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Old 06-14-2002, 12:25 AM   #1
Joy
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Sting Tolkien and Catholic Saints

I was doing some thinking - dangerous, I know [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]

But anyways, I was thinking, could Tolkien have taken names from Catholic Saints for characters, especially the Valar and Maiar? What about personality? I see Varda as a Mary type. Varda is called the Queen of the Star and Mary is called Queen of Heaven.
  • Melchior
  • Melan

I did find one interesting one - Meriadoc

Maybe someone here know more about Catholicism than I do.
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Old 06-14-2002, 12:59 AM   #2
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Hullo Joy:

Well met. * bows a greeting *

Yes, I've heard Elbereth compared to the Virgin Mary.

I also see similarities between Radagast the Brown and St. Francis of Assisi, hence my deep respect for Radagast. Both wore brown. Both men were drawn towards nature, and nature was drawn towards them ... (Francis seeing the presence of God through creation). Speaking with / taming birds and animals, both were mocked as being mad ... ("Radagast Bird-Tamer"). Both were contemplative and seekers of solitude ... hence, being became the preferred way of fighting the Enemy, rather than doing. Both were non-violent.

Gandalf the Grey

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Old 06-14-2002, 01:06 AM   #3
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Thank you so much Gandalf. I see that you are relavtivly new here. So I need to give you proper greeting.

Mae govannan, Gandalf_theGrey. Elen sila lumenn' omentielvo. Hope you enjoy your stay at the Barrow downs. Have fun and post often.
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Old 06-15-2002, 01:18 PM   #4
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Silmaril

I never really saw much connection, but then again, now that you mention it, and knowing that Tolkien was a catholic, you could be completely right. that's very interesting.
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Old 06-15-2002, 01:26 PM   #5
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I noticed the Radagst/St. Franceis connection too. That's why he's my favourite! I also think that all the (good) elves are like saints or angels. Beautiful, immortal and wise.
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Old 06-15-2002, 01:33 PM   #6
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I never noticed, since I'm not Catholic, but I had seen Eru as being God. I had thought the Ainur (Valar)as being angels.
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Old 06-15-2002, 03:52 PM   #7
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Hmmm...I've never even thought of Tolkien having incorporated religion into his books. Although I suppose I likened the Valar (shoot...Valar? Vanyar? *sorry*) to Gods.

Anyways, I don't like thinking that Tolkien's books are religious. I don't know why. Perhaps because I am a religious person and maybe I need a break from it lol.

But probably just because I think that are two seperate things really and should be kept in their seperate categories.

Actually, I personally think that LOTR can be likened to WWII...
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Old 06-15-2002, 05:48 PM   #8
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Greetings, Joy,

If I might be so bold as to offer my small contribution to this discussion even though I am not Catholic, ....

*settles down on the bank of the Withywindle, under the spreading canopy of a large oak tree, out of the rain-soaked earth, but breathing in the dank, musty odour*

One of the points I remember from days discussing things like 'how do writers put ideology in their novels' is the use of silent or quiet symbolism which does not formally announce itself. Graham Greene's Brighton Rock is one novel which we discussed endlessly in this way. As I recall, we came away with an understanding of a particular attitude towards community and the role of the fallen character in seeking redemption. Another was the use of colours which have specific ecclesiastical meanings.

In the case of Tolkien, Goldberry's yellow and white candles are significant, for these are the Pope's colours. The colours are all the more meaningful seeing that they are given to candles, which provide their unique kind of illumination.

*chews a long piece of grass dreamily*

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Old 06-15-2002, 05:57 PM   #9
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Mmmmm grass... [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] (that's not sarcasm)

I should think that Tolkien would have avoided Catholicizing his books as much as possible because they are supposed to be a pre-Christian mythology of Britain. He probably studied Beowulf and all those more than he did the Bible because he was a professor. And as far as finding saints goes, you could probably find a counterpart for Gandhi if you looked hard enough. No offense, but what does Goldberry have to do with the papacy?
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Old 06-15-2002, 07:09 PM   #10
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I'd like to quote a bit of Tolkien, if I might.

