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Thread: What if Tolkien and Lewis Wrote a Book Together?

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Texan finds unfinished Lewis manuscript in an Oxford library.
[url=http://www.sanmarcosmercury.com/archives/9295:3gmzbto0]Full story here.[/url:3gmzbto0]
Great link Ady. Thanks for the heads up. I'm looking forward to seeing this published :ugeek: .

[b:3eitn2rf]GB[/b:3eitn2rf]
Great job alerting the NarniaWeb team, GB!

I can't wait to read this manuscript!
Yay, you're back Beren <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> . Yeah, I alerted NWeb as soon as I saw Ady's post. You must have got the NWeb news alert.

[b:111istgx]GB[/b:111istgx]
Yeah I'm on the mailing list for that site and for ady's site.
Didn't I once read that they had a falling out about religion towards the end?
I don't know much about their relationship, but I know that Tolkien very much disapproved of Narnia, while Lewis was always very supportive of Middle-Earth. I think there was always a sense of tension on certain subjects between them.
If I remember correctly Tolkien thought Lewis had over done the Christian messages in Narnia.

A bit ironic really as it was Tolkien who converted Lewis to Christianity and then gets upset when he starts beating the religious drum.

I'll do some digging and see if I can find the reference.
A good write up about the two falling out [url=http://atheism.about.com/od/cslewisnarnia/a/jrrtolkein.htm:2l8zj6jx]here[/url:2l8zj6jx]
That article sums up the cooling of Tolkien and Lewis's friendship quite well, Ady. Though Lewis's anti-Papacy may have been more of an affectation than based on any deep-seated theological conviction. I think Lewis's attempts to insinuate Joy Gresham into the Inkling meetings, and his blatant proselytising in a culture where religion was seen as strictly private, did the most to damage their relationship. Though as far as I know Tolkien never totally disowned Lewis.

An interesting point about both Lewis and Tolkien, is that their views on Christianity were based not so much on theological grounds, but Mythological grounds. Here is part of an essay I wrote based on my research into this topic:

[color=#BF0000:tze5rsee]For answers to this mystery we must turn to Tolkien. Tolkien was similarly enamoured by Medievalism and believed one could not merely analyze with Reason the Old Poets and Mythology. He thought one could only truly appreciate such things on their deepest imaginal level. He discovered the Anglo-Saxon poet Cynewulf in his youth and in the poem Crist came across these lines:
Eala Earendel engla behrtast
Ofer middangeard monnum sended.
(Hail Earendel, brightest of the angels,
Sent to men upon Middle Earth.)
Earendel could be crudely translated “shining ray”—however Tolkien thought that this bright ray was more accurately Venus (pagan) and also applied in this case to John the Baptist (Christian). Earendel would eventually become Earendil, the Mariner who carried the Morning Star across the sky in Tolkien’s Silmarillion.

One night in September 1931 Lewis, Tolkien, and Henry Victor Dyson dined together at Magdelen. Wilson notes that Owen Barfield had already broken down the arbitrary distinction between “myth” and “fact” (much like Joseph Campbell would later popularize). He also pointed out that early users of language didn’t distinguish between the metaphorical and literal meanings of words. When the wind blew it wasn’t “like” someone breathing, it was literally the breath of a divinity.

Tolkien’s approach was similar. As Wilson describes it, Tolkien’s Elves are animist, pagan. It is humankind in Tolkien’s world who are to move beyond this. For the Elves being immortal will never leave the material world and do not know what will happen to men after they die. The Elves therefore are the embodiment of language users for whom the wind/breath/spirit distinction is apparently meaningless.

Apparently when Tolkien dialogued with Lewis that September night, he was arguing for an “Elven” approach to the Gospel story. Lewis had no problem being moved by the stories from other ancient mythologies, but he had trouble seeing the relevance of Christ to his own life. It would seem that Tolkien explained that Lewis had only been looking at the story with an empiricists viewpoint and that he should simply understand the story of Christ as a True Myth (I suppose as opposed to the other myths? <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> ).

But Tolkien’s argument would be even more nuanced. Tolkien argued that the Doctrines which are extracted from the myth are less true than the actual myth itself. Lewis would argue that was tantamount to “breathing a lie through silver.” This riposte led Tolkien to reply in writing with the verse Mythopoeia. In essence Myth was the opposite of a “lie breathed through silver;” man’s capacity to mythologize was a remnant of his ability to see into the life of things (animism). All creation was “myth-woven and Elf-patterned.”

