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Re: [mythsoc] An Old Debate

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  • Carl F. Hostetter
    ... This is not an accurate description of the debate. No one was arguing that LotR is solely a Catholic work; rather, the argument was that the (arguably)
    Message 1 of 7 , Oct 5, 2009
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      On Oct 5, 2009, at 8:09 AM, John Davis wrote:

      > A few months ago, there was a debate on this list about whether LotR
      > was a solely Catholic work, or whether it was also, in addition, a
      > Pagan/Neo-Pagan/Green/what-have-you work.


      This is not an accurate description of the debate. No one was arguing
      that LotR is "solely" a Catholic work; rather, the argument was that
      the (arguably) pagan elements seen in it were in fact consistent with
      Catholic theology.

      Carl
    • John Davis
      Interesting. That is not my recollection of the debate - for if it were the case, then surely there would have been no debate? Rather, I thought that there
      Message 2 of 7 , Oct 5, 2009
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        Interesting. That is not my recollection of the debate - for if it were the case, then surely there would have been no debate? Rather, I thought that there were those who were arguing that LotR is _not_ a pagan work, meaning it must then be solely a Catholic one, and others such as myself arguing that it is both Pagan and Catholic and other things besides.
         
        But now I've gone and stirred up what was best left alone. And I didn't actually meant to send that email - I wrote it, then thought I'd deleted it rather than sent it.
         
        Sorry 'bout that.
         
        John
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Monday, October 05, 2009 1:39 PM
        Subject: Re: [mythsoc] An Old Debate

         


        On Oct 5, 2009, at 8:09 AM, John Davis wrote:

        > A few months ago, there was a debate on this list about whether LotR
        > was a solely Catholic work, or whether it was also, in addition, a
        > Pagan/Neo-Pagan/ Green/what- have-you work.

        This is not an accurate description of the debate. No one was arguing
        that LotR is "solely" a Catholic work; rather, the argument was that
        the (arguably) pagan elements seen in it were in fact consistent with
        Catholic theology.

        Carl

      • Carl F. Hostetter
        ... This is also not an accurate description of the debate, as no one was claiming the former -- nor, for that matter, the latter, though the latter is
        Message 3 of 7 , Oct 5, 2009
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          On Oct 5, 2009, at 8:09 AM, John Davis wrote:

          > Then it occurred to me that what was being argued about was in fact
          > something more general, namely whether a book is something written
          > by an author and simply received by the reader in a one-way process,
          > or whether it is also the interaction between the book/author and
          > the reader, who thus combine to create something which might be
          > different to what the author had anticipated.

          This is also not an accurate description of the debate, as no one was
          claiming the former -- nor, for that matter, the latter, though the
          latter is obviously true. The real issue as regards this matter of
          reader interaction -- at least, the issue that is of common interest
          in a group discussion -- is whether what the reader sees in / derives
          from a work has anything other than personal, subjective validity. And
          that of course must be argued by that reader, in order to persuade
          participants in the discussion of its broader validity. Simply
          declaring that "my view of this work is valid for me" is neither an
          argument, nor of much interest to those who are not that reader.

          Carl
        • John Davis
          I ll have to disagree with you there, too. I believe, as I said, that all who were considering LotR solely a Catholic work were implicitly claiming the former,
          Message 4 of 7 , Oct 5, 2009
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            I'll have to disagree with you there, too. I believe, as I said, that all who were considering LotR solely a Catholic work were implicitly claiming the former, since the Pagan readers' opinion was repeatedly discounted, whilst those who thought it Pagan,Green, etc. implicitly  - and perhaps unconsciously - claiming the latter.
             
            You are right, though, in that the fact of seeing something in a work must, as you say, at least for it to have any broader validity, be justified by the text, and this I made clear in my email ('if reader sees in LotR a Pagan world-view and _the text can support it_').
             
            John
             
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Monday, October 05, 2009 2:08 PM
            Subject: Re: [mythsoc] An Old Debate

             


            On Oct 5, 2009, at 8:09 AM, John Davis wrote:

            > Then it occurred to me that what was being argued about was in fact
            > something more general, namely whether a book is something written
            > by an author and simply received by the reader in a one-way process,
            > or whether it is also the interaction between the book/author and
            > the reader, who thus combine to create something which might be
            > different to what the author had anticipated.

            This is also not an accurate description of the debate, as no one was
            claiming the former -- nor, for that matter, the latter, though the
            latter is obviously true. The real issue as regards this matter of
            reader interaction -- at least, the issue that is of common interest
            in a group discussion -- is whether what the reader sees in / derives
            from a work has anything other than personal, subjective validity. And
            that of course must be argued by that reader, in order to persuade
            participants in the discussion of its broader validity. Simply
            declaring that "my view of this work is valid for me" is neither an
            argument, nor of much interest to those who are not that reader.

            Carl

          • not_thou
            ...
            Message 5 of 7 , Oct 5, 2009
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              ---"John Davis" <john@...> wrote:
              << A few months ago, there was a debate on this list about whether LotR was a solely Catholic work, or whether it was also, in addition, a Pagan/Neo-Pagan/Green/what-have-you work. Arguments were made on both sides, but neither really convinced the other, and eventually we got distracted, if memory servers, by moral relativity (as one does!). >>


              Posts to this list are archived, so if you wish, you can reread that discussion starting with this message from June by Alana Joli Abbott:

              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mythsoc/message/20539

              -Merlin
            • Alana Joli Abbott
              Not to start this up again, either, but an item of interest -- my correspondent (the one whom I had told that Tolkien believed the work to be Catholic, whether
              Message 6 of 7 , Oct 5, 2009
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                Not to start this up again, either, but an item of interest -- my correspondent (the one whom I had told that Tolkien believed the work to be Catholic, whether or not that was actually the case) did an very interesting analysis of British Catholicism and culture (as an American who has emigrated to Britain) and compared what she sees in the British attitude of the Catholic church to elements in the novels. Her notes were definitely a take I hadn't seen before, and I found them quite interesting. I'd be happy to paraphrase off list to people who were interested (with the note that my correspondent is not a fan of the novels, finding them far too pagan for her taste, as a Catholic herself).

                -Alana

                On Mon, Oct 5, 2009 at 3:18 PM, not_thou <emptyD@...> wrote:


                Posts to this list are archived, so if you wish, you can reread that discussion starting with this message from June by Alana Joli Abbott:

                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mythsoc/message/20539

                -Merlin

                .




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