The Spiritual World of the Hobbit

( 9 )

Overview

Find Wisdom and Inspiration in One of the Greatest Adventures Ever Told

Let this book be your guide as you discover hidden truths embedded in J.R.R. Tolkien's epic adventure. As one of the bestselling books of the last hundred years, and now a blockbuster movie, the magical charm of The Hobbit has delighted millions. But there is a spiritual dimension that will strike an even deeper chord. The Spiritual World of the Hobbit will take you behind the scenes, revealing Tolkien's ...

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The Spiritual World of the Hobbit

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Overview

Find Wisdom and Inspiration in One of the Greatest Adventures Ever Told

Let this book be your guide as you discover hidden truths embedded in J.R.R. Tolkien's epic adventure. As one of the bestselling books of the last hundred years, and now a blockbuster movie, the magical charm of The Hobbit has delighted millions. But there is a spiritual dimension that will strike an even deeper chord. The Spiritual World of the Hobbit will take you behind the scenes, revealing Tolkien's beliefs and motivations. From there it will walk you step-by-step through the story itself, uncovering powerful themes of providence, mercy, and courage that are as important in our own lives today as they were to the hobbits in Middle-Earth.

As you take a closer look at this timeless tale of good vs. evil, you will be filled with wonder once again. For you will see that at the heart of The Hobbit, Tolkien embedded images of faith and spiritual longing that are sure to inspire us all.

"Bell not only navigates the reader capably around the Shire, but also motivates the literary-minded reader to learn more about Middle-earth and its Christian themes." —St. Anthony Messenger

"As a self-proclaimed nerd and fan of all things sci-fi and fantasy, I was excited to read this well-worn, but fresh peek into the world of Tolkein, Bilbo and Gandalf in The Spiritual World of the Hobbit by James Stuart Bell. Each chapter is packed with parallel insight, describing the world of Middle Earth and the spiritual underpinning behind not only how The Hobbit was written, but why certain characters and places were written the way they were. There are several great quotes and insights on writing from Tolkien himself throughout the book, and Bell does a wonderful job of offering character profiles for each of the main character(s) from Bilbo to Gandalf to the elves, dwarves and goblins. Each profile tells us the character, how each was written into the story, and the spiritual significance in Tolkein's allegorical world.

If you are a fan of Middle Earth, you'll love the book. If you are a youth worker who wants to make the movie (or the cartoon version) The Hobbit a focus for discussion or lessons, you'll love this book. There is more information than you can use in a mid-week gathering, but if you read through and do only the character studies, this would a make a cool 6-week small group study to go along with the book and/or movie. I may have learned more than I needed to know about the spiritual significance of The Hobbit, but I am not complaining about it and you won't either. Huzzah!" —Youthworker Journal

"A thoughtful, interesting, and literary look at The Hobbit from a Christian worldview. Along the way, readers will learn more about the history of Middle Earth gleaned from The Silmarillion and other works of Tolkien. They will also see, through scriptural references, how many of the themes revealed in The Hobbit are also found in the Bible." —RedeemedReader.com

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
11/15/2013
Peanuts, The Simpsons, and the Narnia books have all had their turn, so why not the world of J.R.R. Tolkien? The trick with Tolkien, as Bell (Inside the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) rather dimly recognizes, is that Tolkien was not a great fan of allegory: discovering Christianity in The Hobbit prompts the vexed question of religion within Middle Earth—are they waiting for their own Christ? Or are they all virtuous pagans living long before Christ? Beyond this, this work is an effective if rather simplistic close reading for moral and ethical lessons. VERDICT Tolkien's most devoted fans are no strangers to finding meaning and personal values in The Hobbit, but this straightforward little volume may shed light for newcomers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764210204
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/15/2013
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 238
  • Sales rank: 529,854
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

James Stuart Bell is a Christian publishing veteran and the owner of Whitestone Communications, a literary development agency. He is the editor of many story collections, including the Cup of Comfort series, the compiler of From the Library of Charles Spurgeon and From the Library of C. S. Lewis, and the coauthor or author of several books, including Inside the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and The Complete Idiot's Guide to the World of Narnia. He and his family live in West Chicago, Illinois.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2013

     There are some books that are so good you never forget them. Th

     There are some books that are so good you never forget them.
    There are some books that are so good that you never finish reading them.
    {You consider a re-read sooner rather than later mandatory, not optional. And you understand that people who don't re-read are missing out on a great deal, at the very least. If not criminal.}
    There are some books that so good that you want to know as much as you can about the author, the mind behind the world you just discovered, so you read collections of their letters and at least one biography. Then, if you are blessed to find such things, you read books and essays about the original books that were so good.

    The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings have been those books for me, and James Stuart Bell's new book is one of those "books about the books" that I have been very pleased to own.

    The Spiritual World of the Hobbit is exactly that. It's a treasure map of sorts that guides us into even more hidden richness as we enjoy Tolkien's narrative.

    This book reminds us that great plans hinge on small specific circumstances, and prophecies are fulfilled through ordinary men and hobbits.

    We are reminded that all creatures are ordained to live for a purpose, be they high elven or unborn babies, and that every detail of a world, wether our own or Middle Earth bears the finger-print of its Designer.

    We realize that the groundwork for important events like the coming of a hero is laid over a long period of time and it sometimes seems like all hope is lost.

    We learn that heroes grow slowly, with many seeming setbacks, but all along each trial is forging their character; shaping and strengthening them. 

    And the steps that brought you to where you are were no accident.