The fascinating upshot then seems that Tolkien used a Pagan argument for Christianity which largely is responsible for Lewis finally accepting Christianity, yet Lewis would then go on to Rationalize Christianity through apologetics whilst giving freer reign to his Pagan unconscious through prose. [/color:tze5rsee]

To me this suggests to me, that no matter the outer trappings of their particular denominations, they both had a view of Christianity that put them outside the mainstream of Orthodoxy and closer to the views of someone like Joseph Campbell or Mircae Eliade and even Alan Watts. I think had they been born a generation later their natures would have put them both in a more universalist camp.
Wow that's SOME post Gandy :shock: <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' />

I must admit I understood about half of it (but what I did understand was excellent). I get what you say though about both of them being outside the "mainstream of Orthodoxy", with all Tolkien's Valar and Elves and that. Maybe he was of the viewpoint that his own faith (in Jesus) was foreshadowed in previous belief systems. I am quite good at history and I sure remember a point in the Renaissance (have I spelt it right? :mrgreen: ) when a bunch of modern Catholics called themselves "Humanists" and started to believe that Christ was foreshadowed in Paganism and Buddhism and stuff. But I don't hink it fully developed until Vatican II when the Church officially pronounced that other belief systems had "grains of truth". Ironically though I don't think Tolkien was very pro-Vatica II :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: Ok I've gone to deep and I've got myself all fuddled up now....hmm...I think....no wait...damn't its gone :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Felagund, you should see would old [b:3fu3wyq1]GB[/b:3fu3wyq1] whips up on Narnia Web if you thinks that impressive 8-) . By the way, I love your Avatar, what is it suppose to be, exactly?
[quote="Light In The Dark":1g8i5vxq]Felagund, you should see would old [b:1g8i5vxq]GB[/b:1g8i5vxq] whips up on Narnia Web if you thinks that impressive 8-) . By the way, I love your Avatar, what is it suppose to be, exactly?[/quote:1g8i5vxq]

Thank you Light it is actually a drawing of Finrod Felagund <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' />

I really like Gandy - I've only known him for a short while but the man is growing on me <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> I've even given him a new name (or my own slang term) :lol:
Aw Shucks, thanks for the kudos Fela and LITD :oops: . Mythology, Comparative Religions and Philosophy are my main field of research. What I love about Tolkien and Lewis is they had many of the same interests as me :ugeek: .

And that is a sweet avvy Fela. Did you draw/paint it yourself?

[b:ty0ztgnx]GB[/b:ty0ztgnx]
[quote="Gandalfs Beard":i0sy6f44]Aw Shucks, thanks for the kudos Fela and LITD :oops: . Mythology, Comparative Religions and Philosophy are my main field of research. What I love about Tolkien and Lewis is they had many of the same interests as me :ugeek: .

And that is a sweet avvy Fela. Did you draw/paint it yourself?

[b:i0sy6f44]GB[/b:i0sy6f44][/quote:i0sy6f44]

Cheers Gandy - alas no I cannot draw a stickman to spare my life :lol: :lol: :lol: I just saw it on the net about 3 years back and loved it :mrgreen:
Going back to the last page:

[quote:39qtk382][b:39qtk382]Bookworm:[/b:39qtk382]
I believe the real issue for Tolkien was that he DETESTED allegory as a literary device. Narnia was pure allegorical Christianity.[/quote:39qtk382]

It is true that Tolkien rejected Allegory as a literary device, but his main complaint about Narnia was that it was a "hodgepodge" of concepts and characters directly culled from Established Mythology, both Christian and Pagan. Lewis was adamant that Narnia was non-allegorical, and was instead a [b:39qtk382]supposition[/b:39qtk382] of what Christlike figure might be like if He established another World apart from our own, filled with Pagan creatures and concepts. So this I think contradicts Bookworm's point that Narnia was "pure allegorical Christianity".

[quote:39qtk382][b:39qtk382]Eldorion:[/b:39qtk382]
Narnia was really quite over-the-top with its Christian messages and allegory. The first time I read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe I was 10 so a lot of it went over my head, but a re-reading a few years later left me soured. I could barely get through Prince Caspian with all the heavy-handed preachiness, not to mention that I found the message (love/follow God more than your family) to be sickening.[/quote:39qtk382]

I thoroughly disagree about Narnia being "quite over-the-top with its Christian messages and allegory" Eldo. It's true that Lewis hoped to "smuggle" values and concepts that he believed to be Christian past the "Watchful Dragons" of a child's intellect. But Lewis's own innately Pagan world-view saw to it that what he actually "smuggled" in was decidedly Pagan, and indeed largely Universal.