Quote:
But I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence.
As to the original question, maybe.
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Old 06-15-2002, 07:51 PM   #11
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Sting

Burrahobbit,

There are several other interesting quotes in the letters concerning Tokien, reigion, and his writings. For instance:

Letter 213:
Quote:
Or more important, I am a Christian (which can be deduced from my stories) and in fact a Roman Catholic. The latter "fact" perhaps cannot be deduced; though one critic (by letter) asserted that the invocations of Elbereth, and the character of Galadriel as directly described (or through the words of Gimli and Sam) were clearly related to Catholic devlotion to Mary. Another saw in waybread (lembas) = viaticum and the reference to its feeding the will and being more potent when fasting, a derivation from the eucharist. (That is: far greater things may color the mind in dealing with the lesser things of a fairy story.)
Interesting, reading the letters. There are some letters that really explain doctrine ina wonderfully clear way. Tolkien has a lovely way with words.
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Old 06-15-2002, 08:26 PM   #12
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Those are the assertions of critics, not of Tolkien. Perhaps you will enlighten me, as I do not own Letters, does Tolkien say that he agrees with the critics?
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Old 06-15-2002, 08:40 PM   #13
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Sting

He starts by saying his Christianity can be deduced from his stories, and then wonders whether his cathlicism can but then provides two examples of individuals who did deduce it. His point was that his faith can be deduced from his works.

Literary works, that is.

(sounds rather like James...)
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Old 06-15-2002, 09:10 PM   #14
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Sting

Thank you all for your comments. This was something that just "hit" me the other night as I was re-reading the Ainulindalë.

Someone mentioned that they saw the Valar/Ainu as angels. That I agree with also. The Catholics have names for many Angels. I have not studied Catholicism to a high degree, but I am familar with a few of it tenents.
*******************************************
Here's the way I explained it to some family members who thought that LotR was demonic.

Take a look at Eph 6:12 - "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

I was comparing the Valar to the Arcangels, the Maias as Principalies, and the Istari or wizards as warring angels. Some of each division Valar - Morgoth/Melkor was corrupted as Lucifer/Satan was. Maias - Sauron, the Dark Lord as Principalies, ie the Prince of Persia and the Prince of Greece in Daniel 10. The Heren Istarion (the order of wizards) as being the powers mentioned in Ephesians 6. Gandalf was the only one of the 5 that stayed true.

What I am about to say may sound a bit off the wall, but here goes! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

The numbers 3, 7 , 9, and 5 appear frequently throughout Tolkien's work. 3, 7, and 9 all represent completeness and perfection. 5 represents God's grace.
There were 9 Valar and 9 in the fellowship. In the Poem of the Ring, 3 rings were given to the Elves, 7 to the Dwarves and 9 to men. Though they were given (all but the Elven Rings) by the dark lord, I believe that to be a corruption of the original plan of Eru. The 3 races were to be the impetus for the destruction/overthrowing of Melkor's discordant song. The discordant song went against the unity of the theme of Eru.

This is where what I say may sound even stranger [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

If you add 3+7+9 = 19. 19 represents faith. 19 is the numbers 1 and 9 which equals 10. 10 reprensents testimony, law and responsibilty. The number 10 is made up of 1 and 0, the number 1 represents unity.

Thanks for listening to the endless wanderings of my mind [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 06-15-2002, 09:41 PM   #15
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Sting

Bethberry:

Though you've already shared with me your ideas regarding the symbolism of candles of white and yellow in an e-mail of long ago, I'd like to say again how much I like that interpretation.

Joy:

Fascinating in-depth explanation about numbers and their symbolism in LOTR! Thanks for sharing it.

~~ Gandalf the Grey
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Old 06-15-2002, 09:50 PM   #16
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Boots

Good evening, The Silver-shod Muse, I would not use Beowulf and other Old English poems as example of pre-Christian literature. They are, in fact, quite fascinating for the ways in which they blend both the old warrior codes and the new faith. It is the very liminality of those works which I think Tolkien drew upon in creating his works. As for what the meaning might be found in giving Goldberry's candles the colours of the papacy, why it strikes me as being simply another way in which to help establish the sense that here in the House of Bombadil, where Frodo finds a special contentedness, there is a shepherd with strength to resist foes and to interpret natural law. Old Tom and Goldberry share that grace.

burrahobbit, this stricture against Allegory is an old chestnut always dragged out whenever the possibility of figuration is discussed in Tolkien's work. I take it to refer strictly to the genre of Allegory, like C.S. Lewis', which Tolkien did not like and which LOTR does not ressemble at all. I don't think it can be taken to dismiss all kinds of symbolic interpretations. Certainly Tolkien's analysis in "Of Fairy Stories" posits an ulterior or hierarchical level of movement between a sub-creation or secondary world and a primary world. It is this kind of fluid movement and possibility provided by the "Perilous Realm' which, I think, makes possible the sense that Tolkien writes with plenitude of meaning.

