Tolkien intertwined his religous beliefs in Christ into the books, do you agree it WAS a good idea?

User avatar
Peredhil
Posts: 2167

Tolkien intertwined his religous beliefs in Christ into the books, do you agree it WAS a good idea?

Post#1 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Welcome to Pt #1ElijahLover. :wavehello:

Could you please explain that last post a bit more? I haven't noticed any references, however subtle, to Christ in Tolkien's works, certainly nothing to let others come to know Christ.

Eru and the Valar in Tolkien's world are essentially gods, but their existence is never doubted and is documented as exact history. There is only one basic version of the story of creation in Arda, due to the fact that the early days, and the gods, were witnessed by some Elves, who were of course immortal. This is in contrast with the religions of our world.

Although Tolkien was a devout Catholic, it is debatable whether he intended his world to contain any religion in the true sense of the world, because all the creation stories he wrote were presented as factually as any others. After all, the main reason that he disliked the Arthurian mythology was that
It is involved in, and explicitly contains, the Christian Religion


I personally am not at all religious, simply because there is no proof of the fundament of the majority of religious beliefs. There is no element of doubt on the part of anyone, in Tolkiens stories, regarding the creation of the world and such.

Specific inclusion or reference to any known religion in his works would have greatly lessened their appeal to those not of that persuasion, be it Catholicism or any other.

If you can provide some background information, however, I shall be willing to reconsider my opinion.

See also my post in [url=http://www.planet-tolkien.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=Forum&file=viewthread&fid=25&postThreadID=49&page=6&orderdate=]this thread[/url].nn[Edited on 19/6/2003 by Peredhil]
A mind full of fire and a fistful of steel.

User avatar
valedhelgwath
Posts: 4233

Tolkien intertwined his religous beliefs in Christ into the books, do you agree it WAS a good idea?

Post#2 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Firstly, a big welcome to Planet Tolkien, #1ElijahLover. I hope you have an enjoyable time here.

Secondly, like Peredhil, I do not see any strong links to Christ specifically in his books. Obviously many recognisable religious themes are present, such as the Creation, the Flood, the Exodus etc, as well as ideas from more pagan religions like multiple gods.

Who do you actually see as being Christ in his books, though? Gandalf? Frodo?

:moderator: Thirdly, as religion is one of the banned topics on this site, could anyone posting comments in this thread be very careful to keep their subject material focused entirely within a Tolkien discussion and not wonder off into a discussion about religion in general. :moderator: Thank you.

User avatar
uruk_slayer
Posts: 158

Tolkien intertwined his religous beliefs in Christ into the books, do you agree it WAS a good idea?

Post#3 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Always good to keep a cool head about conversation topics. I myself can't find anything in Tolkien's works to be referencing to Christ either but I'd be interested to learn if there are such themes. Drawing on the most obvious of Biblical references is a good indication of religion in Silmarilion but I don't think I've noticed any others.

#1ElijahLover
Posts: 25

Tolkien intertwined his religous beliefs in Christ into the books, do you agree it WAS a good idea?

Post#4 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

first and formost i am sorry if i have or will offend any one.

"but do you remember gandalf's words:eve gollum may have something yet to do"? [frodo to sam-bookVI, chapter3]
"we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, wh have been called according to his purpose" [Romans 8:28]
connection:even evil must ulitimitly serve God's purpose.

"it must offten be so sam, when things are in danger: some one has to give the up, lose them, so that others might keep them."[frodo to sam-book VI, chapter 9]

"God demonstraights his love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
connection: self sacrifice is the essence of every hero and rthe ultimate means of redemption.

"we always seem to have got lef out of the old list & old stories"[merry to treebeard-bookIII, chapter4]

"the Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, the Lord looks at the heart."[1Samuel16:7]

connection:God offtenuses those we least expect to accomplish hi greatest works.

i will not cotinue this debate on this site, however if you wish to you can e-mail me at Larwenelf@aol.com

Sincerly
#1ElijahLover



User avatar
grondmaster
Posts: 25451

Tolkien intertwined his religous beliefs in Christ into the books, do you agree it WAS a good idea?