Odo is quite correct to point out that Christianity (particularly Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox, and Gnosticism) itself is quite a Pagan religion, which is one aspect of the move for Reformation by many Protestant denominations. By choosing the Lion Aslan as his Christ-figure, Lewis was hearkening back to the pre-Christian Solar Deities who died Midwinter and were resurrected in Spring. Which is the Mythology Christianity drew from to begin with.

I wrote the following article some years ago and it is due for some revision and expansion. I wrote it to demonstrate that Lewis was at the very least an Inclusivist who held to a Pagan-influenced form of Christianity. Nowadays I would go much further. Many of his books including [i:39qtk382]The Abolition of Man[/i:39qtk382], and even [i:39qtk382]Mere Christianity[/i:39qtk382] demonstrate that at heart (if not always in rhetoric) Lewis was a Universalist, and that the Pagan World-View was his first love. Today, I would suggest that Lewis saw Christianity through a Pagan Lens "sanctified" by Christ. I believe there is ample evidence to more than suggest that Tolkien was of Like Mind.

[color=#FF0000:39qtk382]ARE THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA CHRISTIAN BOOKS?

Clearly, C. S. Lewis was a Christian. Also, it is obvious that he intended The Chronicles of Narnia to reflect Christian themes and ideas. Despite this, he himself did not consider the books to be Christian per se. As some scholars have already pointed out, the Chronicles are not technically allegorical. In fact, Lewis himself, like his friend Tolkien, did not necessarily approve of allegories in some fiction. [Having met at Oxford, Tolkien was perhaps his closest friend and colleague, although their relationship cooled later in their lives. They were both members of the informal literary discussion group known as the Inklings.] It is apparent; however, that some allegory did indeed slip into his books. The most obvious example is Aslan who represents a Christ-like figure. As noted by others, this is not a strictly one to one relationship.

I should note at this point that Lewis was an Anglican in mid 20th century Britain. He was not, by modern American standards, a fundamentalist in any way. His views were nuanced and scholarly, and today in America they might be seen as liberal (though in his time and place they were considered conservative). He did not believe in bullying people into Christianity but gently leading them to Christ through example. His intent then was to use the fairy tale as a didactic device to teach young people in particular the values he believed were Christian.

Lewis had, in fact, been an atheist since his mother’s death and was brought back to Christianity by Tolkien, who was a Catholic and had for a long time been extremely bothered by what he perceived as Lewis's Anti-Catholicism. It is somewhat ironic then that he became a much more fervent promoter of Christianity than Tolkien and odder still that they would both write literature that greatly inspired a neo-pagan revival during the 1960s cultural-revolution that would last until today.

I return now to the question of whether The Chronicles of Narnia are, in fact, “Christian” books. In a word—no—neither by intent or allegory. But this is not the end of the story, for lurking in Lewis’s subconscious we find a passionate pagan that is revealed through a closer reading of the books. First, there is the obvious: he stuffed his fairy tale with characters from Greco-Roman mythology, and also from Celtic and Norse pre-Christian traditions.

Deeper still, an animistic spirit thrives in the Chronicles as the trees, stars and rivers are revealed to be sentient beings. Other deities are referred to, from the river god who destroys a bridge that binds his waters, to the slumbering god of time as he lies in the underworld waiting to be released at the end of Narnia.

Nor should we forget the strong feminine presence that shines through the patriarchal shackles of C. S. Lewis’s intellect, as represented by Lucy, Jill, Polly and Aravis. They are in most respects the moral center of the books and closest to Aslan. Furthermore, they easily overshadow the negative representations of women such as the White Witch, the Green Witch, and poor Susan, who seems to get a bum rap.

When we get to The Magician’s Nephew and, especially, The Last Battle, we find the traces of Eastern religious doctrines, notably Hinduism and Buddhism. For example, the wood between the worlds has a remarkably Buddhist flavor. And in the world of Charn we get a sense of deep time that is strikingly Hindu.