    The Spiritual World of The Hobbit skillfully points out the many ways that Tolkien's epic Middle Earth story dealt with truth, and quietly and undeniably reflected the truth found in the grandest story of all: the one God is writing.

    Thank you Bethany House for my review copy!
    Like Tony Reinke said in Lit!, he would march across Middle Earth every year if he could.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2014

    This was definitely a good book! First thing to note? It¿s not a

    This was definitely a good book! First thing to note? It’s not a devotional. I had to re-orient my mindset a few times, as I went into this one thinking “devotional” and that’s not really at all what it is. I was very impressed by the amount of research that Bell put into Hobbit and Lord of the Rings – he clearly knew what he was talking about. He draws valid points, without trying to dig too deep or pull in things that aren’t there, and he wasn’t too preachy. I especially liked the character profiles of Gandalf and Elrond – informative and interesting. Good background info there, I thought. All in all? This was an enjoyable book that I learned from and found interesting. Read it in conjunction with The Hobbit!
    **Bethany House sent me a copy of this book in return for my honest review. I wasn’t obligated to review it positively, nor was I recompensed in any other way for this review.**

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 30, 2013

    Reviewing The Spiritual World of the HOBBIT by James Stuart Bell

    Reviewing The Spiritual World of the HOBBIT by James Stuart Bell I have to admit first-off that I have not read The Hobbit nor seen any of the movies however, after reading this book cover to cover, I intend to. I was touched emotionally and spiritually by Mr. Bell's 'take' on it and still felt he did not 'give away' anything so that I still wanted to read JRR Tolkien's book. Though I'm sure most people heard of Bilbo Baggins, dwarves and elves, many like myself, did not know the key issues that James Stuart Bell brings out in his book. He carefully tells that in writing a fairy tale which most of us grow up with, the key was to get the reader to believe it is true and not a 'fairy tale'...letting the reader experience the magic of the story. Some of the characters reviewed in this book are Bilbo Baggins, Gandolf, Tuor, Idril, Elrond, Half-Elven, Thorin, Frodo, Smaug, Bard and others. Tolkien's stories reflect values and truths of the Bible and how we grow in grace to accomplish great things for the Lord, often working through our weakness rather than strength. I loved the oxymorons that Mr. Bell points out dealing with scripture; he begins with the natural [jumbo shrimp] and concludes with good out of evil. Mr. Bell's ability to point out scripture references in all instances of the Hobbit experiences will bring tears to your eyes. Other examples of issues brought out in this book: We overcome our fears and begin to act then start to become what we were created to be; but our new found courage does not eliminate fear but changes how we react to it; many scriptural instances listed about fire and eagles in the Bible; the removal of one person to let another become greater; good vs evil, growth through suffering and trials; even with all his changes, he [Bilbo] remains thoughtful and kind and not full of pride. Mr. Bell has a good article about what we call 'luck' that should be taken into account. Also he tells about Tolkien being in WWI and experienced in 'waiting' so he had it '1st hand' in writing about it in the life of Bilbo. The stories are about hobbits, elves, trolls, dwarves, dragons, wizards, goblins and all the fun things children/people with an imagination love to hear about. The cover is beautifully done. The key thought I came away with was that evil benefits when good becomes divided; Mr. Bell quotes scripture after scripture that we all are familiar with, but how to apply them to our lives; showing that we as Christians need to be united and working together. I received this book free from BethanyHouse/Baker Publishers for review without any restrictions as to my opinion. I would definitely give this the highest rating possible. IBELIEVE2

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2015

    Frihan

    &#245789

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2015

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2014

    Want a free ipad?

    Kiss your hand 3 times, send this in 3 different books, and then check under your pillow.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2013

    Galadriel Bio

    Name: The Lady of the Golden Wood, Lady of Lothlorien, Galadriel. <br> Age: 5,000 something. <br> Race: Elf. <br> Lives: in Lothlorien in Middle-earth. <br> Description: long golden hair, bright blue eyes, very pale, wears all white robes, and a silver and gold crown. <br> Loves: musical things and nature. Her bestest friends and hobbit family. <br> Dislikes: darkness, and desolation. <br> Personality: she is mysterious and a bit frightening, but friendly, peaceful and wise as well. <br> Resides at the RP at Hobbler for the time being.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2013

    Arwen's bio

    Name: you have to ask?• Age: no idea• Friends: pipin, merry, eomare, gladriel, gandalf, tom b. (Sorry if i forgot anyone)• Not freinds: not saying names• Likes: Lotr, Doctor Who, Once Upon A Time, lots of books, lots of movies, lots of other things• Ships: Ouat- Captain Swan, Doctor Who- 11 and Clara, Percy Jackson- Percabeth; Jasper; Fazel,

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2013

    MERRYS BIO!

    NAME: look up AGE: 27 (human years its like17) LOOKS: brown eyes with curly dirty blonde hair. SPECIES: hobbit LIKES: friends, adventure, gossip, snooping, and bbeing awesome DISLIKES: boring things, orcs, evil wizards, goblins,wolves, things chasing him, being in trouble, being impostered, lies, betrayal, and being inactive . FRIENDS: pippin gandalf galadrial treble eowyn eomare faramir tom b arwen (sorry if i forgoten you. NOT FRIENDS: umm i think 2 people. Maybe one. RPS: Merrydream (cat at sunclan) **** (cat at bloodclan not named) OTHER: i like symbols and writing fanfiction stories of LOTR :)
    Thats my bio! :)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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