Tolkien Gateway

Robert Murray

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Robert Murray
Biographical information
Education1944-48, Classics at Christi College, Oxford
1961-63, Theology at the Gregorian University, Rome
OccupationPriest, Scholar, Author

Father Robert Patrick Ruthven Murray (b. 1925), an English Roman Catholic theologian and grandson of Sir James Murray (the founder of the Oxford English Dictionary), is on the Faculty of Heythrop College in Oxfordshire and London since 1963. He became a Jesuit in 1949 and was ordained in 1959.

A personal friend of the Tolkien family (a friendship which contributed to his conversion to Roman Catholicism) since 1944, Murray was entrusted by J.R.R. Tolkien to proofread drafts and manuscripts of The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien and Murray corresponded frequently, especially on matters of religion, and several letters from Murray were published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (letters 142, 156, 209)

On 1 August 1959 Tolkien served Murray's first Mass, and on 6 September 1973, four days of the death of Tolkien, he assisted in a requiem Mass for Tolkien in the Church of St Anthony of Padua in Headington, Oxford.

During the Tolkien Centenary Conference in Oxford (1992), Father Murray gave the sermon preach at the Thanksgiving service.

Bibliography, selected