But it is in The Last Battle that the Hindu/Buddhist strain of thought leaps off the page in the form of the god Tash, who strongly resembles Shiva the Destroyer. Aslan himself points out to a prince of Calormen that though he worshipped Tash he was in fact a follower of Aslan all along. Perhaps in the same way as the god Krishna is an “avatar” of the supreme god Vishnu in the Hindu pantheon. In fact, it is interesting to note, given Aslan is the central character in the stories, that one of the early incarnations of Vishnu (“The Great Protector”) was the lion-headed god Narasimha (a solar deity like the many other lion associated resurrected sun gods such as Mithra[s]). This is more than suggestive of the Hindu notion that the Creator and the Destroyer are ultimately different aspects of the same being, which is a function of Hindu monism, the highest level of polytheism.

And, finally, in the New Narnia after the destruction of Old Narnia, reality is revealed as multi-dimensional. As Lewis himself describes it “…like layers of an onion” or like a many faceted jewel that infinitely reflects itself. As the Narnians race “further up and further in,” they reach the Garden which contains yet another Narnia even further up and further in. This continues until they see laid out not just another Narnia but also beyond to our own world and another England further up and further in … whew … exhausting and exhilarating—and existentially Buddhist.

In closing, yes there are Christian themes in the Chronicles of Narnia, but they are a pagan-influenced Christianity that reveals not just the hidden yearning of C. S. Lewis but, as the continuing popularity of the books attest to, a hidden longing in all of us for magic—the magical world-view of animism—and enlightenment; a chance to reach Nirvana and pull back the veil of the world for all of us to see the utmost realm, or, if you will, the Void which contains all realities within, i. e., not “Christian” in a sense that many Christians today would recognize or acknowledge.

Finis[/color:39qtk382]

[quote:39qtk382][b:39qtk382]Eldorion:[/b:39qtk382]
I could barely get through Prince Caspian with all the heavy-handed preachiness, not to mention that I found the message (love/follow God more than your family) to be sickening.[/quote:39qtk382]

I am not certain to what "heavy handed preachiness" you are referring to. Prince Caspian contains some of the most Pagan elements in the series, including quite an extraordinary Bacchanal. I also don't see where you get the message to love God more than Family from (at least in regards to Prince Caspian). And it is always worth seeing Christ's own admonitions for his followers to give up their families in the Cultural Revolutionary context of His preaching.

This admonition can be viewed as an instruction to throw off the Cultural Ideologies of His day in order for a clearer view of One's relationship to Spirit, much like a Buddhist preaches detachment to liberate One-self from the shackles of One's own presuppositions.


[b:39qtk382]GB[/b:39qtk382]
[quote="ady":1mkniibk]If I remember correctly Tolkien thought Lewis had over done the Christian messages in Narnia.

A bit ironic really as it was Tolkien who converted Lewis to Christianity and then gets upset when he starts beating the religious drum.

I'll do some digging and see if I can find the reference.[/quote:1mkniibk]

I believe the real issue for Tolkien was that he DETESTED allegory as a literary device. Narnia was pure allegorical Christianity.
Perhaps there was some allegory in Narnia - but it was not always close [i:u5l8xlpy]allegory[/i:u5l8xlpy], alllegory NOT very [i:u5l8xlpy]applicable [/i:u5l8xlpy]to Christianity. Narnia is a very Pagan work. Mind you, I find Christianity very Pagan anyhow, so maybe his [i:u5l8xlpy]allegory [/i:u5l8xlpy]was [i:u5l8xlpy]applicable[/i:u5l8xlpy] after all. Myth? Religion? Esoterica? It's all good fun providing one doesn't believe too much in it. Suspension of disbelief (faith) in books (and only in books and other forms of escapism) is fun, don't you think? Shame Tolkien got so touchy about Lewis. They once were friends.
Narnia was really quite over-the-top with its Christian messages and allegory. The first time I read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe I was 10 so a lot of it went over my head, but a re-reading a few years later left me soured. I could barely get through Prince Caspian with all the heavy-handed preachiness, not to mention that I found the message (love/follow God more than your family) to be sickening.
Religion, a trick of the priesthood to keep a hold of the gullable. (kal Zackath in David Eddings Belgariad)
Well, its easy to be allegorical when using Biblical stories (they are the most popular). I feel that the reason Tolkien despises allegories so much is becuase that they make "hidden" messages too blatantly obvious. It's insulting to the reader's intelligence and unoriginal. That's why, for example, Tolkien created 3 characters who were much like Jesus Christ. Frodo because he was the least likely to destroy all evil, Aragorn because he was hunted from birth, an outcast, and looked down upon, and Gandalf because he resurrected into a more divine being. I think Tolkien would have denied this because he didn't want people making comparisons, he wanted them to enjoy the characters and stories for what they were, not what they were like.
While those characters have Christ-like qualities, I don't know if Tolkien had Christ in mind when he was creating them. For instance, Gandalf's death and resurrection bears a far stronger resemblance to that of Odin/Woden in Norse mythology than it does to Christ's. There are many pagan, especially Norse, ideas in TLotR, perhaps even more than there are Christian ones. I wouldn't know how to measure that, though I feel that the pagan ones are more obvious.
And to me, the Christian ones were more obvious. I guess that's what I was trying to say, he didn't use allegory because he probably wanted people to make the connections that were relevant to their culture and beliefs. Such a brilliant man!!!! :mrgreen: What a way to tell a story!
[quote="Tinuviel":1sel666v]I guess that's what I was trying to say, he didn't use allegory because he probably wanted people to make the connections that were relevant to their culture and beliefs[/quote:1sel666v]

