J.R.R. Tolkien was born in January, 1982. He held many jobs throughout his life, including soldier, dictionary writer, and scholar. However, Tolkien is most famous for his work as an author (Lee and Stuart 4-5). One of Tolkien’s most famous works is The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The plot of these books is centered around the journey of the main character, Frodo Baggins, and his attempt to destroy a very powerful Ruling Ring. The Ring has the ability to exploit the hopes, fears, strengths, and weaknesses of its wearers (Harkey). The idea for these novels came from Tolkien’s strong passion for the Catholic religion. Catholic and Christian imagery are used throughout the Lord of the Rings series (Johnston 2). Tolkien himself claimed that “The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision” (Bowling).
Tolkien’s goal in writing The Lord of the Rings was to represent eternal truths in a way that the ubiquitousness of them could be made apparent. The setting of The Lord of the Rings, called Middle-Earth, provides a setting in which religious elements can be seen in a world much different than that of the reader. This allows universal truths of Christianity to be displayed (Bowling). However, Tolkien never directly referenced religion in The Lord of the Rings. Fiction writer Stephen Lawhead said, “What an extraordinary thing, I thought; though Tolkien makes never so much as a glancing reference to Jesus Christ in a single paragraph of all The Lord of the Rings’ thick volumes, His face is glimpsed on virtually every page’’ (Johnston 2). His deep understanding of the Catholic faith and Christianity allowed him to express religious ideals...
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...fore the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic ‘progress’ leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil” (Pettinger). Tolkien successfully incorporated Christian ideals into his writing, using many symbolic elements and characters to represent aspects of the Christian faith. Tolkien’s colleague, George Sayer, also remarked that “The Lord of the Rings would have been very different, and the writing of it very difficult, if Tolkien hadn’t been a Christian. He thought it a profoundly Christian book (Johnston 2). Tolkien’s great knowledge of Christianity is displayed in The Lord of the Rings trilogy through his ability to infuse it with Christianity without actually referencing the religion. Every scene of The Lord of the Rings is filled with vivid religious imagery.
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