J. R. R. Tolkien: Myth, Morality and Religion

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Overview

Here is an in-depth look at the role myth, mortality, and religion play in J.R.R. Tolkien's works such as The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and the Silmarillian - including Tolkien's private letters and revealing opinions of his own work. Richard L. Purtill argues that Tolkien's ability to touch his readers' lives through his storytelling - so unlike much modern literature - accounts for his enormous literary success.

The book demonstrates the moral depth in Tolkien's work and ...

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J.R.R. Tolkien: Myth, Morality, and Religion

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Overview

Here is an in-depth look at the role myth, mortality, and religion play in J.R.R. Tolkien's works such as The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and the Silmarillian - including Tolkien's private letters and revealing opinions of his own work. Richard L. Purtill argues that Tolkien's ability to touch his readers' lives through his storytelling - so unlike much modern literature - accounts for his enormous literary success.

The book demonstrates the moral depth in Tolkien's work and cuts through current subjectivism and cynicism about morality. A careful reader will find a subtle religious dimension to Tolkien's work - all the more potent because it is below the surface.

Purtill reveals that the author's fantasy stories creatively incorporate profound religious and ethical ideas. For example, Purtill shows us how hobbits reflect both the pettiness of unimaginative parochial humanity and the unexpected heroism of ordinary people in crisis.

Purtill effectively addresses larger issues of the place of myth, the relation of religion and morality to literature, the relation of Tolkien's work to traditional mythology, modern fantasy and science fiction, and the lessons Tolkien's work teaches that are applicable to our own lives.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060667122
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/1/1984
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 176

Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
1 The Dimensions of Myth 1
2 Three Faces of Myth 23
3 Myth and Story 39
4 Hobbits and Heroism 59
5 Beyond Heroism 79
6 Elves and Others 101
7 Tolkien's Creation Myth 119
8 Magic and Miracle in Middle-earth 139
9 Frodo, Feanor, and Free Will 157
10 The Sudden Joyous Turn 175
Acknowledgments 193
Index 195
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