Agreed. Tolkien himself referred to such reading of messages into the story as applicability since it was done by the reader, but consciously avoided explicit messages - allegory - on the part of the author. One can find all sorts of messages and themes in TLotR, or they can just find an entertaining story. :mrgreen:
How perfect!!!! If only the rest of the world could put the whole "nerd" cliche behind them and READ THESE BOOKS!!!!!
So I completely lost track of this thread. :roll:

[quote="Gandalfs Beard":fvuy7qtg]Odo is quite correct to point out that Christianity (particularly Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox, and Gnosticism) itself is quite a Pagan religion, which is one aspect of the move for Reformation by many Protestant denominations. By choosing the Lion Aslan as his Christ-figure, Lewis was hearkening back to the pre-Christian Solar Deities who died Midwinter and were resurrected in Spring. Which is the Mythology Christianity drew from to begin with.[/quote:fvuy7qtg]

Perhaps allegory was not the best choice of word, but I felt that Lewis was fairly blatant in the Christian messages that he inserted into his works. I'm not a big Lewis fan in general so I haven't read most of his works and don't know much about his thoughts, but that's what I got out of it. You're certainly correct that he included non-Christian elements in his stories and world though, even I can see that.

[quote:fvuy7qtg]I am not certain to what "heavy handed preachiness" you are referring to. Prince Caspian contains some of the most Pagan elements in the series, including quite an extraordinary Bacchanal. I also don't see where you get the message to love God more than Family from (at least in regards to Prince Caspian). And it is always worth seeing Christ's own admonitions for his followers to give up their families in the Cultural Revolutionary context of His preaching.[/quote:fvuy7qtg]

It's been a while since I've read [i:fvuy7qtg]Prince Caspian[/i:fvuy7qtg], but I was referring to the implication that Lucy should have left her siblings behind and followed after Aslan on her own. If I recall correctly Aslan acts quite disappointed in her for showing solidarity to her family instead of following him. Since Aslan is of course God, or more specifically, Jesus, I found this to be a thinly-veiled way of saying that following God was more important than helping your closest family members. I simply find the idea of turning your back on your family for any religion to be repugnant and cult-like.

[quote:fvuy7qtg]This admonition can be viewed as an instruction to throw off the Cultural Ideologies of His day in order for a clearer view of One's relationship to Spirit, much like a Buddhist preaches detachment to liberate One-self from the shackles of One's own presuppositions. [/quote:fvuy7qtg]

I suppose it can, though I was reading it in a decidedly more literal and less symbolical sense.

P.S. What are you talking about, avaiftema? :?
Actually, I think Odo was using the terms "conservative" and "liberal" to refer more to their approach to writing. Tolkien aimed more for a "traditional" style of storytelling, while Lewis tended towards a style which interjected the author more into the tale (see Lemony Snicket series for example of a good parody of that style of writing).

When it came to politics, Lewis and Tolkien were both moderately Conservative for their time and place (though they also both held some views, particularly regarding the Environment and Ecology, that were decidedly Progressive by modern standards--i.e. "Treehuggers" <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> ), but when it came to their THEOLOGY they were both quite "Liberal", with Lewis being the more "Radical" of the two.

