance with the high rhetoric of epic mythology, at times interwoven with the internal depths of the nineteenth century novel and the political climate of the twentieth century. As Tolkien’s close friend and colleague C. S. Lewis once said: “Nothing quite like it has been done before. This book is like lightning from a clear sky . . . here are beauties which pierce like swords and burn like cold iron.”

The Lord of the Rings is a text treated by many as a sacred text, one to be returned to year after year, or read aloud with loved ones. The Lord of the Rings, for many, has become a myth for our time. This course offers a journey through Tolkien’s magnum opus in a community of learning, guided by a scholar who has spent more than two decades engaging Tolkien’s writings and artwork. This course is designed both for newcomers to Tolkien’s narrative, and for veteran travelers through Middle-earth’s many realms. Together we will explore the grand themes and hidden nuances of Tolkien’s epic story, connecting The Lord of the Rings to the larger mythology of Middle-earth, and situating Tolkien’s process of writing within his own powerful experiences of the imaginal realm.

To learn more and register, please visit: Nura Learning: Journey to the Imaginal Realm 

4 Replies to “Journey to the Imaginal Realm: Reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings”

  1. Dear Becca,

    Your course looks fantastic! I love the image of the ponies traversing the bridge being led by their riders. A journey on horseback into the imaginal realm – what could be better? This looks like the same or similar course that you taught this summer. The $150 price is an incredible bargain. Do you know how many students you anticipate will sign up? If I had time I would sign up!

    Wishing you a magical teaching experience, Cheryl


    1. Cheryl, I also love that image of the ponies being led across the river into Rivendell, painted by the great artist Alan Lee, who has illustrated many of Tolkien’s books. I certainly hope it proves to be a wonderful journey for students! This course is actually quite different from what I am currently teaching, since this focuses on Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, while the course I am teaching this summer focuses on Carl Jung’s Red Book. Put together the two courses form the subject matter of my dissertation! But for the moment I am teaching the two books separately. I’m not yet sure how many will sign up, but it would be absolutely lovely to have you join!

  2. Becca, what a fabulous course! I hope you offer it a second time. My plate is over full the rest of 2018, but I would love to take it another time.
    All the best to you,

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