The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum


Visit The *EVEN NEWER* Barrow-Downs Photo Page

Go Back   The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum > Middle-Earth Discussions > The Books
User Name
Password
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-04-2006, 03:36 PM   #241
mark12_30
Stormdancer of Doom
 
mark12_30's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Elvish singing is not a thing to miss, in June under the stars
Posts: 4,396
mark12_30 has been trapped in the Barrow!
Send a message via AIM to mark12_30 Send a message via Yahoo to mark12_30
Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
How are you going discuss the Bible without mentioning religion?
The question is whose religion are we going to discuss-- yours and mine, or Tolkien's? And the Downs taboo has always been, arguing about religion on a personal opinions basis-- I.E. Harry's religion is right and Joe's religion is wrong. That is not discussing Tolkien's religion; that is discussing the poster's religion.

However, there have been many (very civilised) discussions on how religion and spirituality are connected with Tolkien's work and vice versa. We have had some interesting, and very respectful, discussions between (for instance) Christians and Buddhists and Jews and agnostics and atheists. THe thread usually managed to stay focused on the topic at hand, which was the relationship of the religious/spiritual item to Tolkien's work, or vice versa.

Tolkien and everything about him, is and has always been up for discussion on the Downs. Tolkien stated his beliefs quite clearly, and quoted from the scriptures frequently, analyzing his religious viewpoint is not particularly difficult.

Most serious Downs members through the years have been able to maintain cordiality.
__________________
...down to the water to see the elves dance and sing upon the midsummer's eve.
mark12_30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2006, 03:43 PM   #242
Feanor of the Peredhil
La Belle Dame sans Merci
 
Feanor of the Peredhil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: perpetual uncertainty
Posts: 5,956
Feanor of the Peredhil is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Feanor of the Peredhil is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Feanor of the Peredhil is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Send a message via MSN to Feanor of the Peredhil
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark12_30
Well, then. Will Fea's questions ever be taken seriosly? We wonders, aye, we wonders.
I ponder taking the discussion to PM so that it can be discussed instead of qualified, though I do not want to leave any interested parties out. Helen, would you be interested in helping me out with some independent study if we can't interest any others?
__________________
peace
Feanor of the Peredhil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2006, 03:47 PM   #243
mark12_30
Stormdancer of Doom
 
mark12_30's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Elvish singing is not a thing to miss, in June under the stars
Posts: 4,396
mark12_30 has been trapped in the Barrow!
Send a message via AIM to mark12_30 Send a message via Yahoo to mark12_30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendė
Firstly, how could it be literary analysis if nobody is seriously analysing?
I find this a strong statement. I hope it wasn't as arrogantly meant as it was written.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendė
I've also contributed ideas to this thread, not to mention I've had serious discussion with Raynor about free-will etc. But not closed discussion.
Generally speaking, I've enjoyed many of your contributions, and had begun saying so. But you miss my point. Any thread-- RPG, games, mirth, what have you-- is supposed to be a 'closed discussion' in the sense that the thread is supposed to be 'on topic.' If someone comes in and says 'but was Legolas blonde', on a thread about Numenoreans, it's off-topic. Threads have topics. We're supposed to stick with them.

That's been my whole frustration with THIS thread. Somehow, we've traveled through a host of other threads, ghosts of threads, shadows of threads, and graves of threads, without ever saying, Gee, let's take the discussion back to the old thread (where it belongs.)

The Barrow Wight has strongly recommended that a thread-starter should follow a certain pattern when starting a thread, in order to structure the thread so that foks stay on-topic. (Clear statement of question, and sample answer, with detailed textual support.) That was probably before Mansun's time; not his fault and I'm not blaming him. So this thread was stated a bit more generally (and his questions were being refined as hiis discussion continued. Once upon a time, Downers would have respected that and worked with that, and maintained a sense of decorum.) But I'm not seeing a general respect for Mansun's topic or his questions, not for several pages now.

Instead, I'm seeing lots of desk-thumping. And I find that rather sad.
__________________
...down to the water to see the elves dance and sing upon the midsummer's eve.

Last edited by mark12_30; 09-04-2006 at 03:51 PM.
mark12_30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2006, 03:48 PM   #244
mark12_30
Stormdancer of Doom
 
mark12_30's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Elvish singing is not a thing to miss, in June under the stars
Posts: 4,396
mark12_30 has been trapped in the Barrow!
Send a message via AIM to mark12_30 Send a message via Yahoo to mark12_30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feanor of the Peredhil
I ponder taking the discussion to PM so that it can be discussed instead of qualified, though I do not want to leave any interested parties out. Helen, would you be interested in helping me out with some independent study if we can't interest any others?
Of course-- but first, let's verify who is interested.
__________________
...down to the water to see the elves dance and sing upon the midsummer's eve.
mark12_30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2006, 03:52 PM   #245
davem
Illustrious Ulair
 
davem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,256
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
The question which started this thread was:

Quote:
Does anyone think Tolkien effectively stole many of his ideas from the Bible? Examples are the Balrog - Satan; Saruman/Grima - Judas; Gandalf the White resurrection; Elrond - Jesus?
Thus the thread is not about Tolkien's religious beliefs, or anyone's personal opinion on his religious beliefs. It is (& I keep trying to drag it back to this) whether Tolkien deliberately & with malice aforethought used Biblical figures 'in disguse' in LotR.

There are only two options: 'Yes, he did (the Plagiarist!) & this is the proof: (fill in the blank). Or: No, there's no evidence for any direct (& precious little for much indirect) correspondences.

Now those who favour response one have to provide evidence for their stance. Those who lean towards response two only have to demonstrate that the responses put forward by 'Group 1' don't stand up. To be able to do that they 'Group 2' have to take a critical approach.

The point being: This thread began with a question - 'Did Tolkien do 'x',' not 'Let's discuss how Tolkien did 'x'.' I think the thread you want is the latter - but you'll have to start that one yourself, not hijack this one.
davem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2006, 04:03 PM   #246
Lalwendė
A Mere Boggart
 
Lalwendė's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: under the bed
Posts: 4,804
Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark12_30
The question is whose religion are we going to discuss-- yours and mine, or Tolkien's? And the Downs taboo has always been, arguing about religion on a personal opinions basis-- I.E. Harry's religion is right and Joe's religion is wrong. That is not discussing Tolkien's religion; that is discussing the poster's religion.

However, there have been many (very civilised) discussions on how religion and spirituality are connected with Tolkien's work and vice versa. We have had some interesting, and very respectful, discussions between (for instance) Christians and Buddhists and Jews and agnostics and atheists. THe thread usually managed to stay focused on the topic at hand, which was the relationship of the religious/spiritual item to Tolkien's work, or vice versa.

Tolkien and everything about him, is and has always been up for discussion on the Downs. Tolkien stated his beliefs quite clearly, and quoted from the scriptures frequently, analyzing his religious viewpoint is not particularly difficult.

Most serious Downs members through the years have been able to maintain cordiality.
Mansun asked:

Quote:
Does anyone think Tolkien effectively stole many of his ideas from the Bible? Examples are the Balrog - Satan; Saruman/Grima - Judas; Gandalf the White resurrection; Elrond - Jesus?
And some answered No. So I think that puts to rest whether the thread went off topic.

By way of what's respectful and what's not, I might add that I have found some posts on this thread disrespectful too, but did not mention it as others brought the topic up more eloquently. Namely when posters suggested that only those who were Christian knew The Truth. Even if Tolkien thought it it doesn't mean I have to agree with that to understand his work.

