Catholic Culture Dedication
Catholic Culture Dedication

123—The Nature of Middle-earth—Carl Hostetter

By Catholic Culture Podcast ( bio - articles - email ) | Jan 21, 2022 | In The Catholic Culture Podcast

Listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | RSS Feed | YouTube Channel

This is a listener-supported podcast! Thanks for your help!

Carl Hostetter, editor of a new volume of J.R.R. Tolkien’s unpublished notes, The Nature of Middle-earth, joins the show.

Carl discusses:

  • His collaboration with Christopher Tolkien leading to this new volume
  • What other Tolkien writings we might expect to see published
  • Why it may be good that Tolkien never finished the Silmarillion in his lifetime
  • Tolkien’s Thomistic reflections on elvish hylomorphism, and other revelations contained in the new book
  • How Tolkien’s obsession with consistency nearly destroyed his legendarium
  • Potential problems with the theology of Middle-earth
  • Anti-Catholic bias in contemporary Tolkien fandom and scholarship


Carl Hostetter, The Nature of Middle-earth

Interview with Jonathan McIntosh about The Flame Imperishable

Other resources recommended:

J.R.R. Tolkien, Morgoth’s Ring, vol. 10 of The History of Middle-earth, ed. Christopher Tolkien

Jonathan McIntosh, The Flame Imperishable: Tolkien, St. Thomas, and the Metaphysics of Faërie

Tom Shippey, The Road to Middle-Earth: How J.R.R. Tolkien Created a New Mythology

Verlyn Flieger, Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien’s World

Corey Olsen’s seminars on The Nature of Middle-earth

Theme music: “Franciscan Eyes”, written and performed by Thomas Mirus. Download the Catholic Culture Podcast soundtrack.

Thomas V. Mirus is Director of Podcasts for, hosts The Catholic Culture Podcast, and co-hosts Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast. See full bio.

Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a current donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.