Respectfully,
Bethberry

[ June 16, 2002: Message edited by: Bethberry ]
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Old 06-15-2002, 09:57 PM   #17
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Gandalf, we have once again been cross posting! Thank you for your kind words. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Joy, I think your reminder about 'principalities' is a good way to think of the moral issues at stake in LOTR. Thank you for bringing that concept into the discussion.

Bethberry

[ June 16, 2002: Message edited by: Bethberry ]
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Old 06-15-2002, 10:48 PM   #18
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Sting

mark12_30, you may have been able to deduce from my posts here that I particularly dislike toads, and you would be correct in this. But I havent written anything that I meant in a roundabout way to represent my dislike or toads.

Bethberry,
Quote:
burrahobbit, this stricture against Allegory is an old chestnut always dragged out whenever the possibility of figuration is discussed in Tolkien's work.
That is because it is a stricture SET DOWN BY THE AUTHOR, and is not the interpretation of anybody else. It is an explicitly stated by the author that he abhors allegory. I think that pretty much mens that he didn't use it. I know, for instance, that I don't use toads for anything.

Quote:
I take it to refer strictly to the genre of Allegory, like C.S. Lewis'[...]. I don't think it can be taken to dismiss all kinds of symbolic interpretations.
YOU=WRONG.
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But I cordially dislike allegory <u>in all its manifestations</u>, and always have since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence.
You know, that seems to apply to more than just the Lewis sort of thing. That is from the foreword to LotR, btw. There is a bunch there about how LotR is not not allegory in the least bit. I would be well off quoting all of it, but that bit sums it all up very well.

[ June 16, 2002: Message edited by: burrahobbit ]
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Old 06-16-2002, 05:53 AM   #19
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Quote:
There is a bunch there about how LotR is not not allegory in the least bit. I would be well off quoting all of it, but that bit sums it all up very well.
Well, burrahobbit, what you have omitted I will provide, for in literary analysis, context is everything. What you have omitted explains precisely what Tolkien means by allegory. In fact, he does not deny symbolic kinds of allusion.

Quote:
But I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestatiosn, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence. I much prefer history, true or feigned, with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers. I think that many confuse 'applicability' with 'allegory'; but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination of the author.
It would appear that the precise "stricture set down by the author" is his dislike of the single-minded control of an author, in allegory, to produce just one interpretation or meaning. John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progess is a good example here of this kind of limited form of directed meaning or something such as 1984, maybe even Animal Farm. Tolkien's issue is structural or stylistic rather than thematic.

This form of enforced meaning Tolkien equates with Saruman, with Orcs, with those who would force or demand only their interpretation, if I may be allowed to use a Tolkien allusion. He prefers history because it allows for plenitude of meaning, 'the freedom of the reader'. What I am discussing here on this thread, and elsewhere, is this very kind of 'applicability' rather than 'allegory'.


Respectfully,
Bethberry

[ June 16, 2002: Message edited by: Bethberry ]
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Old 06-16-2002, 01:52 PM   #20
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Bethberry,thank you for you comments. They are greatly appreciated. I agree that Allegory is not what Tolkein meant when he wrote the books, though, as he said, it is applicable to each person on their own level. Each person can deduce a meaning related to where they are in live, according to their personal set of standards. This is why Lord of the Rings is universally accepted.

As a Christian, I will see ideals and seniments that reflect the Christian life. Though, I do not go as far as saying Gandalf=Jesus. Some one who is Muslim, will probably see Muslim tentents throughout the work.
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Old 06-16-2002, 04:27 PM   #21
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burrahobbit,

You do seem to pick and choose which statements of Tolkien that you want to listen to. I feel that the bulk of Tokien's letters that I have read so far, outweigh and disprove your argument.

