Why is magic ok in LOTR and Narnia but nowhere else?

This confuses me. Please explain.

[quote="FaithBuild18, post:1, topic:224203"]
This confuses me. Please explain.

[/quote]

This might help concerning the LOTR...

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=517509

Tolkien's books have an anti-magic theme running through his books. Power, in the form of magic, was promised by Melkor (Morgoth) to the various people's of Middle Earth, which leads to all the evil events happening.

Tolkien took a very negative view of the misuse of power through the use of technology and magic in his books. The Sillmarilion is a good place to start in order to grasp what happened to cause the events in the LOTR.

I can't answer for Narnia, because I'm not a fan of the books.

Tolkien and Lewis warned against both power obsession and magic throughout their books. And rightfully so. :thumbsup: They were also very clear about what is "good" and what is "evil."

Be ready. You will get strong opinions about the "nowhere else," but it all comes down to a matter of conscience. The Church will never come out and say, "All fantasy novels except LOTR and Narnia must be banned from Catholic households," or something like that. :)

I don't think it's only ok in LOTR and Narnia. If you're reading fiction and magic is involved... it's fiction... it doesn't matter. It doesn't make it evil. Furthermore even if you're reading about something that IS evil it's up to YOU to make the determination as to how you want to perceive that. God's greatest gift to us besides love and His Son is free will.

If I read a book about Satanism I become more knowledgable about what Satanists believe... that doesn't make me one nor does it make the book itself evil. In fact for the purpose of debate it's always good to know what the opposing view is. The opinions of the author may be evil but it's my choice to view it how I wish. If I choose to take the text in said book as my new faith then that was MY choice, not the book's... that is then MY fault for choosing to stray from God, I would have no basis to blame a book. Yes a book can influence you... if YOU allow it to.

However, that's purely hypothetical... I've never read a book on Satanism as I'm perfectly fine not knowing what they believe. However I did study Greek Mythology for several years in my youth. Never at any point did I consider it a religious experience or start considering "which God" to pray to because I'm smart enough to read the stories of Zeus and Hercules etc. and recognize them as that... JUST STORIES.

[quote="lil_flower_luv, post:3, topic:224203"]
Tolkien and Lewis warned against both power obsession and magic throughout their books. And rightfully so. :thumbsup: They were also very clear about what is "good" and what is "evil."

[/quote]

Actually what they warned against is the misuse of magic, not magic itself.

[quote="lil_flower_luv, post:3, topic:224203"]
Tolkien and Lewis warned against both power obsession and magic throughout their books. And rightfully so. :thumbsup: They were also very clear about what is "good" and what is "evil."

Be ready. You will get strong opinions about the "nowhere else," but it all comes down to a matter of conscience. The Church will never come out and say, "All fantasy novels except LOTR and Narnia must be banned from Catholic households," or something like that. :)

[/quote]

Look what I found from Dr. Peter Kreeft:

10 Uncommon Insights Into Evil from Lord of the Rings

peterkreeft.com/audio/04_insights-into-evil.htm

[quote="Lost_Wanderer, post:5, topic:224203"]
Actually what they warned against is the misuse of magic, not magic itself.

[/quote]

Tolkien warned against the misuse of power... all power... it didn't matter how it was used. The difference from what you said and what Tolkien wrote is small but important for clarity. Magic would be considered the use of a power and not power itself. Just as technology is a source of power, but not power itself.

[quote="Sonic, post:6, topic:224203"]
Tolkien warned against the misuse of power... all power... it didn't matter how it was used. The difference from what you said and what Tolkien wrote is small but important for clarity. Magic would be considered the use of a power and not power itself. Just as technology is a source of power, but not power itself.

[/quote]

Just a quick correction of myself:

Just as technology is a use of power, but not power itself.

[quote="Sonic, post:6, topic:224203"]
Tolkien warned against the misuse of power... all power... it didn't matter how it was used. The difference from what you said and what Tolkien wrote is small but important for clarity. Magic would be considered the use of a power and not power itself. Just as technology is a source of power, but not power itself.

[/quote]

Indeed you are right. In fact, it actually does sound more correct that way. However, I find it a pet peeve of mine when people put "magic" (as in fantasy magic) in the same category as "power obsession". Logically, it doesn't add up.

[quote="Lost_Wanderer, post:8, topic:224203"]
Indeed you are right. In fact, it actually does sound more correct that way. However, I find it a pet peeve of mine when people put "magic" (as in fantasy magic) in the same category as "power obsession". Logically, it doesn't add up.

[/quote]

Pet peeve or not... "power obsession" and "magic" do not equate. They are two different terms with separate meanings. Magic (whether used as a plot device or not) would be a means of acquiring power in order to fulfill an obsession (if a character in a book had such an obsession for power). That is why equating the two terms doesn't add up.

Pardon me for asking... do you think I was trying to equate the two terms?

Edit: I mean... Do you think lil_flower_luv was trying to equate the two terms?

[quote="Sonic, post:9, topic:224203"]
Edit: I mean... Do you think lil_flower_luv was trying to equate the two terms?

[/quote]

Pretty much. And I don't mean just her. I've seen plenty others who believe that magic is the same as an obsession for power.

I'm not going to get into this thread, but I will clarify what I said: I was not trying to equate "power obsession" with "magic." True, LW, that "the misuse of magic" was also what they were getting at, but if you look at the link that Sonic posted, you'll find that the resolution of LOTR (and even Narnia) is that victory is not achieved by where power and "magic" can get us. Therefore, the terms are to be warned against, as I stated.

