Gospel According To Tolkien

Gospel According To Tolkien

by Ralph C. Wood
     
 

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"The unearthing in Norfolk of a WWII-era U.S. plane, with its pilot in his seat and a bullet hole in his temple, propels British author Griffiths's well-crafted seventh mystery featuring forensic archeologist Ruth Galloway (after 2014's The Outcast Dead). The pilot is identified as Frederick J. Blackstock, a scion of a prominent Norfolk family, who… See more details below

Overview


"The unearthing in Norfolk of a WWII-era U.S. plane, with its pilot in his seat and a bullet hole in his temple, propels British author Griffiths's well-crafted seventh mystery featuring forensic archeologist Ruth Galloway (after 2014's The Outcast Dead). The pilot is identified as Frederick J. Blackstock, a scion of a prominent Norfolk family, who served in the American air force, though Fred was supposedly lost at sea in a different plane and presumed dead. The decision of an American TV company to do a program about Norfolk's abandoned airfields brings Frank Barker, an academic Ruth was attracted to while working together on an earlier case, back into her life. The arrival of the film company and Fred's American daughter, Nell Blackstock Goodheart, sets the stage for a series of deaths and personal revelations that culminates in Ruth's being trapped in massive Blackstock Hall during a terrible storm. Griffiths nicely blends history and romance with gothic elements."--Publishers Weekly

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Readers and fans of J.R.R. Tolkien have long been aware of the Christian underpinnings of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Still, Tolkien has not been without his religious critics, including those who have read a fascination with paganism into the pre-Christian world of Tolkien's creation. Wood, a professor of theology and literature at Baylor University, responds to those critics with an academically sound retort of "Nonsense!" Acknowledging straight off that Rings is devoid of any traces of "formal religion," Wood offers countless pieces of evidence that support his analysis of the full-fledged, deeply Christian theology of the mythological culture of Middle-earth. And he does so convincingly. Even longtime fans of Rings who have never questioned the books' Christian elements will undoubtedly discover new insights, so rich is Wood's analysis of Tolkien's gospel. But be forewarned: This is not a book for the casual reader. Rather, it is a somewhat scholarly endeavor for those who want a more thorough understanding of the underlying themes that have made The Lord of the Rings novels, as well as Tolkien's other writings, such enduring treasures. Wood teases out those themes-life and death, good and evil, courage and cowardice, mercy and justice and of course, faith, hope, and love-to reveal the faith-filled nature of Tolkien's theocentric and sacramental, albeit fictional, world. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
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 Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780664226107
Publisher:
Westminster John Knox Press
Publication date:
10/31/2003
Series:
The Gospel According To... Series
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
184
Sales rank:
636,565
Product dimensions:
0.42(w) x 5.50(h) x 8.50(d)

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