And I'm deadly serious. And also apologise where I may have not been cordial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark12_30
I find this a strong statement. I hope it wasn't as arrogantly meant as it was written.
If you want to analyse then you must consider multitudes of avenues and opinions. How can there be analysis if all agree? I'm sometimes quite fierce in how I word things, yes. But it is not meant arrogantly. As said, I enjoy the rigour of debate at the Downs.

And by the by, please do post your opinions because once they're on here they can be discussed and argued with as necessary. I've already discussed with Raynor. If other posts are more pressing just ignore them, which is what I do if someone is irritating me.

EDIT And I do mean that. I'd far rather have the free for all than closed topics where certain opinions just cannot be considered. For one, I would be unlikely to ever read such a topic, and in that case I would learn nothing. It was a previous thread on religion that got me into accepting that certain symbolism was there; as I've said, I previously saw absolutely nothing in the texts, until I was shown otherwise. I now accept that the broad themes are indeed based on Christian morality, which I did not see, and that morality is the basis of the morality I follow myself! I am as noted, not an Atheist nor one who merely wishes to cause a stink.
__________________
Gordon's alive!

Last edited by Lalwendė; 09-04-2006 at 04:30 PM.
Lalwendė is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2006, 04:45 PM   #247
Raynor
Eagle of the Star
 
Raynor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Sarmisegethuza
Posts: 1,058
Raynor has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
Well, I wouldn't just accept it as a fact. I'd want to know in what sense he considered it to be 'Catholic'. You seem to be saying that as a Catholic wrote the book it is a Catholic story. In what way is LotR 'Catholic' to a non Catholic reader?

Forget who wrote it, forget all Tolkien's statements. Just look at the story itself. What would make an open minded reader of no faith think 'This is a Christian book'?
Ok, so this pope wrote a story in which:
- the saviour, a godly being is sent to rekindle the hope in good; he is despised in two of the most powerful kindgoms of Men, (Gondor + Rohan); he sacrifices himself so that evil may not prevail and returns to seal the the faith of the incarnation of evil; one of his inner circle, who for a time fell to temptation, repents;
- the King of Men returns to what might be called the holliest city of Middle-Earth; he heals the wounded and calls back the humans from the dead(Lazarus anyone?)
- of all the human race, the only two ones who are allowed into the "kingdom of heaven" are the humble ones ("Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" - Matei 3:5)
- the saviour is tempted by the power of evil, who promises all the riches of the world; he goes up the mountain, carrying a tremendous burden; for a while, a faithful one carries that burden for him.

Do you still have problems with the pope's claim? Is this Christian enough?
Raynor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2006, 07:18 PM   #248
alatar
Doubting Dwimmerlaik
 
alatar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Heaven's basement
Posts: 2,488
alatar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.alatar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Thankfully I've been able to stay away from this thread, as it seems to have begotten the 'same old, same old,' and it can only lead me to trouble. Anyway, though there is always that sooth about advice and its intended targets, but would it be helpful to define what one means by, for example, Jesus, before asking if this person/character appears in LotR? Some Christian religions have different understandings about what they mean when they say or write a specific word. So what does Mansun mean when he asks if such and such is in LotR?

Even better would be to decide on a definition then look for that definition in Tolkien's works. It may be more productive and step on less toes.

My two cents (before taxes).
__________________
There is naught that you can do, other than to resist, with hope or without it.
alatar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2006, 08:07 PM   #249
mark12_30
Stormdancer of Doom
 
mark12_30's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Elvish singing is not a thing to miss, in June under the stars
Posts: 4,396
mark12_30 has been trapped in the Barrow!
Send a message via AIM to mark12_30 Send a message via Yahoo to mark12_30
Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
It seems to me that the thread you are proposing is more of a 'prayer group', where Christian Downers will examine the text for uplifting Christian analogies, & from which non-believers/critics will be excluded (cast into the outer darkness, where there will be wailing & gnashing of teeth, & rumors of things going astray, erm, and there shall be a great confusion as to where things really are, and nobody will really know where lieth those little things with the sort of raffia-work base, that has an attachment. At that time, a friend shall lose his friend's hammer, and the young shall not know where lieth the things possessed by their fathers that their fathers put there only just the night before, about eight O'clock & stuff).
I still cannot believe you posted this.
__________________
...down to the water to see the elves dance and sing upon the midsummer's eve.
mark12_30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2006, 08:25 PM   #250
mark12_30
Stormdancer of Doom
 
mark12_30's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Elvish singing is not a thing to miss, in June under the stars
Posts: 4,396
mark12_30 has been trapped in the Barrow!
Send a message via AIM to mark12_30 Send a message via Yahoo to mark12_30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raynor
one of his inner circle, who for a time fell to temptation, repents
Yeah. I'm mulling that one over. Psalm 41, Psalm 55, and Zechariah 11:12-14; the last set is too specific of course. But the Psalms-- Hmmm. Hoom, hom.
Quote:
[/b]- of all the human race, the only two ones who are allowed into the "kingdom of heaven" are the humble ones ("Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" - Matei 3:5)
Hmmmm-- Caleb & Joshua-- two witnesses. Food for thought. Thanks!
Quote:
- the saviour is tempted by the power of evil, who promises all the riches of the world; he goes up the mountain, carrying a tremendous burden; for a while, a faithful one carries that burden for him.
Hey-- I hadn't thought of that last bit.

Very nice. Very nice indeed.
__________________
...down to the water to see the elves dance and sing upon the midsummer's eve.
mark12_30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2006, 08:33 PM   #251
mark12_30
Stormdancer of Doom
 
mark12_30's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Elvish singing is not a thing to miss, in June under the stars
Posts: 4,396
mark12_30 has been trapped in the Barrow!
Send a message via AIM to mark12_30 Send a message via Yahoo to mark12_30
How did you get this

Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
It seems to me that the thread you are proposing is more of a 'prayer group', where Christian Downers will examine the text for uplifting Christian analogies, & from which non-believers/critics will be excluded (cast into the outer darkness, where there will be wailing & gnashing of teeth, & rumors of things going astray, erm, and there shall be a great confusion as to where things really are, and nobody will really know where lieth those little things with the sort of raffia-work base, that has an attachment. At that time, a friend shall lose his friend's hammer, and the young shall not know where lieth the things possessed by their fathers that their fathers put there only just the night before, about eight O'clock & stuff).
From this

Quote:
Tolkien has produced a large body of work, incuding letters, lectures, various notes and outlines, numerous smaller stories and tales, and the legendarium. Some of this was published with his consent, some was published posthumously. Using any of this material, and, the reference material commonly used by adherents to the Christian and Catholic faith, discuss the effect and affect that Tolkien's Christian and Catholic faith had or may have had on the development of his Legendarium. Discuss his stated background, his stated assumptions, his stated goals, and his stated intentions (contradictions included).

Please do not attempt to prove or disprove the veracity of Tolkien's positions as that is NOT the purpose of this thread.

?
__________________
...down to the water to see the elves dance and sing upon the midsummer's eve.
mark12_30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2006, 09:24 PM   #252
Feanor of the Peredhil
La Belle Dame sans Merci
 
Feanor of the Peredhil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: perpetual uncertainty
Posts: 5,956
Feanor of the Peredhil is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Feanor of the Peredhil is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Feanor of the Peredhil is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Send a message via MSN to Feanor of the Peredhil
Helen, could you expound on post 250? I haven't got a Bible handy to check your references and I don't know the works well enough to remember.
__________________
peace
Feanor of the Peredhil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2006, 10:02 PM   #253
mark12_30
Stormdancer of Doom
 
mark12_30's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Elvish singing is not a thing to miss, in June under the stars
Posts: 4,396
mark12_30 has been trapped in the Barrow!
Send a message via AIM to mark12_30 Send a message via Yahoo to mark12_30
OK, Fea.

