If you head over to Amazon, you’ll also see that the book has a cover now (pictured above). The price of $59.99 is targeted toward the academic/library market (and as such, is not typically discounted by Amazon), but if you’d like to get a copy, let me know, and I can get you one for 30% off the list price. Send me an email or leave a comment, and we’ll go from there. For those of you in the U.K., Amazon is offering a discounted price of £19.79 (just a teensy bit more than the price I can offer — and not guaranteed to last).
Even better than a glimpse of the cover, the CSP website has a thirty-page preview (in PDF format). The preview includes the full Table of Contents (my essay is the sixth chapter, right before Tom Shippey!), the editor’s Introduction, and about 70% of the first essay (by Joe Christopher). To whet your appetite (I hope), my own essay is summarized in the Introduction as follows:
In another paper on Tolkien, Jason Fisher brings our attention to the concept of the felix culpa, revealing some telling points of divergence between Tolkien’s Catholicism and the theology of his subcreated world. Many acts of goodness and heroism in Middle-earth appear not to have been possible without some prior, precipitating act of evil. In fact, evil itself is woven into the very design of the world before its physical creation. This alleviates certain problems of fictional invention while leaving some eschatological issues of Middle-earth unresolved. (xv)Thus comes to fruition a paper I have been thinking about for a long time, as this lively thread from January 2002 reveals (please overlook the misspelling of Ilúvatar). I encourage you to take a peek at the online preview and share your thoughts.