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Critically Acclaimed Author Joseph Pearce to Visit Whitworth University

June 4, 2024

Bestselling author and literary biographer Joseph Pearce will present this year’s Simpson-Duvall Lecture, “The Christianity of The Lord of the Rings,” on Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. in Weyerhaeuser Hall’s Robinson Teaching Theatre. The event is sponsored by Whitworth’s Speakers & Artists.

The acclaimed English-born biographer and Catholic convert is one of the world’s leading experts on the lives and works of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Oscar Wilde.

“It is a tremendous honor to have Joseph Pearce speak at Whitworth,” says Anthony Clark, Whitworth professor of history. “He is among the world's leading experts on C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien and is popularly acclaimed as a dynamic speaker and renowned expert on modern Christian literature in the English language.”

Pearce is the author of more than 30 books including The Quest for Shakespeare, Tolkien: Man and Myth, The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde, C. S. Lewis and The Catholic Church, Literary Converts, Wisdom and Innocence: A Life of G.K. Chesterton, Solzhenitsyn: A Soul in Exile and Old Thunder: A Life of Hilaire Belloc. His books have been published and translated into Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, Italian, Korean, Mandarin and Polish.

He is also editor of The St. Austin Review, series editor of the Ignatius Critical Editions and executive director of Catholic Courses.

Pearce has hosted two 13-part television series about William Shakespeare on The Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) and has also written and presented documentaries on EWTN on the Catholicism of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

He is visiting professor of literature at Ave Maria University and visiting chair of Catholic studies at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts. He is also a senior instructor with Homeschool Connections

Several of Pearce’s books will be available during a book signing following the discussion. The event is free and open to the public. 

About Whitworth University:

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private Christian liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of about 2,500 students, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. 


Trisha Coder, director of media relations, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or