[b:3odwyjjr]GB[/b:3odwyjjr]
C.S. Lewis was a great borrower. Myth, legend and fairytales were the mine of human experience and imagination he borrowed from. He added some of his own experience and imagination, but of course! He chose what he liked or what he thought worked and put it into his text, weaving his story even as he wrote from what I can tell. Most of the time he was not particularly meticulous about how he went about writing his Narnia books. Where he tried to match things up properly, he largely failed - I cite THE LAST BATTLE, where he tried to craft jigsaw pieces to finish the Narnia jigsaw puzzle. Narnia wasn't a jigsaw puzzle to begin with - he only later tried to make it one.

The reason The Hobbit is so effective is because it inhabits its own universe too. When Tolkien tried to make it fit into a later jigsaw puzzle. Things got awkward for him later and so, in his Mature Wisdom, he decided he should change it. You all know he gave up. Let's face it, if it's not broke, why fix it? That's the main reason THE LAST BATTLE fails too. With jigsaws, you make a picture, chop it up, and then have fun putting it back together. A fun process (for some) but the Silmarillion, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are not (the one) jigsaw puzzle. They strongly resist any efforts to make it one jigsaw puzzle! (Yes, three jigsaws of a London Scene, as an example, may have many features in common, and be of the same era, but the the three interpretations of that London will be quite different to each other - or they'd be copies, not separate puzzles). What jigsaw puzzle maker would try to fashion all three into one cohesive picture? I mean, why would you even try?

We must face the fact that the strongest drive in writing the Narnia books was C S Lewis's sheer pleasure in story making. He wanted to write stories he wanted to read! Any allegory or applicability to be derived from the books is purely incidental - and any Religio/Political inferences are only important to ideologues, whether Religious or Atheistic (or Feminist for that matter!) C.S. Lewis was a story teller for goodness sake, he just happened to believe he was a Christian, what brand exactly is hard to say: C.S. Lewis Brand might have to do! His personal form of Christianity was a curious story in itself. Maybe he just lived in a Fantasy Realm fullstop - God bless him... I hope so :ugeek: What DO they teach children in schools nowadays!?
I can't really imagine Tolkien and Lewis writing together. They were very different. T was largely a conservative meticulous writer and Lewis more liberal and often slapdash in his approach. Both shared powerful imaginations and a love of myth and legend, but otherwise their sensibilities were quite different, which probably explains their later drifting apart. I hasten to add, Tolkien was not always Conservative in his ideas, nor Lewis Liberal, we know they were complex men, but I think what I said about them above is true enough in general terms. They could never have successfully written together.
I think they would have written great books together. It is sad they never did. If they had been successful young enough to devote more time to writing when they were young, they probably would have had time to write together. As I said, it would have been great if they had. But I do agree with Odo that it was sad they stopped being friends. I don't agree you could call either of them a Tory or a Liberal though. They were clearly apolitical to a large extent. Odo's theory does not stand up I feel.
What was CS Lewis interjecting, GB? :? Actually, I'm not sure if I did mean what you said I meant, but as you appear to be agreeing with me (I think :? ) I'll let it pass. Mr Pilgrim definitely has no idea what I was getting at. And some people are calling [i:2i9fuy01]me[/i:2i9fuy01] a moron! :roll: :lol: Also I don't think Tolkien was a "Tree hugger." I don't think he was against ALL forestry, just stupid forestry. He was a very practical person. He thought that looking after natural resources was just common sense, and yes, that included appreciating Nature like a good conversationist - but he wasn't saying it to be fashionable, or to please Lefties, nor did he frown and beat his chest for the cameras every time a tree was felled. In a word, he was not a "Tree hugger." <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> As to Lewis. I didn't know he was any kind of conservationist - though he was definitely a lively conversationalist. I wonder if that is what you meant, GB? :mrgreen:
They both loved Trees and Nature, and eloquently decried Industrialization's ruination of the Land <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> . Quite AHEAD of their time Eh!

[b:341j0wyu]GB[/b:341j0wyu]
Indeed! <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> They were the days when Conservationist Environmentalists were respectable people, not unshaved undeodorised bisexual hippies! They were better days, indeed!
[quote="Eldorion":hhb7u1e7]I simply find the idea of turning your back on your family for any religion to be repugnant and cult-like.[/quote:hhb7u1e7]

I must admit Eldorion, I feel the same way. I always thought religion was meant to help support families and keep them together.

