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Old 12-02-2004, 07:49 PM   #45
Stormdancer of Doom
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Yes, the glimpse of joy, the glimpse Evangelium. In other words, the ultimate Myth -- the Christian story.
If we were to look at the phrase that began Tolkien's myth for him, the one in Old English concerning Earendel, ...

Originally Posted by Crist of Cynewulf
"Eala Earendel engla beorhtast, ofer Middangeard monnum sended..."
Hail Earendel, angel brightest, over Midgard to men sent
... then one may reasonably conclude that Earendel would be analogous to the Messiah. There are a couple of ways one might look at the analogy, but if one made it as direct as possible, then (in the interest, or hope, of discovering the eucatastrophe from a comparison with Tolkien's One True Myth), -- if, I say, one were to construct such an analogy, then one might parallel them thus:

Christ --------- Earendil
Incarnation ---------parents Idril and Tuor
early life ---------Gondolin
final journey---------takes ship westward
passion---------offering of Silmaril
(at this point it gets hazy, but one take might be: )
death ---------placed in sky as morning star
resurrection ---------return to defeat Morgoth
ascension --------- back into the sky again
(admittedly there are other options that one might choose for parallels.
I myself prefer a slightly different one, I think. Maybe.
But I submit this simply for the sake of the argument that follows. )

Okay. Having said that:

Tolkien stated that the Gospel is the One True Myth, the incarnation & passion & resurrection of Christ is the ultimate eucatastrophe. So (if we were to go by comparison) then Earendil's voyage, placing, return, and re-return would be the analogous events.

However-- note that in all this, the surrounding folk don't have it so easy. Even those closely allied with Christ -- where was the 'happy ending' for them? No picnic there! Mary got to watch her son die a brutal, horrifying death. All the apostles but John were executed, many crucified. Lots of folk became lion fodder. Martyrdom abounded. Persecution was intense.

Early church life was as bleak as the Silmarillion in its own way. It was the Long Defeat. Or at least, it sure looked like one. So in the book of Acts, and even in the rest of the New Testament (excluding Revelation), where is the eucatastrophe?

It's not at the end of the story. It's not even in the middle. Its at the beginning.

The eucatastrophe that Tolkien calls The One True Myth, had comparitively little physical evdence. There were no crumbling towers, panicking armies, volcanoes, or the like. The main evidence was located in humble places where the historians of the time paid little or no attention.

However, that life, the beginning and the 'earthly ending', is the event which Tolkien calls the ultimate eucatastrophe. It took place almost entirely invisibly. Yet to the christian it is the pivot point of history. Physically it is immersed in suffering, hardship, executions, persecution and martyrdom; the essential monumental moment of victory is invisible.

That is, unless you happen to be standing in Valinor, as Earendil offers up the Silmaril.
...down to the water to see the elves dance and sing upon the midsummer's eve.

Last edited by mark12_30; 12-03-2004 at 04:21 PM. Reason: Supply Earendel quote
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