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Thread: God in Lord of the Rings

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Well, isn't Eru (Illuvatar) really supposed to be God. I suppose there is one main difference: nowhere in ant of Tolkien's writings is there any mention of the doubt of Eru's existence. It is always said as if he were definitely real, whereas all our religions, to none of which I belong, by the way, are much less definite. Any religious figure would probably say, when asked, that one has to find God within oneself. This is the key difference between whatTolkien created and what many of us believe (sorry if I am in any way out of line here Wink Smilie ).
Tolkien's original aim, when he was young, was to
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...make a body of more or less connected legend, ranging from the large and cosmogonic, to the level of romantic fairy story...which I could dedicate simply to: to England; to my country.
Probably his main reason for aspiring to this was that
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There was...nothing [by way of myth] English. Of course therewas and is all the Arthurian world, but...it is involved in, and explicitly contains, the Christian religion.
Tolkien wanted to create a world without any doubtable religious beliefs as we know them, which is why he all his writings about Eru are made to appear completely true and factual.
Just a thought. Tongue Smilie
Any other views on the matter?
Now that this thread has been brought back to life, here are my 2 cents worth:

Tolkien was a devout Catholic. His religious beliefs led him to create an astoundingly similar "God" figure in the form of Eru. At the same time Tolkien was not attempting to create a religion within LOTR, and he was really trying to create the tales of Middle Earth as a mythology. Hence the reader sees certain religious aspects in his works altered to fit his fantasy world yet retaining a lot of the original characteristics of the religion.

A Christian's belief is that God is an absolute. Whether a person acknowledges His presence or not, He exists. Therefore there is never a point in which there should be "doubt". Likewise, in Tolkien's writings, God (as in Eru) is always written as a definitive, never as a point of doubt.

I don't think that Tolkien ever meant to use his writings as an adaptation of the bible though. Any good Christian who has read the bible will know for a fact that one cannot add or remove a single word from the Word of God without facing His wrath. Tolkien would know that well enough since he was also involved in the translation of the bible. Tolkien was writing a work of fiction, nothing more. Yet in this fictional piece, but of his life and beliefs are deeply imprinted upon it, and readers are able to experience much more than just a literary work, but also a part of Tolkien's life.

Am actually rather keen on expressing opinions on the earlier topics within this thread on the American involvement in foreign affairs, but I don't think I shall unless I get the green light to go ahead. Tongue Smilie
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Am actually rather keen on expressing opinions on the earlier topics within this thread on the American involvement in foreign affairs, but I don't think I shall unless I get the green light to go ahead
We'd rather you didn't, Erkenbrand.

When we made the decision to ban certain topics from the site, we erased most of the ones which fell into those catagories. This one remained because it did have direct relevance to Tolkien. If there are political posts buried within here too, they may be ones which we missed earlier, and if so, it's probably best to keep them buried.

Thanks for not going down those roads without asking first though Smile Smilie
well, have fun all.



[Edited on 21/7/2003 by EvithianEhtmire]
I believe the topic of this thread is "God in The Lord of the Rings", not God in the real, modern world.

In other words, this is a thread to discuss Eru or Illuvatar and his workings in Arda.
oops.my bad. Wink Smilie
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Someone mentioned the film Stigmata. In that film the Gospel of christ was found and it basically said that he didn't belive in organised religion, This is based on a true story as the gospel of christ was found in 1946 and it did say this, the very samee yearr the catholic church classed it as heresy.
Sorry to stray a little from the topic, but is this true?
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Sorry to stray a little from the topic, but is this true?
No, that Gospel wasn't found amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls.
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I believe the topic of this thread is "God in The Lord of the Rings", not God in the real, modern world.
Right! So let's get back to Tolkien and Eru/Iluvatar.
Ok, dont say what i am about to say is straying from the topic, cause well according to this:

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I genuinely don't understand why a lot of people seem to want to see religious metaphors/analogies in books.


it isnt.

ok now this is what i have to say. Why do people tend to connect religon w/ LOTR[or anyother books]? well i am not to sure about any other religon, but if u are a Christian,a real one, then u believe that EVERYTHING serves to The Lords ultimate plan.Even those things not intended to.
i agree whole heartedly with Clyde Kilby, who said this:

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no lover of tolkiens fiction would want it turned into a sermon, no matter how cleverly preached


but what i am saying it is very hard, infact impossible, to read this book and not see how much Tolkien s beliefs infleuneced it.
Its deffentially obvious that Iluvatar is the one god. But as humans call the Ainur gods also, Im thinking that iddle Earth has many diffrent gods. Eru would be the head god like Zeus in Greek religon (or juipter in Roman)
The ainur is definitly based on roman/greek and norse gods )and simmular religions). A war god, a hunting god, smith god..

Manwe and his eagles remind me a lot of Odin (leader of the Norse gods), who gave away one of his eyes to drink from the well of wisdom and has two ravens Hugin and Munin (thought and mind) who bring him news from Middle Earth. Manwe has a direct connection to Eru (the well of wisdom) and his eagles bring news form Middle Earth.

When putting Eru as their creator and boss, he doesn't betray his own belifes on God. I also get the feeling he is sort of explaining later religions (after LOTR time)who have ainur-like gods, that they as time passed just have "forgotten" about Eru. If you know what I mean. I am sure I am reading too much into it, he loved myths and legends and that is why he made the ainur.
I really like the fact that the Valar aren't completely infalliable. The occasional lapse in judgement or almost naive trust in Melkor's early days makes them seem more like the Greek gods of old. Now if only there was more strife, drama, and extracurricular relations involved...
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