[quote="Gandalfs Beard":hhb7u1e7]Odo is quite correct to point out that Christianity (particularly Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox, and Gnosticism) itself is quite a Pagan religion, which is one aspect of the move for Reformation by many Protestant denominations. By choosing the Lion Aslan as his Christ-figure, Lewis was hearkening back to the pre-Christian Solar Deities who died Midwinter and were resurrected in Spring. Which is the Mythology Christianity drew from to begin with.[/quote:hhb7u1e7]

I'm not sure Christians would agree with that, Gandalfs Beard. I read somewhere that Christians believe that some forms of Paganism was copied ahead of time from Christianity. It was called "Diabolical Mimicry," or something like that. Satan predicted Christ's coming and so gave his own followers similar ideas so as lead them into Sin.

[quote="Odo Banks":hhb7u1e7]C.S. Lewis was a story teller for goodness sake, he just happened to believe he was a Christian, what brand exactly is hard to say: C.S. Lewis Brand might have to do! His personal form of Christianity was a curious story in itself.[/quote:hhb7u1e7]

Actually, a lot of Christians don't agree with C.S. Lewis's Christian ideas. Some think the Narnia books were Christian works but others see them as almost blasphemous, or at least very casual in their Christianity. :geek: Grey Pilgrim.
I begin to see the light! We have another Christian among us! :lol:
You make it sound like there is something wrong with that. Anyway what beliefs anyone have is their own business, aren't they? If I was a Christian would you automatically think less of me? Grey Pilgrim
I judge people on the merit of what they say, not on their beliefs, Mr Pilgrim. I don't think all Christian beliefs are stupid.
Just [i:18bn7fwv]most [/i:18bn7fwv]of them? :lol:
I didn't say it and I don't think it, Mr Pilgrim.
You might have fooled me. But let's just agree to disagree. This discussion is going nowhere. <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' />
At last! You're making some sense, Mr Pilgrim! And I'll try not to make any jokes when you're around in future as you seem unable to detect them. Maybe you [i:3ph1vsuo]are[/i:3ph1vsuo] a Christian! :lol: :lol: :lol: <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />
Well it seems you must have the last word on this then, Odo. It seems that if someone has any sort of debate with you and you cannot think of a way to combat them with logic you start making jokes. You don't offend me by doing it, but you should be careful because maybe not everyone will understand what you are doing. <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> Grey Pilgrim.
Now that's a cunning ploy, Mr Pilgrim!!! By accusing me of always having the last word you try to bully me into stop talking at all. You've won then! :roll: But, no, I won't stop talking just because of some cunning ploy of yours. :lol: Look. You can say what you want and I'll say what I want. I think you're blowing things out of proportion. There's no need for you to get uppity over this. It's a bit sad you haven't got much of a sense of humour ( :lol: ) but surely that's not [i:2vhvpifc]my[/i:2vhvpifc] fault! ( :lol: :lol: )
I'll settle this by having the last word meself :mrgreen: .

I don't doubt that most Christians would disagree with many of the points I raised. Still, it's indisputable that many of the elements of Christianity can be found in many other PRE-Christian Pagan religions. Tolkien and Lewis were both QUITE aware of this fact as it was a major part of their Scholarship as Professors of Mythology and Medievalism.

Before I continue, I should let you know where I'm coming from. I'm an Agnostic with Spiritual leanings. In other words, I thing that there MAY be some sort of Universal Sentient Spirit (or Spirits) or something of the sort underlying Reality, but I know it's not provable, nor do I think any one religion holds all the answers, though they may hold some "truths", particularly if not taken literally. Yet I am as fascinated by the world's various Mythologies and Philosophies, as I am with a Scientific understanding of the Universe. It is my considered opinion (as I believe it was for Lewis and Tolkien) that Reason must be tempered with Imagination, and that a Mythic view of the World is as important to finding our place in it as is a Scientific Understanding (if not on occasion even more important).

It's quite true that some Christians view Tolkien and Lewis as Dangerous Occultists, even Satanists, for having borderline Universalist views of Christianity. Obviously I couldn't possibly agree with THAT position. Yet nor do I skim over their clearly Mythopoetic, and even Pagan contexts for Christianity (or Christian Contexts for Paganism if it suits you better <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> ).

Grey Pilgrim, I posted a section of some of my research regarding Tolkien and Lewis's perceptions of Christianity on the first page of this thread (highlighted in Red Font). I'd be interested in discussing this some more with you after you've read it.