Thank you to you, Sonic, Peter Kreeft is one of my favorites!

Ok so I’m still curious about magic in Narnia. It doesn’t seem much different to me than in say Harry Potter. Why isn’t Narnia considered occult?

I think because in Narnia, the witch is portrayed as using her magic for evil and enslaving the Narnians. It is very clear that she is a wicked, malevolent witch, no blurry lines as in Harry Potter.

In LotR, the supernatural powers of the ring and Sauron are evil and corrupting of those who try to use them. Gandalf, although he is called a wizard, is more like a guardian angel, a moral guide. He doesn’t really use magic to help the 9, they have to go on the journey themselves. Frodo and Samwise succeed through sacrifice and suffering; Harry succeeds through manipulating and doing things that would in real life get him into trouble.

Is that any help?

What like Bilbo doing a spot of burgling for example? That of course occurs in the Hobbit but since it sets the scene for the LotR it does play a major part in how events unfold there. As to ‘blurry lines’ in Narnia there are numerous characters on Aslan’s side shown using magic for more laudable objectives.

Also Sauron was originally of the same order as Gandalf in the beginning it should be noted. One stays true to his faith if you will, the order through false pride and a desire for control and ‘order’ falls.

JharekCarnelian,

Simple, too many rely on authority for their opinions.

Because Tolkein and Lewis have been recognized as christian authors, so those uncomfortable with using their own judgment can rest at ease by siting an authority vice thinking for themselves and taking the other works on their merits. Hence we get statements from people clearly using second hand information, ignoring what is actually in, for example, HP.

I.E. '...Frodo and Samwise succeed through sacrifice and suffering; Harry succeeds through manipulating and doing things that would in real life get him into trouble.'

Ignoring the incidents wherein HP risks his life, attempts to sacrifice his life to save others, the warnings against divination, the warnings about the dangers of materialism and investing one's soul in the things of this world, ruination of one's soul into eternity by the evil done in this life- regardless of success or failure in this life and on and on as we've discussed in other threads.

You have many relying on appeal to authority for both their positive and negative opinions of works and authors, HP being a recent release with one widely publicized criticism.

Don't know if they would be able to form on opinion about Zelazny's 'Lord of Light' where technology has advanced to the point of being blurred with religion. Don't think there's an authority to provide the opinion.

[quote="FaithBuild18, post:1, topic:224203"]
This confuses me. Please explain.

[/quote]

And well it should, because it's almost a schitzophrenic difficulty in telling the difference between real and unreal experiences or to think logically.

For example, when confronted with "In C.S. Lewis' work, a character (Glenstorm) is praised yet uses astrology", the answer is "But Glenstorm is a centaur, not a human." Yet astrology in the Harry Potter novels is "evil" (even though ... get this, the centaurs are the only ones who take it seriously).

The use of magic in fiction is something which cannot be so simply handled by "Tolkien and Lewis are ok; no one else is unless he fits within the corkscrew shadow cast by the argument built of the special pleadings required to accept/praise the use of magic in the works of Tolkien and Lewis yet condemn it in other authors'.

This is not to say that certain works aren't problematic (but usually for reasons other than the way in which fictional magic is handled), just that it's far too simplistic to say "magic is ok in LOTR and Narnia but nowhere else".

Wow. Since that was a quote from my post, I shall respond and just say… wow. You don’t even know me… and you are accusing me of relying on authority? You wonder whether I could form an opinion on something else? I have read all the books under discussion, btw. Of course, that doesn’t make me an expert, but I am as entitled to my opinion as anyone.

You are way out of line, and RUDE!
Your snideness and sneeringness are uncalled for.
A bit of charity goes a long way.
I’m out of this thread.

GraceSofia,

My sincere and public apologies. Perhaps it is the late hour or the number of times the subject has come up, and I have lumped you in mistakenly with a number of others who proudly state they have never read the books but know based on another’s critique that HP is unchristian.

However, I do disagree with your characterization of HP in comparison to Tolkeins LOTR.

Again, my apologies for offending you.

styrgwillidar,

Thank you & I accept your apology with gratitude.

BTW, my youngest is now 17, and although I don't think they are anywhere near as good as LotR, I never forbade him from reading the Potter books or seeing the films (but he wasn't very interested and didn't read any but the first book).

Gracesofia,
Again, my apologies and thank you for your most gracious acceptance. I realize I was taking baggage and preconceptions from other threads and erroneously applying them to you.

I'm not a big fan of HP, but feel they've been maligned unfairly. I do see many christian themes in the works and have discussed them with my kids. I read a lot in high school and many of those authors were decidedly un-christian but never reached the kind of general popularity as the HP series.

I can't vouch for the movies and am leary that some points will be dropped which will water down some of the christian themes. A lot is pulled together in HPs conversation with Dumbledore in Harry's mind while unconcious- particularly regarding Voldemort's ultimate fate.

I have had many discussions with folks whose argument regarding HP is centered on the work of one critic and a misrepresentation of a letter from Cardinal Ratzingers office a few years ago. Hence, I do believe many simply go on reputation of authors vice the content of the series.

I'm one who doesn't see a distinction in the way magic is generally treated in LOTR or Narnia and HP. I understand the concern of kids starting to become interested in magic leading to interest in the occult, but don't see a stronger pull from HP than other works which include magic. I sometimes wonder if most of the objection is really that HP is set in contemporary times and therefore more accessible? Don't know if that's the right term, but I mean that kid think of it as more a real possibility than in a work set in a completely mythic world or another era.

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