The Spiritual World of the Hobbit

The Spiritual World of the Hobbit

4.6 9
by James Stuart Bell
     
 

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Popular Author Helps Readers Discover the Christian Dimension in Tolkien's The Hobbit

The huge success of the first of The Hobbit movies has added to Tolkien's already enormous popularity. As fans eagerly await part two of the trilogy, they will be excited to find out all they can about the spiritual themes in the story's mythological world. This

Overview

Popular Author Helps Readers Discover the Christian Dimension in Tolkien's The Hobbit

The huge success of the first of The Hobbit movies has added to Tolkien's already enormous popularity. As fans eagerly await part two of the trilogy, they will be excited to find out all they can about the spiritual themes in the story's mythological world. This book explores good versus evil in Tolkien's writings, the spiritual quest of Bilbo Baggins, the guiding hand of God's providence, and much more. The author specializes in taking complex topics in religion and literature and making them accessible to every reader. A great gift for Tolkien book and movie fans.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781441260581
Publisher:
Baker Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/15/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
412,637
File size:
2 MB

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.
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 Angels, Miracles, and Heavenly Encounters; Heaven Touching Earth; and Encountering Jesus, as well as the coauthor of numerous books in the Complete Idiot's Guide series. He has cover credit on over one hundred books. He and his wife live in a western suburb of Chicago.

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The Spiritual World of the Hobbit 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Theophilusfamily More than 1 year ago
 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.
CharityU-Austenite More than 1 year ago
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.**
IBELIEVE2BK More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kiss your hand 3 times, send this in 3 different books, and then check under your pillow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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! :)