Not only do I still disagree with your interpretation and feel that you are being narrow, I also feel that your words have been rather rude. That is unfortunate; on a forum like this, politeness and civility are highly valued. I hope that the thread can continue in a civil manner.

[ June 16, 2002: Message edited by: mark12_30 ]
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Old 06-16-2002, 08:58 PM   #22
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I would agree completely, Joy, that to insist on equating Gandalf with Jesus would be to succumb to that kind of limited, restrictive meaning which Tolkien abhored in allegory. Such an equation does a disservice to both Gandalf and Jesus, IMHO.

mark12_30, there's another way in which Tolkien's Foreword to the Second Edition supports the possibility of symbolic or spiritual allusions--'applicability' in Tolkien's word. Tolkien's way of demonstrating how the War of the Ring does not resemble WWII amounts to a small example of critical practice. By this I mean, it is his way of showing how to examine the validity of analogies and comparisons. (We also learn much about his views of WWII.) We could take from this lesson a formal way of proceeding, comparing the processes of spiritual journeys and conclusions with those in LOTR. We could examine Christian doctrines of goodness, ethical behaviour, mercy, redemption to see if their fruits can be found in LOTR.

I hope I am making sense here. It is late, I have much to do these days in the Old Forest, and I am tired.

*attempts to curtsy, but a crick in her back stops her*

Bethberry
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Old 06-17-2002, 09:23 AM   #23
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I think it's safe to say that no matter how un-allegorical an author is trying to be, there must necessarily be some allegory because the reader needs some sort of comparison material within his or her understanding. By placing the Ainur/Vala and the Istari in such a hierarchy, Tolkien (perhaps inadvertently) made it easier for the common Englishman that practised some form of Christianity.

Also, when you believe something with all your heart and when you have lived by it for years, you cannot simply switch off its affect on your life when you're writing. Just because one dislikes allegory does not mean that one has the power to not use it.
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Old 06-17-2002, 09:49 AM   #24
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Bethberry, thanks for the return to the use of the word "applicability". I agree with you.

Too often we slip into thinking that any findable connection between a literary work and a spiritual truth must be "allegory". Tolkien clearly did not intend that we so interpret the word, and clearly allows us "applicability " and I think encourages it.

Thank you for bringing that up and clarifying it nicely.

[ June 17, 2002: Message edited by: mark12_30 ]
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Old 06-17-2002, 06:27 PM   #25
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Catholic saints legends and Tolkien's Legendarium have one fundamental thing in common: both are completely fictitious.
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Old 06-17-2002, 09:53 PM   #26
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As to Catholic saints being "in his books" i don't think Tolkien placed any intentional examples...that would have smacked too much of allegory, IMHO. But we cannot divorse the Man from his works. Tolkien was Catholic...meaning not just that he went to a Catholic church, or believed Catholic doctrine,--- Catholicism was a part of his essence (just as his "Englishness" was part of his essence).It colored not just how he thought, but how he wrote. "Catholic thought" permeates tLOTR if one knows where to look. Rather than "force the issue" by having certain characters represent saints (or other "real world" persons), i think he chose to place his ideals "in between the lines".

sharku: I beg to differ. If you would like to learn a little about about Catholic Saints and whether or not they are fictitious, I can give you the location of many of their graves (some of which are glass coffins where their remains-still incorrupt-can be seen) along with legal testimony (secular courts) documenting many of their works.
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Old 06-23-2002, 05:11 AM   #27
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[img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 06-23-2002, 12:12 PM   #28
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Sharku. You and the Barrowwight closed or discussion on HP cause we were stating or Beliefs on stuff, I sugest if your gonna do that to us you do it to yourself.

