The Art of The Lord of the Rings: A Defense of the Aesthetic

This article provides something of a corrective to the ongoing trend in Tolkien studies to read his fiction theologically and attach aspects of it to specific Christian doctrine and practice. Tolkien made his resistance to such “symbolic or allegorical” interpretation very clear in his letters. I ar...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Religion and the arts
Main Author: Munro, Rebecca
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: 2014
In:Religion and the arts
Year: 2014, Volume: 18, Issue: 5, Pages: 636-652
Further subjects:B primary world verisimilitude sub-creation Eucatastrophe aesthetics theology literature
Online Access: Volltext (Verlag)
Description
Summary:This article provides something of a corrective to the ongoing trend in Tolkien studies to read his fiction theologically and attach aspects of it to specific Christian doctrine and practice. Tolkien made his resistance to such “symbolic or allegorical” interpretation very clear in his letters. I argue that recognizing and reading Tolkien as a literary artist provides a more appropriate method by which we may appreciate The Lord of the Rings as the author intended, as literary art. Through such an approach, we may also come to a more accurate understanding of how Tolkien’s faith, as a Catholic Christian writer, enriches his masterpiece. Evidence for my argument comes from Tolkien’s writings and The Lord of the Rings, in which Tolkien’s aesthetic criteria for the art of story-telling is most fully embodied and demonstrated.
ISSN:1568-5292
Contains:In: Religion and the arts
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1163/15685292-01805002