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  • Refining the Focus on Faculty Diversity in Postsecondary Institutions: New Directions for Institutional Research, Number 155 (J-B IR Single Issue Institutional Research);
  • Tolkien's Catholic Imagination.
  • News and Events.
  • Description;
  • Chronicles of Heaven Unshackled.

Learn how your comment data is processed. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Start the Journey! Click Here! Exploring the mystical and rational while expanding common spiritual ground among caring people. An exploration of the story arc and its deeper meanings from ancient epic tales to contemporary literature, film, and television. Lewis, J. Tolkien, and the Inklings.

Skip to content. Home About. Like this: Like Loading Tolkien, and the worlds they touched. This blog includes my thoughts as I read through Lewis and Tolkien and reflect on my own life and culture. I am often peeking inside of wardrobes, looking for magic bricks in urban alleys, or rooting through yard sale boxes for old rings. Brenton Dickieson is a father, husband, friend, university lecturer, and freelance writer from Prince Edward Island, Canada.

A First Step Outwards

You can follow him on Twitter, BrentonDana. Bookmark the permalink. July 3, at pm. David Llewellyn Dodds says:.

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Brenton Dickieson says:. July 5, at pm. Hannah says:. July 7, at am. July 9, at pm. July 11, at am. July 4, at pm. Bookstooge says:. I appreciate that in a book… Like Liked by 1 person. Are you thinking of reading fiction or nonfiction first? Cool, good luck! Smith says:. Indeed we do!

J.R.R. Tolkien, Catholicism and the Use of Allegory

Sayers and who knows how many other famous people in the line of work he might have a Wikipedia article, and indeed a biography… Like Like. July 10, at am. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:. Email required Address never made public. Name required.

Get Pilgrim Posts in Your Inbox Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Join 7, other followers Start the Journey! Like us on Facebook. Lewis Death Dorothy L. Good stories and poetry can help us to see more clearly when we close the book and re-enter ordinary life. The words that we use to talk about the faith often do not mean what we think they mean, to our hearers.

J.R.R. Tolkien: The man behind the Hobbits

A young atheist who has been reading Dawkins and Dennet and Hitchens, and who has perhaps been exposed to the more shallow and sentimentalized expressions of Christian faith, does not understand what we mean by words like God, faith, prayer, resurrection, and so on. What he needs is to see the idea afresh. Otherwise they will just be counters in an intellectual game, leaving most readers cold. A reader who is moved by the self-sacrifice of Frodo and the kingliness of Aragorn is equipped to respond more immediately, more intuitively, to ideas of sacrifice and redemption, and to the image of Christ the King when they hear them in Scripture.

Tolkien shows us how a story can help to r e c ov e r meaning for words and ideas that are vitally important for apologetics. The second function of fantasy, Tolkien argues, is Escape. However, this objection does not hold water. Fantasy can be escapist in the negative sense, to be sure — but it would be a feature of b a d fantasy, as it is a feature of bad literature of any genre or bad art in any form.

As Tolkien puts it:. Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if, when he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls? The world outside has not become less real because the prisoner cannot see it. Furthermore, to escape means to recognize both something negative to be escaped f ro m , and something positive to be escaped i nt o — and so the experience of fantasy is in a constant dialogue with reality both as it is and as it could or should be.

Tolkien argues that the response we have to a happy ending is in fact a pointer toward the truth of the gospel. We live in a broken, fallen world, and we suffer the effects of sin. Any presentation of the gospel that tries to skip over that reality will end up being trite, shallow, and ultimately both unattractive and unconvincing.

The problem of evil is one of the most commonly cited objections to Christianity. How can it be that a loving God would allow for atrocities, natural disasters, violence and oppression? Christian popular fiction has a different problem: too often, it presents the faith in a sentimentalized way, afraid to tackle difficult questions or present a nuanced picture of reality : the equivalent in fiction and film of Thomas Kincade paintings, and about as artistically compelling. In contrast, secular literature, and even more so film and television, tends to the bleak and dystopian, and is morally unmoored.

The result is that we see two extremes: a dark relentless focus on the brokenness of the world, or a sentimental, simplistic treatment that denies the brokenness of the world. If we move too quickly to assertions of faith, either intellectual or emotional, then we can fall into the trap of either cold intellectual arrogance or unbelievable, sentimental piety. We must recognize the reality of darkness and suffering , and the difficulties that surround faith in our culture today, but we cannot stay in that dark place.

Tolkien lost both his parents in childhood; he fought in the trenches of World War I, where most of his close friends were killed; throughout his life, he experienced the strains of ill health and financial worries. Because he knew sorrow, Tolkien could show a convincing Joy : his work rings true.

However, atheists may say, what is the point of a happy ending if it is just made up? Sure, it makes you feel good for a moment, but it does not change the truth. The whole Christian story is just wishful thinking. Not so fast. Tolkien considers the question: why do we have this lifting of the heart at the happy ending? Could it be because at a fundamental level, it really is true, and we are catching a glimpse of it? That, in fact, is exactly what Tolkien argues.