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Catholic saints legends and Tolkien's Legendarium have one fundamental thing in common: both are completely fictitious.
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Old 06-23-2002, 12:13 PM   #29
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I am not Catholic, but I am a Christian. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] Just wanted to make sure no one thought I was a Catholic. Nothing against them.
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Old 01-06-2003, 05:40 AM   #30
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similarities between Radagast the Brown and St. Francis of Assisi
Thanks, Gandalf, I thought that I had noticed that one myself. Then someone in another thread informed me that St. Francis would have worn black robes, as was the Flavour of the Monk in his particular time and place. I had to bow to their seemingly superior knowledge. Can anyone resolve whether brown or black robes would have been worn by St. Francis, or at least what Tolkien would have believed?
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Old 01-06-2003, 06:10 AM   #31
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Personally I don't think Francis of Assisi (or Tolkien) would have given a hoot what color his robes were; wasn't he the one that went half naked for a while because he gave away his outer garments to a beggar? Don't let the black robe/ brown robe thing unsettle you. That's a minor detail; the thing about talking to birds and being gentle with all of creation is key.
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Old 01-06-2003, 08:50 PM   #32
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Catholic saints legends and Tolkien's Legendarium have one fundamental thing in common: both are completely fictitious.
well, I can think of one person who would completely disagree with you [ in general ] although he might conced the occasional particular]: JRR Tolkien !

by the way Greetings on the Old Calendar feast of the Nativity of Christ -tonight/tomorrow morning is when the feast of Nativity is celebrated in among other places] Bethlehem and all of Russia and in addition to a few households in America.
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Old 01-06-2003, 09:09 PM   #33
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"Merry Christmas", Lindil and Lush!
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Old 01-06-2003, 09:15 PM   #34
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Greetings, all! I'm not an expert on the subject, but i recently went to a lecture on a book called "Sanctifying Myth" which was about religious symbolism in the works of J.R.R Tolkien.Its very interesting, you might want to check it out. Anyhow, it did say that Tolkien was a devout catholic and had said that his religion was reflected in his books... It goes into depth with the sybolism, but im not sure how much of it is true.
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Old 01-07-2003, 01:29 AM   #35
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Sub-creation, lindil, and St. Augustine. I said fictitious, not 'false' or 'wrong'. I am pretty sure that Tolkien would agree that many tales of the Saints, ie. the legends (I differentiated clearly in my choice of words), are fictitious. That would, from that point of view, mean little, since they intent to convey truth, not facts. That is what St. Augustine is all about, that is what the saints legends are all about, that is what Tolkien's Middle-Earth is all about. Would anyone argue that Tolkien's Middle-Earth is fictitious? And yet we seem to agree it is essentially true.
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Old 01-07-2003, 06:12 AM   #36
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Personally I don't think Francis of Assisi (or Tolkien) would have given a hoot what color his robes were; wasn't he the one that went half naked for a while because he gave away his outer garments to a beggar? Don't let the black robe/ brown robe thing unsettle you. That's a minor detail; the thing about talking to birds and being gentle with all of creation is key.
I know what you're trying to say there, Mark, and yes that is correct. It's also possible that even if St. Francis' robes were black, brown would have been more appropriate for Radagast (although according to your post Tolkien could care less about the colours of robes). I would be merely interested to know if Radagast was based on St. Francis, and if their robe colours matched this would make the fact more likely.

Also, Tolkien takes great pains with the colours of Saruman and Gandalf's robes, so I think in all likelihood he probably hooted quite a lot.
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Old 01-07-2003, 07:03 AM   #37
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Without delving into Tolkein's ability or inclination to hoot (a picture which makes keeping a straight face difficult-- Kudos, platypus) I think that Tolkien cared a great deal about the robe-colors of his Istari, but would not have lost any sleep over the possible color of Francis' robe, or lack thereof. I see why you are asking the quetion, doug. I still maintain that despite Tolkien's admitted weakness for embroidered waistcoats (which is why we see them on Bilbo) I do not think he would have extended that to monk's robes.

But, hey, I haven't asked him.

Did you know that Francis actually preached sermons to the birds? I wonder if Tolkien ever preached, or perhaps lectured, to the trees. Now that I can picture him doing.
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Old 01-07-2003, 08:20 PM   #38
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Well, wherever this "old chestnut" crops up, I guess you should expect some conker fighting [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Applicability is, to me, in many ways a far more acceptable term than allegory.

Firstly, because it is inclusive of a readers' own sensibility and culture - it does not suggest an exclusivity of meaning related to a particular faith, or ownership of tenets, symbols or indeed truth.

Secondly, because it more closely aligns with the conscientious and considered intent and understanding of the author, as expressed in his various contextual writings. As far as possible I would rather consider his words in good faith than re-interpret them to suit my particular views

And finally, because it more accurately reflects the vast scale, scope and ambition of his works, and the eclecticism of his mythos, symbolism and references beyond any one specific cosmology.

