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The Lord of the Rings
-A Catholic Epic -
Q:  Did J.R.R. Tolkien believe the Lord of the Rings was a Catholic story?
    A: Bulletin:  November 25th   (a short biography) at  Simple Catholicism.

Q:  What elements of the Lord of the Rings are particularly Catholic?
    A: "J.R.R. Tolkien's Take on the Truth"   by  Zenit.org
              "Catholicism in the Lord of the Rings" on  www.CatholicQandA.com
              "Faith and Fantasy" by Steven D. Greydanus at  DecentFilms.com
             "The Lord of the Rings -- A Catholic View" by Charles A. Coulombe
                    at www.charlescoulombe.com (only the noted page is recommended).

Q:  Are there any important differences in theology and morality between Christian stories like the Lord of the Rings and secular stories like the Harry Potter books?
    A: "Harry Potter:  Agent of Conversion" by Toni Collins at EnvoyMagazine.com

Q:  Does J.R.R. Tolkien define and demonstrate evil from a uniquely Catholic perspective in the Lord of the Rings?
    A: "10 Uncommon Insights on Evil from the Lord of the Rings": by Peter Kreeft at PeterKreeft.com  (the fourth group down on the page.)


Note from the Editor:              

     I first discovered my appreciation for J.R.R. Tolkien after speaking to my college Literature professor about the works of C.S. Lewis.  My wife had just finished reading  Lewis' "Narnia Chronicles" and we were discussing the Christian allegories found within (Aslan the Lion as Christ, etc.).  My professor mentioned to me that Lewis was converted to Christianity by J.R.R. Tolkien, who was his good friend at Oxford.  He explained to me that Tolkien was also a Christian writer--in fact he was a devout Catholic.  I began to remember how my Dad used to read Tolkien's books and how I used to have a t-shirt of the Lord of the Rings animated movie as a kid.  Never before had I heard that Tolkien was Catholic until then; not even from the Catholics I had known.

     One day at work, my friend Kevin (kevpetros) mentioned that director Peter Jackson was planning to release three Lord of the Rings movies.  We began to discuss Tolkien's Catholicism.  Kevin knew much about the story having been a childhood interest of his, but neither of us could find anything obviously Catholic about it.  My wife and I subsequently read the story together, but again, nothing particularly jumped out at me.  Kevin later found an article online that brought the story's Catholic inspiration to light.  Having read the article, I can now see the depth Tolkien's Catholic devotion plays.  Tolkien decided to give the religious elements more depth than Lewis, which was the reason I did not see them before.  And now that my wife and I have seen the newly released film, we both have fallen in love with the Catholic elements of the story.

     Knowing that many others have found the Lord of the Rings to be an inspiring tale, Kevin and I felt the need to share that and other similar articles with everyone online.  I created a bulletin board here, as well, so those interested can share their appreciation.  I hope this topic brings a new appreciation for Tolkien's faith and the Catholic elements of his works.  God bless.

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In Christ,
Steve S. (Abercius24)

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