Tolkien and Catholicism

Didn’t think it would be appropriate to join the book club just to post this one question, so here it is:

Does anyone know of any good books that discuss JRR Tolkien’s Catholicism and its impact on his work? As to be expected, there are a lot of books on Tolkien, but I couldn’t find any in the average bookstores written clearly from a Catholic perspective, or at least clearly focused on his religious views.


Try this one. It is by Joseph Pearce and is from Ignatius Press:

Tolkien: Man and Myth

I haven’t read it myself, but it looks fascinating.

I read it several years ago. Enjoyed it very much.

The philosophy of tolkein by peter j. kreeft:

another here:

And another:

And until all the books you order come in:
See lectures 4, 28, 29 & 31

Didn’t start this thread but cheers anyways, I was looking for more than my own hazy connections also.

Was reading a CS Lewis autobiography the other night and he mentioned that Tolkien apart from being one of his closest friends was a person who had a huge impact on his reversion back to christianity.

Have you ever read *The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien *(ISBN 0-618-05699-8) edited by Tolkien’s biographer Humphrey Carpenter assisted by Christopher Tolkien.

I almost wasn’t going to post, as I figured this book is very visible and you’d probably already read it. But in many letters he goes into detail about his Catholicism. I was very edified to read how deeply religious (and staunchly Catholic) he was. There is a letter where he actually admits that he considered the Lord of the Rings a very “Catholic” work. I assume most people only peruse a book of “letters” but if you dig in and get dirty, you’ll be rewarded (I think).

I may write the book you’re asking about someday. I have studied the books from a Catholic point of view. Though Tolkien avoided “allegory” preferring to write a story with a history, there are clearly “allegorical” moments in Tolkien that are only best explained and understood from a Catholic stand point. If you ever want to share Tolkien/Catholic theories, just post.

And whats the story with everyone saying that Sam and Frodo were gay? I couldnt really give people a reason why they werent (must be in closet cause of rosie) apart from the fact that there is no mention of it and people must be just projecting.

They weren’t gay. There’s some practice in the British army where officers have “personal assistants” that attend to them and Tolkien was trying to represent this relationship. It’s covered on the extended CD’s for the movie. In Europe, men do things with each other (like holding hands, even sitting close with each other) that in America we would not be comfortable with. It’s also the American phobia of being “touched” in general, compounded by our homophobia which leads idiots to make these assumptions. You can’t read Tolkien by modern American standards.

Watch those CD’s that come with the movies. They are very enlightening.

Don’t forget Norse Mythology.:wink:

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