The Zechariah verses I think aren't very applicable so I'll leave them off.

Psalm 41:9 "Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me."

The key thought here is "who ate my bread"-- they shared meals together. Sharing a meal wassomething you did because of love and trust.

Jesus' ministry leasted 3.5 years; Judas & the rest of the apostles were wth him for at least the last two of those years (per Ryrie, anyway.) So for two years or nore. Judas and the other 11 ate with Jesus, day in, day out; they traveled together; they discussed things together. Judas was there for the multipication of the loaves; he was there for the Last Supper, which he ate; and Jesus washed his feet that same night.

From Rivendell to Amon Hen, the Fellowship shared meals together, and walked together for three months. They were together 24/7. Bonds form; trust grows.

Psalm 55:12-14 "For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; then I could bear it. Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me; then I could hide from him. But it was you, a man my equal, my companion and my acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, And walked to the house of God in the throng."

"Walked to the house of God" probably refers to the journey from the outlying lands into Jerusalem for the annual feasts; imagine all the folk from the twelve tribes who were healthy enough to travel, converging on the city for a week long celebration-- some from 200 miles away. Large "throng" of people; long walk. These two 'friends' walked together, talking, laughing, singing, heading for the citywide party (thrown three times a year, Passover, Pentecost, and Weeks), looking forward to feasting and celebrating together.

Clearly Frodo's Fellowship wasn't heading for a citywide block party. But they were walking, together, day after day; eating together; guarding each other as they slept; singing when they could, sharing tales when they could, silent when they needed to be. They were a team, working hard at teamwork. Even if Frodo was apprehensive about Boromir, still, teamwork produces trust. To have Boromir turn, and "lift up his heel", must have been a deep shock for Frodo *even if he saw it coming.* Of course he saw it coming; but it hit him hard nonetheless.

Deeply significant, I think, is that Boromir repented, and was able to redeem himself before he died-- and Faramir's vision of him beautifully confirms that his repentance was accepted. (Too bad Frodo never knew of it til after the quest was over.) There, I think, is the big contrast between Boromir and Judas; although Judas threw away his 30 peices of silver, he then went and hanged himself; there's no indication that his remorse was repentance, whether it was recieved, or that he was forgiven. Tolkien didn't have that in mind for Boromir, and indeed his deep remorse, his self-sacrifice, his funeral and Faramir's sighting of him is a strong statement on Tolkien's part about Boromir's redemmption.

Whether that difference is anchored in something, I haven't yet grasped or decided. Still pondering.

Afterthought-- the whole "betrayed with a kiss" theme. Boromir offered to stay with Frodo to keep him safe, and to let him unburden his heart. There was an offer of support and cameraderie; and it turned into something quite different.
__________________
...down to the water to see the elves dance and sing upon the midsummer's eve.

Last edited by mark12_30; 09-04-2006 at 10:15 PM.
mark12_30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2006, 12:06 AM   #254
davem
Illustrious Ulair
 
davem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,256
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raynor
Ok, so this pope wrote a story in which:
- the saviour, a godly being is sent to rekindle the hope in good; he is despised in two of the most powerful kindgoms of Men, (Gondor + Rohan); he sacrifices himself so that evil may not prevail and returns to seal the the faith of the incarnation of evil; one of his inner circle, who for a time fell to temptation, repents;
- the King of Men returns to what might be called the holliest city of Middle-Earth; he heals the wounded and calls back the humans from the dead(Lazarus anyone?)
- of all the human race, the only two ones who are allowed into the "kingdom of heaven" are the humble ones ("Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" - Matei 3:5)
- the saviour is tempted by the power of evil, who promises all the riches of the world; he goes up the mountain, carrying a tremendous burden; for a while, a faithful one carries that burden for him.

Do you still have problems with the pope's claim? Is this Christian enough?
Yes, yes, yes, & so on & so forth...

You can pick out bits & put a particular spin on them. Except Gandalf is not 'the Saviour' of M-e or anywhere else, but rather a guide & counsellor (I don't remember Jesus making fireworks either). He is not 'despised' in Gondor & Rohan, but merely didtrusted by their leaders- & not by everyone in the leadership either - both Eomer & Faramir are saddened by news of his fall)

Yes Minas Tirith 'might be called the 'Holiest City' in M-e'. It might also be called the biggest, the noisiest, the whitest, the stupidest, the cleverest, the most annoying, the most civilised, or any number of other appelations depending on the individual who was handing out the title. I don't think it is called 'the Holiest City' anywhere in the book.

As to 'calling the humans back from the dead' Aragorn doesn't - the Dead of Dunharrow are Dead & remain dead - they just go & do a bit of haunting for him, & Eowyn, Faramir, Merry & Frodo are not actually dead at any point.

Frodo & Sam climb a mountain with a Ring - all very symbolic - but why & how it is specifically Christian I can't see.

What you're doing is approaching the book from a Christian perspective & therefore seeing in it things which, as I said, are not entirely unlike Biblical things.

What I want to ask is why the Pope is writing fantasy novels anyway. He should stick to his day job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark
From Rivendell to Amon Hen, the Fellowship shared meals together, and walked together for three months. They were together 24/7. Bonds form; trust grows. (etc, etc)
I notice they all also wore clothes, & had arms & legs. Close study of the Gospel texts will show that Jesus & the disiples all also wore clothes & had arms & legs. There is even a reference to Jesus walking about sometimes. This is clearly proof of an underlying Christian subtext to LotR.
davem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2006, 02:02 AM   #255
Lalwendė
A Mere Boggart
 
Lalwendė's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: under the bed
Posts: 4,804
Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
I have to warn of being wary of attaching too much to the concept of the grouping of the Fellowship travelling through Middle-earth as I think this is a simple narrative requirement. However I'm interested in this idea of Minas Tirith being the 'holiest' city in Middle-earth. What drew you to that conclusion Raynor? I would have thought if anyone was trying to identify such a place, then they would more likely be drawn to Lothlorien or Rivendell, though I myself would not as it would be just too predictable to pick up on something Elven.

A thought strikes me though - it's something that it cannot possibly be intended to be, but there are echoes of Blake's concept of Jerusalem in Minas Tirith.

Quote:
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic Mills?
Quote:
I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England’s green and pleasant Land.
Let me qualify that. One of the interpretations of the preface to Milton is that it talks of creating a place of beauty and freedom, Jerusalem being more than a place in Israel/Palestine, but a concept of a 'chosen place'. Looking at the history of the Numenoreans, the city was founded by the faithful who came from the Island and it was founded in a spirit of hope, and with great intentions. Hmm, perhaps the history of the place is far too jumbled and in the time of the War of the Ring, now also crumbled from its former power to call it a holy place at that time, but I think the way it was founded was certainly with high minded intention.

Two more points I just want to discuss here. Firstly Aragorn's healing skills. Of course there are parallels to be drawn with Jesus here, but let's also think about Kingship - the ability to heal is usually associated with Monarchs, possibly drawn from Divine Right. Relics of English Kings and Queens were commonly sought out for their healing powers, and of course Tolkien puts in the reference to Kingsfoil which signposts us to that idea. Its not entirely separate from Jesus though, as I think the writers of the Gospels were themselves using this metaphor for Kingship, hoping to show readers that Jesus's healing powers proved his right to Kingship. So, I'd say, not drawn from, but the same metaphor.

