Re: Catholicism and Lord of the Rings
This from Tolkien's Letters, edited by Carpenter:
"The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work," wrote Tolkien, "unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. That is why I have not put in, or have cut out, practically all references to anything like "religion", to cults or practices, in the Imaginary world. For the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism."
--- In email@example.com, Alana Joli Abbott <alanajoli@...> wrote:
> Hello all,
> I had a conversation recently in which a Catholic friend said she felt that
> the Lord of the Rings wasn't Catholic at all, and I said that I believed
> Tolkien himself had thought it was a Catholic work. I can't remember off the
> top of my head where that quote comes from (the letters?), but I'm sure
> someone here knows without even having to look it up. :) I'd love to be able
> to pass the citation along to her!
> Many thanks, collective brain!
> Alana (#2)
> Alana Joli Abbott, Freelance Writer and Editor (
> Author of "Nomi's Wish" (
> http://coyotewildmag.com/2008/august/abbott_nomis_wish.html), featured in
> Coyote Wild Magazine
> Contributor to Serenity Adventures: http://tinyurl.com/serenity-adventures
> Contributor to Ransom: The Anthology: http://tinyurl.com/ransombook
> For updates on my writings, join my mailing list at
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Luthien: Alas! My beloved has perished! I must go to the Halls of Mandos to beg --
Beren: I'm not dead yet.
Luthien: Shh! To beg Mandos to bring him back --
Beren: I don't want to go on the cart.
Luthien: Shut up! I'm having a dramatic moment here.
Beren: I feel happy...
Luthien: (Nods to nearest elf with big club)
Big Club: Thud.
Luthien: Okay, I'm off to the Halls of Mandos. See ya. (Falls down)
>From: John Davis <john@...>________________________________________
>Sent: Jun 15, 2009 3:48 AM
>Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: Catholicism and Lord of the Rings
>Perhaps he was just mostly dead.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: scribbler@...
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Sent: Friday, June 12, 2009 4:40 PM
> Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: Catholicism and Lord of the Rings
> > I've always wondered -- was Beren really dead? Or was he merely so close
> > to death that no one around could tell the difference? Was he really
> > resurrected, or simply revived?
> > If the Gift of Men is beyond even the Valar's understanding, it doesn't
> > make sense that Mandos would have the power to give Beren back his life,
> > no matter how persuasively Luthien sang.
> > emerdavid
> Well, it would seem incongruous that Mandos himself would not be able to
> distinguish between a "nearly dead" mortal soul and a "dead" one. Mandos
> is made anxious about the situation because Beren WILL NOT GO ON the way
> he is supposed to.
> It seems to me, that Beren's soul held onto the world to an unexpected
> degree, instead of passing out of the world. If he had passed out of the
> world, then I agree, Luthien's singing would have been tragic in that it
> would be to no point -- Beren would not be *there* to be returned. But
> that's not what Tolkien sets as the situation. He has Beren "hanging
> around" unexpectedly.
> I say - Beren was dead, but not "departed". A unique situation that the
> Valar could actually address.
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