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Old 01-22-2006, 04:59 PM   #15
Amanaduial the archer
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I don't think- no, in fact, I'm fairly sure, that I've never actually mentioned my own personal faith on the Barrowdowns...

Marry together a Northern Irish Catholic and a Northern Irish Protestant, and apparently you get three Anglican sisters - or such is the case in my close family. Anyone who is at all familiar with Irish Politics will know the part that religion plays in the Northern Irish Question, and the turbulent relationship that has existed between Catholics and Protestants for, ooh, a good couple o' hundred years...

My mother is from quite a devout Roman Catholic family, my dad is from a good Methodist family, but both parents sort of gave up on religion after coming to Manchester University twenty-odd years ago, and after a few half-hearted attempts at getting my sisters and I to attend Sunday school - which I loathed - they gave up and resigned themselves to having a trio of miniature atheists, to the despair of both families as they watched their wayward offspring, having gone and married someone from 'the wrong faith' (yeah, you betcha the wedding was fun when my dad's uncle turned up rather pointedly wearing orange ), now let their children lapse into godlessness. Ah well. Still, to put it quite as cornily as possible, I was saved by the redeeming power of music (told you it would be corny - strictly tongue in cheek, never fear), and joined a Church choir just before my 11th birthday - and have been attending Church twice a week, come rain or shine, ever since, having gotten confirmed at 15 and becoming Head Chorister this year. Funny old world really; still, it keeps the grandparents happy.

Maybe it was because of my pretty non-religious upbringing that religion never really interfered with my viewing of Lord of the Rings, or certainly not when I was reading it when I was 11 or 12: I had very little concept of religion really at that time; it was just a fantastical story which I read sparked off by the fact that, having delighted in Pullman's Dark Materials, it had been one of my mother's favourite books. Now, if I was to read it again, maybe I would view this differently - I've got alot more religious over the last few years and, maybe due in part to the very diverse religious atmosphere within my school, maybe partly due also to having studied and loved R.S. at GCSE (and now carrying it onto AS Level), I'm fascinated with religion. I'm not a 'bible basher' as I have been accused of being: I just love the language, the background, the way religion makes people behave, the attitudes and psychological effects, the rituals - maybe the ritualistic element is why I chose the Church of England, mine is pretty High Church. And I don't flaunt my religion - they're my beliefs, they're personal, and I have no intention of converting anyone. But ask anyone in any of my classes: when analysing literature, if anyone will make a comment on religion, it'll be me. I have a tendency to scare student teachers by doing so - they don't generally expect the L6th former doodling on her folder to come out with Bible quotes. I mean, for example, for my English Literature coursework this year, I'm exploring Judeo-Christian religious allegory within 'The Tempest' - it's something I can easily see in literature, sometimes to the amazement but more often to the amusement of my classmates who are now used to it.

But that doesn't mean I can't detach myself from it, especially when it is disguised, without referencing religion with some degree of directness (as opposed to literature such as Narnia, as has been mentioned, where the references to Christianity are riiight there): Tolkien wrote Lord of the Rings primarily, I think, as a story - an epic, fantastical story but a story nonetheless, and this is first and foremost what it should, therefore, be viewed as. As an 11 year old atheist, I did not read Lord of the Rings with any concept of alterior meanings in it, and I certainly didn't read it because I'm Christian - and my faith in no way, therefore, affected my enjoyment of Lord of the Rings. Maybe if I were to re-read it now that might be different...

Hope this helps anyway

I personally am half Orthodox and half Conservative (if such a thing is possible).
When you say Conservative, Child, is this the same as Reform Judaism? Just wondering really, I'm guessing the two words have the same meanings...
I am what I was, a harmless little devil
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