And then Gandalf. if I had to draw a parallel with any Biblical figure I would certainly not place him as Jesus as Gandalf is not divine, but sent as a guide. He cannot instruct, only suggest. If I had to choose one figure it would be Moses or maybe another prophet. However the figure most like Gandalf from all of mythology is Merlin. Predictable, being a wizard an' all, but he fits this model most strongly. Solitary with mysterious powers over fire, he is shamanic. He also strikes fear into many, and what's more, is responsible for the growing up of a King in waiting - as we saw Merlin/Arthur, so we see Gandalf/Aragorn.
__________________
Gordon's alive!
Lalwendė is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2006, 03:42 AM   #256
mark12_30
Stormdancer of Doom
 
mark12_30's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Elvish singing is not a thing to miss, in June under the stars
Posts: 4,396
mark12_30 has been trapped in the Barrow!
Send a message via AIM to mark12_30 Send a message via Yahoo to mark12_30
Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
... but why & how it is specifically Christian I can't see..
No surprise there. You've said this before.
__________________
...down to the water to see the elves dance and sing upon the midsummer's eve.
mark12_30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2006, 03:53 AM   #257
mark12_30
Stormdancer of Doom
 
mark12_30's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Elvish singing is not a thing to miss, in June under the stars
Posts: 4,396
mark12_30 has been trapped in the Barrow!
Send a message via AIM to mark12_30 Send a message via Yahoo to mark12_30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendė
... Hmm, perhaps the history of the place is far too jumbled and in the time of the War of the Ring, now also crumbled from its former power to call it a holy place at that time....
Some might come to the same conclusion regarding modern Jerusalem. Yet the city retains its significance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendė
Two more points I just want to discuss here. Firstly Aragorn's healing skills. Of course there are parallels to be drawn with Jesus here, but let's also think about Kingship - the ability to heal is usually associated with Monarchs, possibly drawn from Divine Right. Relics of English Kings and Queens were commonly sought out for their healing powers, and of course Tolkien puts in the reference to Kingsfoil which signposts us to that idea. Its not entirely separate from Jesus though, as I think the writers of the Gospels were themselves using this metaphor for Kingship, hoping to show readers that Jesus's healing powers proved his right to Kingship. So, I'd say, not drawn from, but the same metaphor.
Interesting, Lal. Where did the (western concept of) Divine Right come from?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendė
And then Gandalf. if I had to draw a parallel with any Biblical figure I would certainly not place him as Jesus as Gandalf is not divine, but sent as a guide. He cannot instruct, only suggest. If I had to choose one figure it would be Moses or maybe another prophet. However the figure most like Gandalf from all of mythology is Merlin. Predictable, being a wizard an' all, but he fits this model most strongly. Solitary with mysterious powers over fire, he is shamanic. He also strikes fear into many, and what's more, is responsible for the growing up of a King in waiting - as we saw Merlin/Arthur, so we see Gandalf/Aragorn.
More good observations. Moses certainly; don't forget Samuel; and yes, there are others. More on that later I suspect.
__________________
...down to the water to see the elves dance and sing upon the midsummer's eve.
mark12_30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2006, 05:26 AM   #258
Lalwendė
A Mere Boggart
 
Lalwendė's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: under the bed
Posts: 4,804
Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Divine Right in the modern context is the power to rule given by God, however the concept of Monarchs who had been 'chosen' and with amazing powers existed before Christianity came to Europe - Celtic Kings (and Queens) were regarded as divine, and the concept also existed in Egypt, China and Japan - in China this was taken to the extreme degree that King actually was a God, not just that he had been given the gift of rulership. The concept was pretty much thrown out in the UK after the Civil War and the growing authority of Parliament, however you can still see echoes of that concept even today - see the Princess Di effect for proof!

And again you only have to look at the Princess Di effect/phenomenon to see how people even now have folk belief that Kings (or Princesses) can 'heal' them.

EDIT (now I've got some dinner ) : It's also worth considering how Tolkien uses the concept. Aragorn indeed has the right to be King, but he does not exercise this right with force. The idea of Divine Right has some very negative connotations, including the arrognace displayed by Charles I, and by some of the French Bourbon kings (resulting in the bloody Revolution). Note that Aragorn (interestingly with that name which is so close to the word arrogant) does not abuse this right. He almost does, at Meduseld, but Gandalf holds him back and makes him consider his actions. Instead, Aragorn very much earns his Kingship through example and leadership, and displays humility when his 'secret' is discovered via Ioreth's knowledge of folklore.

Contrast this with Denethor who thinks he has some kind of 'divine right of Stewardship'. I think Tolkien very much shows that though Kings may indeed have been bestowed with this 'gift', they still must earn the moral right to put it into practice, much as a democratically elected leader might.
__________________
Gordon's alive!

Last edited by Lalwendė; 09-05-2006 at 05:52 AM.
Lalwendė is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2006, 05:49 AM   #259
davem
Illustrious Ulair
 
davem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,256
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark12_30
More good observations. Moses certainly; don't forget Samuel; and yes, there are others. More on that later I suspect.
This is based on the rejected passage in HoM-e 7 where the baby Gandalf was found by Tom Bombadil floating in a basket on the Withywindle presumably?

Quote:
Interesting, Lal. Where did the (western concept of) Divine Right come from?
Maybe Rome & the whole deification of the Emperor thing? Or from the fact that the Anglo-Saxon kings claimed descent from Woden, or the Egyptian tradition that the King was the incarnation of Osiris, or just the fact that it was fairly common for ancient peoples to see their rulers in that way.

And this is the whole problem here. You're taking universals & claiming they are uniquely 'Christian' in order to prove some kind of point, or worse consciously or unconsciously misinterpreting incidents & characters in order to make them 'fit' your theory.

If Tolkien had wanted to write a book of theology I'm quite certain he could have done that. If he wanted to write an allegory on the lines of Narnia I'm sure he could have done that too. What he actually wrote was a story. Whatever got taken up into his secondary world became absorbed into it. I can think of no Biblical figure or event that was taken up wholesale. There may be bits of Moses, & Jesus, & Satan & the Heavenly Jerusalem & other stuff in there, but they're all mixed in with bits of Odin, Merlin, Beowulf, & lots of other stuff. This whole 'Gollum-like' scrabbling around among the roots & in holes to find out 'secrets' is vaguely insulting to Tolkien's genius as a creator.

EDIT Cross-posted with Lalwende
davem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2006, 06:11 AM   #260
Macalaure
Fading Fėanorion
 
Macalaure's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: roaming the forests of Nan Elmoth unmindfully
Posts: 2,749
Macalaure is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Macalaure is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Am I imagining things, or are we back on topic? :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raynor
- the saviour, a godly being is sent to rekindle the hope in good; he is despised in two of the most powerful kindgoms of Men, (Gondor + Rohan); he sacrifices himself so that evil may not prevail and returns to seal the the faith of the incarnation of evil; one of his inner circle, who for a time fell to temptation, repents;
- the King of Men returns to what might be called the holliest city of Middle-Earth; he heals the wounded and calls back the humans from the dead(Lazarus anyone?)
- of all the human race, the only two ones who are allowed into the "kingdom of heaven" are the humble ones ("Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" - Matei 3:5)
- the saviour is tempted by the power of evil, who promises all the riches of the world; he goes up the mountain, carrying a tremendous burden; for a while, a faithful one carries that burden for him.
Could you provide a little more detail for the lowly heathens?

Calling Gandalf the saviour needs more arguments, I think. Godly being, yes, but there's quite a difference between a low Ainu and the Son of God. Both sacrifice themselves, but one to save his companions from becoming balrog-barbeque, and one to redeem men from their sins. If "returns to seal the the faith of the incarnation of evil" refers to the resurrection, then I don't see this. If it refers to Jesus' return on Judgement Day then... well... no, I don't see it then either.
I'm waiting for Helen (mark12_30=Helen, if I understand this right? Sigh, I'm still too new... ) to post more about the Gandalf+Aragorn+Frodo ⊇ Jesus.

