This course explores one of the most prominent and influential Roman Catholic writers of the 20th Century: John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. Through an analysis of some of Tolkien's minor works, including the essay "On Fairy-Stories," the short-story "Leaf by Niggle," the poem "Mythopoeia," and the tales of the The Silmarillion, before turning to his major work The Lord of the Rings, this course explores Tolkien's literary engagement with such Catholic themes as creation, free will, providence, evil, salvation, sacrament, and community. In addition to contextualizing Tolkien in his historical, literary, theological, and philosophical milieux, we will ask in what ways his works embody a distinctively Catholic theological aesthetics, and how his work reflects on the relationship between Christianity and art more broadly.