The important quote from Tolkien posted above by mark 12_30 includes the key phrase -

Quote:
... far greater things may color the mind in dealing with the lesser things of a fairy story
Now this is in fact quite a subtle and ambiguous phrase, and I think important. Is Tolkien saying that readers are making broad deductions based on minor narrative elements? And if so, is he approving of that or merely citing it as something that people tend to do? Or, is he speaking as an author, saying that his faith and worldview inevitably emerge 'between the lines'? And there are other questions one could infer ... perhaps all of them are valid, and co-exist [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

I am reminded also of the explicit and straightforward notes in LotR, where the author says that it is not necessary to read the appendices, and not to consider the work as related to his specific experience of World War I (or II), and that he offers up his masterpiece as no more (and no less) than a story, to divert, move and entertain.

Estel (who has made possibly the briefest contribution I have ever seen above) and others have elsewhere posted authoritatively on the conscious Christianity (and Catholicism) or otherwise in Tolkien's works, and their revisions. And the essence of the author's faith and its presence in his work is NOT summed up neatly in easy symbols/metaphors/allusions etc., like some sort of puzzle or game that you solve in order to find the satisfying proselytising meanings ("preaching to the converted"). The fact is that a range of interpretations and weighting of the importance of different elements - spiritual, cultural, academic etc. - is possible, credible and, I would suggest, inevitable. And equally, that there are contradictions, ambiguities and indeed inconsistencies.

Isn't it really the case that the real universality and power of LotR is as an epic narrative in which the reader actively participates through their imagination and empathy?

Peace [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

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[ January 07, 2003: Message edited by: Kalessin ]
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Old 01-07-2003, 09:03 PM   #39
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Kalessin:

Hail and well met. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] * bows a friendly greeting *

I've often admired your posts. To answer your most recent one here, please allow me to copy and paste from something I originally posted in a thread started by Child of the 7th Age called "J.R.R. Tolkien's Sanctifying Myth", J.R.R. Tolkien's Sanctifying Myth ... an eminently worthy thread now buried by time:

Without having read Birzer, I made the connection between the Secret Fire and the Holy Spirit independently, based on the applicability of the symbol of the Secret Fire to my religious beliefs and my freedom as a reader.

Has Tolkien purposely integrated Christian aspects into his works? Of course he has ... "consciously so in the revision."

Has Tolkien also drawn elements from pagan mythology into his works? Of course he has ... before coming across a post where Child of the 7th Age mentions the similarity between Tolkien's Elves and Elves of Celtic legend, I made the same connection myself, having picked up a book on Irish fairy tales during a trip to Ireland in 1991. (I speak just enough Gaelic to order apple pie ... "Bewollum piog ul!" ) My interpretation of Tolkien's Elves bearing an uncanny resemblance to Irish Elves was based on the applicability of the similarities between the texts and my freedom as a reader.

Has Tolkien also drawn from Norse legend? As a matter of fact, he's used the names of my actual ancestors for his main characters. Yep, historical record (the proof of which I posted in another thread and am willing to provide to anyone who missed it and is still curious) documents the existence of Gandolf and Frodo (the spelling found for my particular ancestor may've actually been Frodo or Frotho*, if I recall.) On my last visit home for the Thanksgiving holidays, I was shown the latest documentation, and was amused to see the "Hobbit name" of Odo also comes from Scandinavia.

[Note: I edited this post from reading "Frodi" and "Frothi" to instead read "Frodo" and "Frotho" after double-checking my genealogical source, which unfortunately was not close to hand when I originally posted this in Child's thread.]

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[ January 07, 2003: Message edited by: Gandalf_theGrey ]
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Old 01-08-2003, 04:46 AM   #40
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Applicability is, to me, in many ways a far more acceptable term than allegory.
I haven't called the (possible) similarities between Radagast and St. Francis allegory, and I don't believe anyone else on this thread has, either. I don't think Tolkien naming or even describing characters after Saints makes it allegorical. Besides, if Radagast was supposed to be St. Francis it would be a shockingly plain allegory, probably not deserving of the term. One Ring = Atom Bomb would (theoretically) be an example of allegory, being symbolic but not identical.

I think that Tolkien could have put a lot of similarities into his work to real figures, that might not go against his (supposed) anti-allegory stance.
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