By Lynn Forrest-Hill. Auden, W. Personal reality consists of a series of choices. Topics supported: relevance, quest, nature of hero, predestination vs. Isaacs and Rose A. Auden identifies what qualifies as a True Quest. He claims man needs both the Road a quest, the future, experiences we have not yet had and the City home, the past. He delineates essential elements of the quest, two types of quest heroes, and several variants on the quest story. He differentiates between the dream world and the imaginary world.

Barfield, Owen. Poetic Diction.

Barfield was a member of the Inklings and thus influential as much as anyone could be on Tolkien. He believed that meaning was made through poetry, with the original creation of a metaphor. He said that secondary imagination poetry makes meaning while primary forms themselves make things. He revered the Romantic poets, was anti-Behavioral, anti-scientism.

Beare, Rhona. Benvenuto, Maria Raffaella. Blumberg, Janet Leslie. By John G. Seattle : Inkling Books, The Fellowship is like the hearth companions of Anglo Saxons. Anglo-Saxon literature anticipated defeat in the last battle [the declining world view]. He discusses the influence of elegiac poetry from that time period. He falls into preachiness, but also acknowledges the special significance of Tree in Anglo-Saxon literature. The poetry in The Lord of the Rings based on Germanic strong-stress meter, contrasts the fatalism of the Nordic world that believes a strong evil will ultimately defeat good with the Christian view of a good God creating all or dualism that suggests good and evil are matched.

He also says the high medieval influences were the Pearl and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight , and also the medieval world view including courtly love. He discusses the sea as metaphor from Old English poetry of desire beyond this world for Christians, heaven. Burke, Jessica. Whither Wander You? By Janet Brennan Croft. Jefferson , NC : McFarland, Burns, Marjorie. Tolkien: The British and the Norse in Tension.

Caldecott, Stratford. Ed by Stratford Caldecott and Thomas Honegger. Caldecott, Stratford , and Thomas Honegger, eds. Candler, Peter M. Carpenter, Humphrey. The Letters of J.

Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, Of most interest to the subject of creativity would be letters 89, 94, , and He also discusses the importance of literature in making sense of the modern world. Castaldo, Annalisa. Cooper, Susan. Crabbe, Katharyn F. He explores the nature of good and evil and heroism. He labels Bilbo as a low-mimetic hero inferior to his environment and connects both Bilbo and Gandalf to Christ in their willingness to return to the Misty Mountains after escaping to try to rescue others.

On the issue of predestination vs. As a hero, Bilbo matures into the role of leader, not loner, and eventually acknowledges responsibility to a wider world. Crabbe explains how Bilbo as a hero initiates actions does not just react and also goes on even without hope. Bard is compared to Aragorn as high-mimetic hero.

Larger Work

Croft, Janet Brennan. Croft, Janet Brennan, ed. Tolkien and Shakespeare. Cunningham, Michael. Curry, Patrick. He discusses the durability of hobbits, calls Sam the most genuine hobbit of the tales.

He says Tolkien created a pastoral ideal but not always completely flattering. Hobbits are modern in important ways and need to be for us to associate with them. He presents criticisms of Tolkien—class snobbery or racism and that characters are too easily divided into good and evil. Topics supported: character of hobbits, Sam as real hero.

Dearborn, Kerry L. Dearborn discusses how Tolkien awakens wonder in the reader. Devaux, Michael. Dickerson, Matthew, and Jonathan Evans. Drout, Michael. Dubs, Kathleen E. Evans, Robley. Stories touch our emotions in ways philosophical tracts address only the intellect. Evans claims Tolkien emphasizes feeling over reason against modern sensibility but in keeping with Western Tradition.

However, Tolkien also says society is worth saving. Fahraeus, Anna. Fimi, Dimitra. Fisher, Jason. Flieger, Verlyn. Forrest-Hill, Lynn.

Index:Writings by year

Forest-Hill, Lynn. Forest-Hill, Lynn, ed. Newcastle upon Tyne , England : Cambridge Scholars, Fuller, Edmund. Tolkien has the ability to evoke terror and horror or laughter and joy. He claims that The Lord of the Rings , though not religious, is nevertheless theological, exemplifying grace and Judeo Christian virtues, using prophesies and their fulfillment as proof of the involvement of a Supreme Being. Garth, John. Gasque, Thomas J. Tolkien reflects the 20 th Century with cynicism and depression.

He analyzes the changes in the elves, goblins to orcs between Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. He also says Bombadil is an unbelievable character, but the Balrog and Shelob, especially since they are unaffected by the Ring, are wonderful. Gollum fits the pattern of the wild man like a noble savage , beyond grace and associates him with Merlin.

He also discusses how Tolkien uses or changes traditional fairy creatures. Gehl, Robert.


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  2. The Christian World of the Hobbit;
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  4. Gough, John. Groggans, Phillip. He claims Tolkien denies an existentialistic view. Middle-earth is a world of order; everyone has a purpose. He discusses the issue of freedom and compares Tolkien to Plato. For evil, there is no community. Hawkins, Emma B. Helms, Randel. Hiley, Margaret. Hoeri, Alexandra. Honegger, Thomas. Hooker, Mark T. The Hobbitonian Anthology of Articles about J.

    Tolkien and his Legendarium. Hopkins, Lisa.