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Old 07-05-2014, 07:39 PM   #39
Nogrod
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Even if I agree with the contents of your burst Jallanite, I would suggest we'd do well to steer this discussion back to those dimensions we can have an enlightened exchange of ideas on. I mean this atheism / theism and real / not real - POV gets us nowhere but into arguments which heat up unnecessarily...

I was kind of intrigued by the idea that if you were a devout Catholic, would you then enjoy or "understand" the work more deeply?

The former of course means something like an old time Catholic aka. agreeing with and believing in most of the prof's world-view from which he wrote his work - unlike many modern-day "true-Christians" who have all these frivolous ideas that they have the "fundamentals" of Christianity right when they have ultra-liberal and over-individualistic beliefs which people of the past, like the prof. or people in the Middle-ages, would have abhorred!

But would fex. Formendacil have a deeper understanding of the books as he is both a theologian and a firm Catholic?


In literary-studies the POV of the author has been held to be the key to understanding any work for a long time - with some marked counter-trends of course (which should not be passed with just a shrug as they have good points)... but just taken at the face-value it looks "natural" to say that you understand a work when you understand what the author was trying to say.

And if the author has a deeply religious world-view - even if he tries to keep that at bay or thinks he's looking at things from a wider perspective, from something like a shared human mythological POV in the first place - wouldn't that apply then? That someone sharing some of the basic metaphysical views with Tolkien would be more deeply moved or would feel the story more "deeply" in comparison to someone who only "knows" the theological and mythical aspects referred to in the books, even iof that was a result of decades of intensive humanistic studies?

So does sharing beliefs with the author add something to the experience, or to the understanding of a work?

To me that is a perplexing question as I have always thought I have a deep understanding of Tolkien's world just because I know a lot of different religions (and their theological schisms & their history), myths, general history of ideas & philosophy etc. But would it be different if I also believed in those things?
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