Re: Catholicism and Lord of the Rings
- --- In email@example.com, "John Davis" <john@...> wrote:
> Because whilst I would not doubt or argue against the fact that Lord of the Rings is toI'm don't know what your definition of "Catholic" is, but certainly _some_ of the characters in _LotR_ are Catholic _in their theology and philosophy within the pre-Christian and pre-Covenant context of the imaginary world_; and the wiser and more knowledgeable characters are the more Catholic they are (in this sense).
> some extent a Catholic work, and Tolkien was of course Catholic, the characters in
> Tolkien's works are most certainly not. (Or, if they are, then it would seem to stretch
> the definition of Catholic to somewhere beyond breaking point!)
Such characters (e.g. Gandalf, the High-elves, Aragorn) know that one eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, and good God exists outside the material world; they know that the world consists of both matter and spirit and that God gratuitously created and ordered both, and that the continued existence of both is utterly contingent on God; they know that God has a purpose and plan for the world and its history that will one day be fulfilled and the world then remade; they know that God effects this plan in and through the world and its creatures and their history; and they know that intelligent creatures either have (in the case of incarnate beings) or are created spirits; they know that intelligent creatures are endowed by God with reason and will and thus are both capable of and responsible for moral choices, and that evil entered and marred the world thereby; they know that the greatest of the created angelic powers fell through pride and became God's enemy; they know that the world is fallen; they know that Men fell corporately; they know that the spirits of Men depart the world when their bodies die; they pray for the intercession of heavenly figures (Elbereth) and (in one instance) for grace (Faramir); they understand that renunciation and suffering are meritorious and necessary in and (at least to a degree) redemptive of their fallen world; they are chaste and, if they marry, monogamous; etc., etc., etc.
- 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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