Post#6 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Welcome to our forum #1ElijahLover. :happyelf:

The problem with religious discussion is that we Christians in our enthusiasm can be perceived as arrogant and intolerant toward the beliefs of others be they of different denomination, religion, sect, or persuasion, even when our intent is otherwise. The Planet-Tolkien.com Council has thought it best to steer away from such discussions for this reason.

That there are thematic parallels between the written word of Tolkien and passages of the Bible is to be expected, as Joseph Campbell taught us, these thematic parallels can often be found in the great literature of all our world's cultures.

'Share and enjoy'

LadyFeawen
Posts: 1682

Tolkien intertwined his religous beliefs in Christ into the books, do you agree it WAS a good idea?

Post#7 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

*I will be a good girl.......I will not rant & rave.....I will be a good girl...the council members WILL NOT HAVE TO moderate what I say....*

Im glad you think that 1#ElijahLover,but I never read or saw anything in Tolkiens books that talked bout or mentioned Christ.
I was born to catch dragons in their dens
And pick flowers
To tell tales and laugh away the morning
To drift and dream like a lazy stream
And walk barefoot across sunshine days.

User avatar
Elfstone
Posts: 1502

Tolkien intertwined his religous beliefs in Christ into the books, do you agree it WAS a good idea?

Post#8 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Elfstone digs down, and does his best Darth Vader imitation, “Impressive, most impressive!”

First of all great response to this thread Anilorak, you really have been impressing me lately. Not to be lame, but most kids your age, don’t know s*%#! See how much smarter reading Tolkien makes us all!
:P:

Secondly, welcome to PT #1ElijahLover, I hope you stick around!
:happyelf:

I agree with Val that there many recognizable religious themes present (the Creation, the Flood, the Exodus etc..), and Anilorak hit it right on the bull’s-eye as to what Tolkien’s intent was with these themes. I also believe that Tolkien’s Catholic upbringing played a part in this.

Anyway, anyone who is interested should check out the link below as it relates directly to this topic.

http://www.al.com/living/birminghamnews/index.ssf?/xml/story.ssf/html_standard.xsl?/base/living/1056100924322890.xml
:elf:
"I would have the Ring-bearer bring the crown to me, and let Mithrandir set it upon my head, if he will; for he has been the mover of all that has been accomplished, and this is his victory." Elessar

User avatar
rednell
Posts: 1798

Tolkien intertwined his religous beliefs in Christ into the books, do you agree it WAS a good idea?

Post#9 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

First and foremost:
Welcome to PT #1ElijahLover.
I strongly think not only did it give a spritial touch, but i gives a chance for others to come to know Christ. It was and is a good idea.

While it is easy to draw an "allegory" between the events in Middle Earth and the Christian religion it was not a conscious intention of Tolkien's. Being a professeur, Tolkien would have been very aware of critics and academics who would analyse his work, which may be why he was very quick to make the distinction between "allegory" and "applicability". Personally, I perfer "applicability" as it gives the reader the freedom to relate his own values and beliefs, as well as, life expereinces, to The Lord of the Rings. Which has been very nicely explained by Anilorak .
From Letter # 165
I am in any case myself a Christian, but the 'Third Age' was not a Christian world

That is not to say that The Lord of the Rings cannot be used as a source for teaching Christian values. You may be interested in this book
Tolkien's ordinary virtues : exploring the spiritual themes of The lord of the rings by Mark Eddy Smith
It is quite good.
Please do continue to visit us and post. As the other mods have mentioned, we have to be very careful of religious topics because we are a global site and have a very diverse membership.

User avatar
valedhelgwath
Posts: 4233

Tolkien intertwined his religous beliefs in Christ into the books, do you agree it WAS a good idea?

Post#10 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

first and formost i am sorry if i have or will offend any one.
There was no offence caused by your post, #1ElijahLover. In the past, however, I have seen similar threads quickly get out of hand and cause upset to other members. From past experience, I posted my warning to curb any transgressions before they occurred.

I hope we continue to see you here at Planet Tolkien.

Return to “The Author”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests