05 January 2018

A Lecture at the Wade Center

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One of Illinois' unsung treasures is the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College, a research library devoted to the Inklings, whose members included the great J.R.R. Tolkien. The library houses original manuscripts, translations of the authors' works into various languages, and books and articles about the writings and lives of the Inklings. Among its treasures is the desk at which the Professor wrote The Hobbit and most of the Lord of the Rings.
When I first visited the Wade Center after returning from my studies in Rome, I mentioned that I was about to give a Theology on Tap lecture on the subject of Tolkien's faith. The archivist quickly asked for a copy of my text for the library and asked if I might be interested in giving the lecture at the Wade Center. Naturally, I was very open to doing so and am happy to say I will give the lecture at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 16th. The lecture will be free and open to the public.
In advance of the lecture, the Marion E. Wade Center sent out the following press release to publicize it:

Joy Like Swords : Hobbits, Franciscans, and the Crucifix
 4:00pm | January 16, 2018
The Marion E. Wade Center and the Wheaton College Tolkien Society present a lecture on the work of J. R. R. Tolkien by Rev. Daren J. Zehnle on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at 4pm in Bakke Auditorium.

After Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee heard a minstrel sing of the deeds of the Fellowship of the Ring, J. R. R. Tolkien wrote that “their joy was like swords, and they passed in thought out to regions where pain and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness.” By exploring the phrase, “their joy was like swords,” we learn to understand the reality of joy mingled with sorrow and experience God’s merciful love as we embrace the Cross.

Father Daren J. Zehnle is a priest of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois where, in addition to other duties he performs for the diocese, he serves as Pastor of St. Augustine Parish in Ashland, Illinois. He is a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, a member of The Tolkien Society, and holds a B.A. from Quincy University, a S.T.B. and a M.Div. from the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary, and a J.C.L. from the Pontifical Gregorian University.

This lecture will take place in the Wade Center’s Bakke Auditorium and is free and open to the public. The Wade Center is located at 351 Lincoln Ave. on the northwest corner of campus at the intersection of Washington St. and Lincoln Ave. For more information, contact the Wade Center at 630.752.5908 or

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