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The gospel according to Tolkien : visions of the kingdom in Middle-Earth / Ralph C. Wood.

By: Wood, Ralph C.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: Louisville, Ky. : Westminster John Knox Press, c2003Edition: 1st ed.Description: xi, 169 p. ; 22 cm.ISBN: 0664226108 (alk. paper); 9780664226107 (alk. paper).Subject(s): Tolkien, J. R. R. (John Ronald Reuel), 1892-1973. Lord of the rings | Tolkien, J. R. R. (John Ronald Reuel), 1892-1973 -- Religion | Christianity and literature -- England -- History -- 20th century | Christian fiction, English -- History and criticism | Fantasy fiction, English -- History and criticism | Christian ethics in literature | Middle Earth (Imaginary place) | Religion in literatureDDC classification: 823/.912 LOC classification: PR6039.O32 | L6386 2003
Contents:
Preface -- Introduction -- Great symphony of the creation -- Calamity of evil : the marring of the divine harmony -- Counter-action to evil : Tolkien's vision of the moral life -- Lasting corrective : Tolkien's vision of the redeemed life -- Consummation : when Middle-earth shall be unmarred.
Summary: : In this accessible and engaging book, Ralph Wood shows us that J.R.R. Tolkien's masterpiece is a deeply Christian work because it does not blink back the horrors of our terrible times but confronts them with startling honesty. Readers keep turning to this work because here they are immersed in significance and meaning - perceiving the Hope than can be found amidst despair; the Charity that overcomes vengeance; and the Faith that springs from the strange power of weakness. The Gospel According to Tolkien will be loved by both longtime Tolkien fans and those recently drawn to his books through the popular feature films.
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Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
PR6039 .O32 L6386 2003 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001731223

Preface -- Introduction -- Great symphony of the creation -- Calamity of evil : the marring of the divine harmony -- Counter-action to evil : Tolkien's vision of the moral life -- Lasting corrective : Tolkien's vision of the redeemed life -- Consummation : when Middle-earth shall be unmarred.

Includes bibliographical references (p. 166-167).

: In this accessible and engaging book, Ralph Wood shows us that J.R.R. Tolkien's masterpiece is a deeply Christian work because it does not blink back the horrors of our terrible times but confronts them with startling honesty. Readers keep turning to this work because here they are immersed in significance and meaning - perceiving the Hope than can be found amidst despair; the Charity that overcomes vengeance; and the Faith that springs from the strange power of weakness. The Gospel According to Tolkien will be loved by both longtime Tolkien fans and those recently drawn to his books through the popular feature films.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Now brought to the big screen, J.R.R. Tolkien's three-volume fantasy novel has been continuously popular since its original publication in 1954. A devout Catholic, the Oxford don was at the same time enamored of the ancient Norse pagan tales. While many see the trilogy as simply a pagan story with little or no hint of Christianity, both of these authors argue that the book has a very definite Christian message-a message that Tolkien himself said was fundamental to the work. Wood's (religion, Baylor Univ.) book, which comes from the publisher of several other "Gospel According to" books, argues that Tolkien's is a deeply Christian work, but since Tolkien disliked allegory, the Christian message is seen in the plot and the imagery. He finds in the story portrayals of the traditional Christian virtues of faith, hope, and love and offers a "theological reflection" on the epic, concentrating particularly on the question of evil. Dickerson (English, Middlebury Coll.; The Finnsburg Encounter) takes a somewhat less religious approach, focusing more on the moral dimensions of the story and the idea of free will. He argues that Tolkien's interest is in showing that moral victory is more important than military victory and that the novel's greatest heroes are those who remain true to their calling, not those who win battles. He deals with the question of religion only at the end. Both authors consider book and film, and both have a more ecumenical perspective than does Bradley Birzer in J.R.R. Tolkien's Sanctifying Myth, which takes a more Catholic approach. Given what is sure to be a renewed interest in Tolkien's epic, both would be worthwhile purchases for all libraries.-Augustine J. Curley, Newark Abbey, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Ralph C. Wood is University Professor of Theology and Literature at Baylor University

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