Of course Minas Tirith is the holiest city, there just isn't any other city left that is intact, unconquered and equal in age. Originally, I would think Osgiliath is a little holier (original capital of Gondor, connects two shores of a river, has the nicest Palantir), but Tolkien decided to destroy the great worldly city in favor of a mere citadel.


On the Borimir-Judas issue.
Judas betrayed Jesus because he was looking for a different kind of messiah. He thought that Jesus would use his 'messiahness' to obtain power and destroy the enemy (drive out the Romans). By betraying Jesus, he wanted to force him on this path.
Here I see a similarity with Boromir's situation, who thought that the Ring should be used to destroy the enemy with its power.
Difference: Judas planned his betrayal whereas Boromir was taken by madness. Both repented, but only Boromir was given a chance to redeem himself. The source of potential power was in one case entirely good, in the other entirely evil.
But we're not expecting one-to-one correspondency anyway.


On kings that heal.
There is a difference between 'Divine Right' and 'Königsheil' (King's Hail/Heal, can't translate it properly). The first is founded on the theory that God appoints a person and its descendants to rule the people. It is no more than a right. The second means that the king also has some 'supernatural' abilities, the one to heal people among others, to justify their rulership over others. It is a right and an obligation. This imagination already existed for the old germanic kings, and probably other peoples as well. The two got mingled in the middle ages, but the source of the healing aspect isn't christian.
__________________
D'ici bas je perēois ma demeure, ses prairies éternelles perdues dans les nuées.
Lą oł naissent les couleurs nouvelles,
Lą oł mon coeur et mon āme sont restés.
Macalaure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2006, 06:17 AM   #261
mark12_30
Stormdancer of Doom
 
mark12_30's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Elvish singing is not a thing to miss, in June under the stars
Posts: 4,396
mark12_30 has been trapped in the Barrow!
Send a message via AIM to mark12_30 Send a message via Yahoo to mark12_30
1420!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendė
....lots of good stuff....
...indeed. Very perceptive, and good food for thought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
....
Haven't I heard you saying this before?

Macalaure-- much interesting food for thought. Thanks.

Roompty toom, Burarum.

Last edited by mark12_30; 09-05-2006 at 06:23 AM.
mark12_30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2006, 06:29 AM   #262
Lalwendė
A Mere Boggart
 
Lalwendė's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: under the bed
Posts: 4,804
Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macalaure
On kings that heal.
There is a difference between 'Divine Right' and 'Königsheil' (King's Hail/Heal, can't translate it properly). The first is founded on the theory that God appoints a person and its descendants to rule the people. It is no more than a right. The second means that the king also has some 'supernatural' abilities, the one to heal people among others, to justify their rulership over others. It is a right and an obligation. This imagination already existed for the old germanic kings, and probably other peoples as well. The two got mingled in the middle ages, but the source of the healing aspect isn't christian.
Neither are as both are incredibly old ideas. The term Divine Right comes from, I think, St Paul, but the concepts of both are old as the hills. The 'proof' in Celtic times and back beyond would probably have come from performing some act of bravery or seeming magic (e.g. the Arthurian Sword in the stone story possibly originates from the seeming magic powers of smiths, turning rock into metal, which must've seemed incredible).
__________________
Gordon's alive!
Lalwendė is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2006, 06:34 AM   #263
davem
Illustrious Ulair
 
davem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,256
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
http://www.libertytothecaptives.net/...and_rings.html

http://www.capalert.com/capreports/l...fellowship.htm

http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org...s/tract11.html

http://biblia.com/ring/

http://www.tldm.org/News8/JRRTolkien...wis.Narnia.htm

http://www.cuttingedge.org/newsletters/030504.html Quote below

Quote:
But, even more damning is the book we have on our bookshelf, written by Kurt Bruner and Jim Ware of Focus On The Family, entitled, "Finding God In The Lord of the Rings"! The demonism I felt pouring through the horrible first movie was so strong, I had to leave the theater. The Abyss spirit powering this movie was much greater than in Harry Potter. Former Satanists have also testified their conviction that this movie is demonic through and through. This movie depicts a battle between a White Magic Wizard versus a Black Magick Wizard, both wielding powers and abilities that are well known to a former Satanist. This series of movies by Tolkien is pure Witchcraft through and through.
davem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2006, 06:39 AM   #264
mark12_30
Stormdancer of Doom
 
mark12_30's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Elvish singing is not a thing to miss, in June under the stars
Posts: 4,396
mark12_30 has been trapped in the Barrow!
Send a message via AIM to mark12_30 Send a message via Yahoo to mark12_30
Gee, davem, how many of those were written by Barrow-Downers participating in this discussion? Or more astounding still, written by Tolkien himself?
__________________
...down to the water to see the elves dance and sing upon the midsummer's eve.
mark12_30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2006, 06:39 AM   #265
Anguirel
Byronic Brand
 
Anguirel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: The 1590s
Posts: 2,825
Anguirel is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
It should also be noted that Divine Right and Touching for the King's Evil did come to be interwoven. After the Hanoverians succeeded the Stuarts with a much more constitutional style of monarchy in Britain, the exiled Stuarts continued to claim both prerogatives and asserted their rights by frequently touching the scrofulous with some success.

There's even a story that the Hanoverian so-called George II was approached by a little boy who was dying of scrofula. The lad begged him to touch him with the magical Royal effect, but the unimaginative, tedious, constitutional George laughed in his face and told him to go and seek out the Stuart claimants to the throne if he really believed in the absurd superstition. The boy promptly went to James VIII and III, "The Old Pretender", in Rome, was touched by him and recovered from the disease...
__________________
Among the friendly dead, being bad at games did not seem to matter
-Il Lupo Fenriso
Anguirel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2006, 06:46 AM   #266
Macalaure
Fading Fėanorion
 
Macalaure's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: roaming the forests of Nan Elmoth unmindfully
Posts: 2,749
Macalaure is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Macalaure is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
davem, your links only show that:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macalaure
Well, of course one is free to do whatever one wants to. Still, if his meaning is not coherent and conclusive, then it is invalid and of no substance. Of course, nobody can be punished for having an invalid opinion. (at least not where you and I live)
__________________
D'ici bas je perēois ma demeure, ses prairies éternelles perdues dans les nuées.
Lą oł naissent les couleurs nouvelles,
Lą oł mon coeur et mon āme sont restés.
Macalaure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2006, 07:13 AM   #267
The Saucepan Man
Corpus Cacophonous
 
The Saucepan Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: A green and pleasant land
Posts: 8,467
The Saucepan Man has been trapped in the Barrow!
Pipe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendė
The idea of Divine Right has some very negative connotations, including the arrognace displayed by Charles I ...
If I recall my rusty history correctly, Charles I was raised to believe that he had a divine right to rule and genuinely believed this to be the case. He simply could not conceive of things any differently. The whole basis of his defence at his trial was that Parliament had no right to challenge his authority, deriving as it did from God. Indeed, it probably sealed his fate - I seem to recall that it would have been possible for him to avoid the executioner's axe had he renounced his right to the throne. His arrogance therefore (if it may be called that) was driven by an unshakeable conviction in his right to rule.