[b:3epg1ifh]GB[/b:3epg1ifh]
Thanks for a serious discusson, Gandalfs Beard. I'm not saying Odo is a moron but he does seem to use this forum as somewhere to have fun and joke around in. I'm not saying he shouldn't take that approach, but it's not wholly my cup of tea. I like to be serious too. Am I a bit too respectable, who knows? :lol: I have read quite a lot of your stuff, Gandalfs Beard, and I can see the Agnostic viewpoint you are coming from. I will reread your earlier post on this thread, but from memory I think I agreed with most of what you said, so whether we will get a [i:2im1cr1l]discussion [/i:2im1cr1l]or just an [i:2im1cr1l]agreement[/i:2im1cr1l] from it, I am not sure. <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> Grey Pilgrim.
This is sort of a response to the bolded red text on the front page, and the discussion going on at hand between [b:2xshxqo8]GB[/b:2xshxqo8] and [b:2xshxqo8]Pilgrim[/b:2xshxqo8].

Tolkien and his world simply brings wonder, is the best way I can state it. It is odd, because one side of me wants to firmly state that man can achieve and know all through reason and logic, and that through science, we can come to amazing things, perhaps even the expulsion of evil. This half of me is worried about this world, however, and does not know what we are going to do with ourselves; if soon chaos shall reign over this world of our's, and all traces of civility gone.

This side of myself welcomes no silliness, and is obviously outrageously modernist. Myths are not welcome here. What is this God, I wonder, that lets terror reign in His world of beloved Children? Why should I believe in something that I can neither feel, nor taste, nor see, nor hear? No one can prove this God, and He refuses to reveal Himself... though I suppose I do not have such evidence to claim that there is indeed no God. I suppose I shall simply be Agnostic. Hrm! I need a moral code, you say? Well, well, Confucianism, then. Heaven and religion are simply comforts for those who have no knowledge, and were created in a time when people had almost no idea about the world around them, and needed some sort of explanation.

The other side of me... it does not care. Why do we debate over these things that we really do not know? Let's simply have cheer and drink and music! It delights in merriment, it revels in nostalgia and fine summer evenings and beautiful music, and wonders how Men have gotten such an appreciation for such things in the first place. It entertains tales of fantasy and myths more than often... unexplainable thoughts occur here, memories spring up on moment's notice. Tolkien is exalted to nearly a God-like figure, who brings fantasy to reality... Which way is the road to Heaven, I wonder? Heaven must indeed be a beautiful, just as Gandalf describes it. Perhaps... simply good people go to Heaven, as Gandalf seems to say, into the West.

There can not be such greatness in the world without it leading to an even greater End. There has to be some End of Time, doesn't there? This side wonders of the world of the past. Perhaps there were such things as Hobbits? Is there proof to not be such? Is there a sort of... world that is created through Tolkien's writings and imagination? Is there such a realm where things are actually in existence through one's own imagination? This side of me believes that good shall always triumph over the ways of Evil, and that justice, even if perhaps "divine" shall be dealt, instead of a reign of a terror.

I always seem to ramble like this, but, I do believe that [i:2xshxqo8]most[/i:2xshxqo8] people have each of these sides to them, no matter how large or small either of the sides is, interchanging some of my own thoughts and ideas for others.

Some things in this world are simply beautiful and cannot be explained... Tolkien portrays and addresses these rare occasions in a way that had not been done before, and in doing so, created one of these rare occasions himself.
I have a simple question for you which will help me set your pleasant ramblings into a frame of sorts, Mr Durin. Are you a Christian?
[quote="Odo Banks":2b3bhpmz]I have a simple question for you which will help me set your pleasant ramblings into a frame of sorts, Mr Durin. Are you a Christian?[/quote:2b3bhpmz]

I get this question most every time I post somewhere. :lol:

Why no, I am not a Christian.

I've been on the fence about a lot of things lately, but I continue to label myself as a Confucian-Based Ethics Agnostic. <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />
Thanks for that. A mate of Gandalfs Beard and Grey Pilgrim. That's okay. I'm a will-o-the-wisp myself. I don't mind what anyone is, it's just nice to have an idea what I am dealing with. Cheers! <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' />
What if Tolkien wrote with Lewis Carroll? Now, that [i:2a337cnk]would[/i:2a337cnk] be interesting!
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