But didn't Aragorn too have an unshakeable conviction in his right to rule? Admittedly, he saw it as important to assume the throne with the will of the people. But what if he had not had popular support? What if Denethor (or even Boromir) had survived and opposed his coronation? It has, I think, been mooted in the past that civil war within Gondor might have been the outcome (as had happened in the past).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macalaure
There is a difference between 'Divine Right' and 'Königsheil' (King's Hail/Heal, can't translate it properly).
In England at least, the belief in the monarch's power to heal scrofula (the 'King's Disease'), which lasted from the time of Edward Confessor (11th Century) through to the 18th Century was, I think, connected to the concept of divine right.

It goes without saying that Tolkien would have been aware of this tradition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macalaure
Of course Minas Tirith is the holiest city, there just isn't any other city left that is intact, unconquered and equal in age.
Is there a parallel, I wonder, in the Bible (or in any other tradition) with Minas Ithil/Morgul - the "twin" city which falls to evil? Babylon? Gomorrah?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macaulure
Judas betrayed Jesus because he was looking for a different kind of messiah. He thought that Jesus would use his 'messiahness' to obtain power and destroy the enemy (drive out the Romans). By betraying Jesus, he wanted to force him on this path.
Wasn't that the motivation of Simon and the Zealots? My Bible is even more rusty than my English history, but I thought that Judas' motivations were different. Or am I just basing that on Jesus Christ Superstar?

Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
And this is the whole problem here. You're taking universals & claiming they are uniquely 'Christian' in order to prove some kind of point, or worse consciously or unconsciously misinterpreting incidents & characters in order to make them 'fit' your theory ... This whole 'Gollum-like' scrabbling around among the roots & in holes to find out 'secrets' is vaguely insulting to Tolkien's genius as a creator.
Davem, why is this a problem? A cursory glance at this thread will make your position quite apparent to any reader. I rather agree with your point that LotR is not uniquely Christian. I am one of those who did not pick up any parallel with Christianity when I frst read the book - certainly not until I started to read the Silmarillion some years later (indeed, the "Biblical" tone of the Silm's opening chapters put me off reading it back then).

But I can't for the life of me see why you should have any objection to those who are interested in discussing possible Bilbical parallels (whether intended by the author or not) doing so. What skin is it iff your nose? I acknowledge your point about detailed analysis perhaps risking breaking the "enchantment" (and that is one of the reasons that I too stopped contributing to the C-b-C thread). But that is a matter for the individual. You do not have to participate if you do not wish, but why seek (continually and repetitively) to admonish others for discussing these matters if they wish to do so? I just don't see the point.

Certainly, I don't think it is something that should be thought of as insulting to Tolkien, given that it was something in which he himself (when, post-publication, was effectively in the position of a "detached reader" of his own work) engaged in correspondence with his readers.
__________________
Do you mind? I'm busy doing the fishstick. It's a very delicate state of mind!

Last edited by The Saucepan Man; 09-05-2006 at 07:16 AM.
The Saucepan Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2006, 07:18 AM   #268
Feanor of the Peredhil
La Belle Dame sans Merci
 
Feanor of the Peredhil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: perpetual uncertainty
Posts: 5,956
Feanor of the Peredhil is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Feanor of the Peredhil is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Feanor of the Peredhil is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Send a message via MSN to Feanor of the Peredhil
I am hesitant about this post, but consider it to be thinking aloud.

I attended a presentation third term last year on communication as an art form and much to my fascination, this ended up on the overhead. I'm working from memory here... call me on things I'm forgetting or screw up.

Jesus knew that he was going to die, quite in advance of his death.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark 8:31
Then Jesus began to tell them that he, the Son of Man, would suffer many terrible things and be rejected by the leaders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, and three days later he would rise again.
But in the Gospel of Judas it is claimed that Jesus asked that this public betrayal be done by a friend as opposed to an enemy. The man leading the discussion (ugh... wish I could remember the whole thing) mentioned that suicide is bad and that in order to die for the people, Jesus had to die by the people. But Jesus also said

Quote:
Originally Posted by John 10:17-18
Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.
Jesus had to die and come back, pretty much, and he could. But in order to make that sacrifice, he needed somebody to betray him.

I think the same holds for Frodo. He wanted to go to Mount Doom (the meaning of 'doom' has never seemed more applicable than when I ponder these events and how they occur to be somewhat fated) alone so that he could save those he loved from sharing his fate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frodo
I tried to save the Shire, and it has been saved, but not for me. It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: some one has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them.
He tried to leave the Shire alone in the very beginning. When he found himself with more companions, he had to cut himself off from them. I don't think he could have made that cut without the aid of Boromir's 'treachery'. And that Galadriel could forsee Boromir's inner struggle suggests that it may have been somewhat of a 'Planned' event, required for further events to properly unfold.

Ignore my ramblings if you want. I need coffee.
__________________
peace
Feanor of the Peredhil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2006, 07:19 AM   #269
Feanor of the Peredhil
La Belle Dame sans Merci
 
Feanor of the Peredhil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: perpetual uncertainty
Posts: 5,956
Feanor of the Peredhil is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Feanor of the Peredhil is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Feanor of the Peredhil is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Send a message via MSN to Feanor of the Peredhil
Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
What you're doing is approaching the book from a Christian perspective & therefore seeing in it things which, as I said, are not entirely unlike Biblical things.
He gets it!
__________________
peace
Feanor of the Peredhil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2006, 07:39 AM   #270
narfforc
The Dank-lord Sourone
 
narfforc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Asfahawayasikan
Posts: 1,303
narfforc is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
I would like to concentrate on just one character, Gandalf. He is called by some an angelic power, so what is an angel. There seems to be a whole host of them, so here we go.


First Hierarchy (Choir)
Seraphim:They are with God
Cherubim:They hold the knowledge of God and are sent to Earth with the greatest tasks.
Thrones.


Second Hierachy (Choir)
Dominions.
Virtues.
Powers: Spirits of Form, a sort of elite guard against the demonic attack of heaven

Third Hierarchy (Choir)
Principalities:Watch over the mortal world, guiding and protecting. They are responsible for carrying out divine acts concerning their area of jurisdiction.
Archangels.
Angels:Those that intermediate between God and Man, they are carriers of Gods word to mankind, acting as messengers and couriers to both God and the upper ranks of Angelkind.

Now I have chosen the bits that fit the descriptions of The Ainur, The Valar and Maiar, the last one being very descriptive of Gandalf and The Istari. I do not believe in angels anymore than I believe in fairies, yet Tolkien may well have done. He seems to have merged these Judeo/Christian myths with the Pagan myths of the Norse and Celts.

A very good book to read is From The Ashes Of Angels by Andrew Collins.
This book tells another interpretation of these winged men and their offspring The Nephilim.

So what else is Gandalf/Olorin other than an Angel?, here is a different possibility, Mercury. This God is:

1. The Messenger of the Gods

2. He carries the dreams of Morpheus from Somnus to sleeping humans.

3. He is the son of Maia Maiestas

4. In occult circles he is given rulership over all things magical.

5. He is identified with the Celtic God Lugus, and he is sometimes asscotiated with Light/Sun
6. Lugus as The Irish God Lugh defeated the monstrous Balor One Eye.

So you see when looking at certain characteristics you can fit almost anything you want into LotR, the problem is that the world is full of stories and religions and some are very similar. Take Mithras the saviour god for instance, Born on Dec 25th in a cave of Virgin Birth, died and was reborn. Early christian tradition said that Jesus was born in a cave, the word in the Gospels is katalemna which literally means a temporary shelter or cave. Another story is that of Tammuz, born of Virgin Birth, died with a wound to his side, arose from his tomb after three days leaving it vacant, with a rock at its entrance rooled aside. There are 12 different instances I know of where death by crucifixion occurs and the person is ressurected. Tolkien was a clever man, he would have known of these similarities, this is possibily why he used universal myths to add weight to his sub-creation.
__________________
THE LORD OF THE GRINS:THE ONE PARODY....NOW ON FACEBOOK.... SOON TO BE A BOOK

Last edited by narfforc; 09-05-2006 at 08:21 AM.
narfforc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2006, 08:35 AM   #271
ninja91
Shade of Carn Dūm
 
ninja91's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Chozo Ruins.
Posts: 439
ninja91 has just left Hobbiton.
Now, I am (annoyingly) interrupting a thread again. It is what ninjas do...
Anyway, I have not read through the whole thread because it is very, very long now. Boromir88, please, do not get mad at me!
Anyway, I would like to compare Frodo to Jesus.
Frodo had to carry a burden, the ring, up mount doom. He was helped by Sam. Jesus had to carry the cross up to Mount Golgotha, with some help from Simon.
Frodo was deceived by Gollum. Jesus was deceived by Judas.
Frodo suffers at the cracks of doom. Jesus suffers on the cross.
Frodo went to the Grey Havens. Jesus ascended into heaven.
Along the way, they are both tempted. Once I remember more, I'll probably edit the post or something...
__________________
Quote:
The rider was robed all in black, and black was his lofty helm; yet this was no Ringwraith but a living man. The Lieutenant of the Tower of Barad-dūr he was, and his name is remembered in no tale; for he himself had forgotten it...
ninja91 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2006, 08:43 AM   #272
davem
Illustrious Ulair
 
davem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,256
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ninja91
Now, I am (annoyingly) interrupting a thread again. It is what ninjas do...
Anyway, I have not read through the whole thread because it is very, very long now. Boromir88, please, do not get mad at me!
Anyway, I would like to compare Frodo to Jesus.
Frodo had to carry a burden, the ring, up mount doom. He was helped by Sam. Jesus had to carry the cross up to Mount Golgotha, with some help from Simon.
Frodo was deceived by Gollum. Jesus was deceived by Judas.
Frodo suffers at the cracks of doom. Jesus suffers on the cross.
Frodo went to the Grey Havens. Jesus ascended into heaven.
Along the way, they are both tempted. Once I remember more, I'll probably edit the post or something...
Both had hairy feet, sang songs about cows jumping over the moon & fought giant spiders...
davem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2006, 08:56 AM   #273
Lalwendė
A Mere Boggart
 
Lalwendė's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: under the bed
Posts: 4,804
Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Saucepan Man
If I recall my rusty history correctly, Charles I was raised to believe that he had a divine right to rule and genuinely believed this to be the case. He simply could not conceive of things any differently. The whole basis of his defence at his trial was that Parliament had no right to challenge his authority, deriving as it did from God. Indeed, it probably sealed his fate - I seem to recall that it would have been possible for him to avoid the executioner's axe had he renounced his right to the throne. His arrogance therefore (if it may be called that) was driven by an unshakeable conviction in his right to rule.

But didn't Aragorn too have an unshakeable conviction in his right to rule? Admittedly, he saw it as important to assume the throne with the will of the people. But what if he had not had popular support? What if Denethor (or even Boromir) had survived and opposed his coronation? It has, I think, been mooted in the past that civil war within Gondor might have been the outcome (as had happened in the past).
You're far more sympathetic to Charles I than I am. There is of course a long history of Kings taking that kind of line and meeting their makers as a result. I think we can still call it arrogance taken from our modern perspective, as we don't necessarily excuse slave traders in the past of ignorance.

And you're more harsh on Aragorn than I am! I think Aragorn did indeed have a conviction that he had the right to rule, but certainly after the near miss 'diplomatic incident' (as it might be called today) at Meduseld he knew about holding back. If he had still got poular support and one of the brothers had held onto Gondor he would have used diplomatic means to win them over, but even had he not had popular support, I doubt he would have gone 'steaming in'.
__________________
Gordon's alive!
Lalwendė is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2006, 09:59 AM   #274
Mister Underhill
Dread Horseman
 
Mister Underhill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Behind you!
Posts: 2,738
Mister Underhill has been trapped in the Barrow!
To qualify as Downs discussion, posts are also required to be civil and respectful, particularly when it comes to a hot-button topic like religion. I've only skimmed the last couple of pages of this thread, but I don't like the tone I see.

This is Downs 101 -- and veteran members should know it best of all. Attacking, dismissive, insulting, and drippingly sarcastic posts have no place on the BD. Maybe it's time for everyone to refresh themselves on Esty's Guidelines for Forum Posting.

There have already been a couple of moderator warnings in this thread. I trust that this last one pays for all, and that no one here will force us into more drastic action like thread closures or temporary bans.
Mister Underhill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2006, 10:08 AM   #275
The Saucepan Man
Corpus Cacophonous
 
The Saucepan Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: A green and pleasant land
Posts: 8,467
The Saucepan Man has been trapped in the Barrow!
White-Hand

Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
I haven't been admonishing anybody. I was asking for someone to put forward these Christian elements - & I asked repeatedly because for a very long time people were demanding the 'right' to do that & not actually doing it.
The point is, davem, that you persist in stating your personal objection to the basis of the discussion when I think that all involved acknowledge and accept that objection. Regardless of that personal objection of yours, there are people who still wish to discuss possible parallels with the Bible. It is perfectly possible to do so without accepting that LotR is a uniquely Christian book or that it reflects the "One True (Christian) Myth" or that Tolkien intended such parallels. Equally, it is perfectly possible to do so without sermonising (as I am sure that those here who might otherwise be inclined to do so will appreciate).

Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
To qualify as a Books thread surely there needs to be serious debate, with evidence cited, quotes provided, justification offered for points made & an absence of whining about being criticised. The fact that it involves Christianity & the Bible doesn't grant it special treatment in a forum dedicated to serious analysis of Tolkien's works.
As I see it, the thread is now starting to move towards more serious debate of the issues raised and hopefully will continue to do so, if you will let it. Debate does not become serious only when davem considers it to be so. A discussion does not become worthy of the Book forum only when davem deems it to be so. A parallel does not become a parallel only when davem accepts it (and nor, in my opinion, does it require an exact identity of features for it to be validly drawn).

As for "whining about being criticised", there is a difference between debating points of disagreement and ridiculing the views and opinions of others. You, in my assessment, have over-stepped the mark on a number of occasions (and unfortunately continue to do so).

Your objection is noted. Let's move on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendė
If he had still got poular support and one of the brothers had held onto Gondor he would have used diplomatic means to win them over, but even had he not had popular support, I doubt he would have gone 'steaming in'.
And if a diplomatic resolution had not been possible?

Of course, the point does not arise because, within the context of the story, Aragorn does have a divine right to rule (as evidenced by his "hands of a healer") and this is readily recognised and accepted by his putative subjects. (There was also the small matter of having saved their City from almost certain doom. )

EDIT: Cross-posted with Mister Underhill, whose final warning will, I hope, be heeded by all concerned.
__________________
Do you mind? I'm busy doing the fishstick. It's a very delicate state of mind!
The Saucepan Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2006, 10:41 AM   #276
Macalaure
Fading Fėanorion
 
Macalaure's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: roaming the forests of Nan Elmoth unmindfully
Posts: 2,749
Macalaure is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Macalaure is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Saucepan Man
Wasn't that the motivation of Simon and the Zealots? My Bible is even more rusty than my English history, but I thought that Judas' motivations were different.
My Bible is as rusty as yours, probably rustier. And my English history... well
However, I believe this was his motivation. I think he even was a zealot before he followed Jesus.

Quote:
I am one of those who did not pick up any parallel with Christianity when I frst read the book - certainly not until I started to read the Silmarillion some years later (indeed, the "Biblical" tone of the Silm's opening chapters put me off reading it back then).
Same holds for me. That is why I'm interested in the perspective.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ninja91
Anyway, I would like to compare Frodo to Jesus.
Frodo had to carry a burden, the ring, up mount doom. He was helped by Sam. Jesus had to carry the cross up to Mount Golgotha, with some help from Simon.
Frodo was deceived by Gollum. Jesus was deceived by Judas.
Frodo suffers at the cracks of doom. Jesus suffers on the cross.
Frodo went to the Grey Havens. Jesus ascended into heaven.
I see your points. But one-to-one comparisons like these are a little too simple.
Frodo's burden was the reason for his whole quest. For Jesus it was just the last step. The help they get is different. If I don't mix things up, then Simons carries Jesus' cross for a while. Sam carries the Ring, too, but earlier and only when he had no other choice. He's not allowed to carry it at Mount Doom.
Judas betrayed Jesus to the Romans. Gollum betrayed Frodo for his own good.
Valinor has of course a parallel with Heaven/Eden, but then, it has a parallel with pretty much every otherworld in any myth.
__________________
D'ici bas je perēois ma demeure, ses prairies éternelles perdues dans les nuées.
Lą oł naissent les couleurs nouvelles,
Lą oł mon coeur et mon āme sont restés.
Macalaure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2006, 10:51 AM   #277
The Saucepan Man
Corpus Cacophonous
 
The Saucepan Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: A green and pleasant land
Posts: 8,467
The Saucepan Man has been trapped in the Barrow!
Silmaril

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macaluare
Judas betrayed Jesus to the Romans. Gollum betrayed Frodo for his own good.
To pick up on this point, isn't there a line of thought that Judas was a vital and necessary part of God's plan - that it was his betrayal which enabled Jesus to fulfil his mission on earth? Similarly, it might be said that Gollum's betrayal was a necessary ingredient in the fulfillment of Frodo's mission and that it was, in effect willed by Eru. Certainly it is held by many (the author included, I believe) that Eru had a "hand" in Gollum's "accidental" over-balancing at the Crack of Doom.
__________________
Do you mind? I'm busy doing the fishstick. It's a very delicate state of mind!
The Saucepan Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2006, 10:58 AM   #278
Raynor
Eagle of the Star
 
Raynor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Sarmisegethuza
Posts: 1,058
Raynor has just left Hobbiton.
Davem, I will propose this: I will keep pointing to Bible similarities (something you specifically requested several times in this thread, but when it is done you seem, though I might be wrong, to dislike it), while you will try to identify the same events/themes in all those religious systems you refferred to (judaism, hinduism, islamism, etc), since you claimed that LoR's themes are universal. Whatever the case, I will find your such posts esspecially instructive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
Except Gandalf is not 'the Saviour' of M-e or anywhere else, but rather a guide & counsellor
Yet he is called the chief mover of the resistance, isn't he?
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Istari, UT
Elsewhere is told how it was that when Sauron rose again, he also arose and partly revealed his power, and becoming the chief mover of the resistance to Sauron was at last victorious, and brought all by vigilance and labour to that end which the Valar under the One that is above them had designed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Letter #156
In the end before he departs for ever he sums himself up: 'I was the enemy of Sauron'.He might have added: 'for that purpose I was sent to Middle-earth'. But by that he would at the end have meant more than at the beginning.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Many Partings, RotK
You have proved mightiest, and all your labours have gone well
Quote:
Eowyn, Faramir, Merry & Frodo are not actually dead at any point
Indeed, the two events are not identical, which doesn't negate the parallel however:
Quote:
Originally Posted by John11:43
And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Houses of Healing, RotK
Suddenly Faramir stirred, and he opened his eyes, and he looked on Aragorn who bent over him; and a light of knowledge and love was kindled in his eyes, and he spoke softly.

- My lord, you called me. I come. What does the king command?

- Walk no more in the shadows, but awake! said Aragorn
...
- Eowyn Eomund's daughter, awake! For your enemy has passed away!
Quote:
What I want to ask is why the Pope is writing fantasy novels anyway. He should stick to his day job.
You would wonder why the Pope is writing a religious work? You didn't seem to have any problem with a car builder making a Christian car .

One other thought I will share with you is the council of Elrond; in the Bible, we have the wise men coming to greet Christianity's greatest hero, following certain signs. At the council of Elrond, emissaries from far off, following various "signs", arrive to a meeting which is, figuratively, the birth of Frodo as a hero
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Council of Elrond, FotR
But it is a heavy burden. So heavy that none could lay it on another. I do not lay it on you. But if you take it freely, I will say that your choice is right; and though all the mighty elf-friends of old, Hador, and Hurin, and Turin, and Beren himself were assembled together your seat should be among them.
And, as Tolkien noted about Frodo's journey, "few others, possibly no others of his time, would have got so far".

Looking forward to your parallels in the other religions .
EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by TSpM
Certainly it is held by many (the author included, I believe) that Eru had a "hand" in Gollum's "accidental" over-balancing at the Crack of Doom.
Indeed:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Letter #192
Frodo deserved all honour because he spent every drop of his power of will and body, and that was just sufficient to bring him to the destined point, and no further. Few others, possibly no others of his time, would have got so far. The Other Power then took over: the Writer of the Story (by which I do not mean myself), 'that one ever-present Person who is never absent and never named' (as one critic has said).

Last edited by Raynor; 09-05-2006 at 11:07 AM.
Raynor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2006, 11:16 AM   #279
davem
Illustrious Ulair
 
davem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,256
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
I have been asked to take a break from this thread for a while due to my posts being increasingly 'aggressive'. This accusation has been levelled at me by number of posters here.

I find it a little sad that people are unable to distinguish between aggression & satire (or even sarcasm).

One similarity has so far failed to be pointed up, & I feel a bit uncertain about handing such ammunition to my opponents:

Both works exist in book form. Further, both are printed in ink, on paper!

Proof if proof were needed that there is absolutely no difference between them.
davem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2006, 11:27 AM   #280
Macalaure
Fading Fėanorion
 
Macalaure's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: roaming the forests of Nan Elmoth unmindfully
Posts: 2,749
Macalaure is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Macalaure is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Suacepan Man
To pick up on this point, isn't there a line of thought that Judas was a vital and necessary part of God's plan - that it was his betrayal which enabled Jesus to fulfil his mission on earth? Similarly, it might be said that Gollum's betrayal was a necessary ingredient in the fulfillment of Frodo's mission and that it was, in effect willed by Eru. Certainly it is held by many (the author included, I believe) that Eru had a "hand" in Gollum's "accidental" over-balancing at the Crack of Doom.
Yes, I see your point. Gollum and Judas were different kinds of betrayers, yet their betrayals achieved a similar end.
I take it that you don't like the idea of Eru giving Gollum a nudge. Me neither. Frodo's and Sam's pity with Gollum (very late though, in Sam's case) to me is one of the most important ingredients and messages of the book. Eru's nudge doesn't mix very good with this...

edit: Then, of course, we don't know what Eru did with him after his death. And dying with the Ring in his hands maybe wasn't the worst thing to Gollum. And didn't Eru sweep away a whole island, some time back?
Ah, well...
__________________
D'ici bas je perēois ma demeure, ses prairies éternelles perdues dans les nuées.
Lą oł naissent les couleurs nouvelles,
Lą oł mon coeur et mon āme sont restés.

Last edited by Macalaure; 09-05-2006 at 11:32 AM.
Macalaure is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:58 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.