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Offline Severian

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The Tolkien Thread
« on: July 16, 2015, 03:07:15 AM »
So now that I've finally finished "The Lord of the Rings" I have decided to create a thread to discuss Professor Tolkien's works in detail.

Enjoy.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2015, 03:23:42 AM by Severian »
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: The Tolkien Thread
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2015, 03:28:17 AM »
Why is this in Politics? ???
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Offline Severian

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Re: The Tolkien Thread
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2015, 03:32:35 AM »
Because I didn't pay the slightest bit of attention to where I was creating this thread. An unfortunate oversight on my part.

EDIT: Thank you for moving it, PtA
« Last Edit: July 16, 2015, 03:35:12 AM by Severian »
"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." -The Lord Jesus Christ

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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: The Tolkien Thread
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2015, 03:52:02 AM »
The Hobbit is one of the first books I remember reading. I didn't much care for it as an adult, but I'm glad I got to enjoy it with a child's imagination.

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: The Tolkien Thread
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2015, 08:01:30 AM »
I'm not one of those expert dudes who has learned to read Quenya or whatever, but I have read the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit multiple times over the years, as well as The Silmarillion and some of the other posthumous publications.  What would you like to discuss?
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Offline Severian

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Re: The Tolkien Thread
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2015, 10:55:34 AM »
I'm not one of those expert dudes who has learned to read Quenya or whatever, but I have read the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit multiple times over the years, as well as The Silmarillion and some of the other posthumous publications.  What would you like to discuss?
Excellent. I plan on reading "The Hobbit" and then moving on to "The Silmarillion." I would also like to reread "The Lord of the Rings" every Summer.

For one, Tolkien said:

Quote
"The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work," he wrote, "unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. That is why I have not put in, or have cut out, practically all references to anything like "religion", to cults or practices, in the Imaginary world. For the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism" (Letter 142).
http://www.ewtn.com/library/HOMELIBR/TOLKIEN.HTM

In what ways specifically is LotR a "fundamentally religious and Catholic work?" @PetertheAleut you said before that Tolkien's works brought you closer to Christ, but do you mind elaborating as to how? I ask as this is one of the reasons I decided to read the trilogy.

Thank you.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2015, 10:56:19 AM by Severian »
"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." -The Lord Jesus Christ

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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: The Tolkien Thread
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2015, 02:42:05 PM »
I would also like to reread "The Lord of the Rings" every Summer.

I used to do precisely that for a period of about five years in the early millennium, but I don't have time anymore.
For one, Tolkien said:

Quote
"The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work," he wrote, "unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. That is why I have not put in, or have cut out, practically all references to anything like "religion", to cults or practices, in the Imaginary world. For the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism" (Letter 142).
http://www.ewtn.com/library/HOMELIBR/TOLKIEN.HTM

In what ways specifically is LotR a "fundamentally religious and Catholic work?"

Thank you.

I think the work is "fundamentally Christian and Catholic" because that's what Tolkien was and he poured himself into his pages.  The work certainly doesn't beat the reader over the head with overt Christian references the way that some other works do.  (I know that many people on these boards are C.S. Lewis fans, and I certainly don't disparage him - I love The Screwtape Letters and appreciate Mere Christianity - but I'm not a Narnia fan.)  I would say that Tolkien's work is more organically Christian in its exploration of the themes of:

+the corruption of souls
+the perversion of creation and good things and how they come to deviate from the course their Author intended for them
+good vs. evil
+how man relates to his environment
+how he relates to those he (mis)identifies as "the other"
+how the hand of God (or "Providence") is at work in even the darkest situations and all things work together for the good
+how we respond to seduction and temptation
+how evil is really impotent and incapable of creation, only of twisting that which is good

I could go on, an if you ask for specifics illustrations of what I've posted above, I can provide them in a general sense (I won't be Tolkien proof texting - lol)., but this is my read on the work after living with it (and the Hobbit) for the better part of the past 30 years.
Worship is theology, so a church which brings Evangelical and Charismatic "praise & worship" into its corporate life is no longer Orthodox.  It is, by definition, heterodox.  Those "Orthodox" leaders who make theological arguments for the incorporation of heteropraxis into the life of the Church are heretics.

http://returntoorthodoxy.com/

Offline DeniseDenise

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Re: The Tolkien Thread
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2015, 02:45:19 PM »
I would also like to reread "The Lord of the Rings" every Summer.

I used to do precisely that for a period of about five years in the early millennium, but I don't have time anymore.
For one, Tolkien said:

Quote
"The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work," he wrote, "unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. That is why I have not put in, or have cut out, practically all references to anything like "religion", to cults or practices, in the Imaginary world. For the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism" (Letter 142).
http://www.ewtn.com/library/HOMELIBR/TOLKIEN.HTM

In what ways specifically is LotR a "fundamentally religious and Catholic work?"

Thank you.

I think the work is "fundamentally Christian and Catholic" because that's what Tolkien was and he poured himself into his pages.  The work certainly doesn't beat the reader over the head with overt Christian references the way that some other works do.  (I know that many people on these boards are C.S. Lewis fans, and I certainly don't disparage him - I love The Screwtape Letters and appreciate Mere Christianity - but I'm not a Narnia fan.)  I would say that Tolkien's work is more organically Christian in its exploration of the themes of:

+the corruption of souls
+the perversion of creation and good things and how they come to deviate from the course their Author intended for them
+good vs. evil
+how man relates to his environment
+how he relates to those he (mis)identifies as "the other"
+how the hand of God (or "Providence") is at work in even the darkest situations and all things work together for the good
+how we respond to seduction and temptation
+how evil is really impotent and incapable of creation, only of twisting that which is good

I could go on, an if you ask for specifics illustrations of what I've posted above, I can provide them in a general sense (I won't be Tolkien proof texting - lol)., but this is my read on the work after living with it (and the Hobbit) for the better part of the past 30 years.


This. All of it

Offline seekeroftruth777

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Re: The Tolkien Thread
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2015, 10:48:24 PM »
I would also like to reread "The Lord of the Rings" every Summer.

I used to do precisely that for a period of about five years in the early millennium, but I don't have time anymore.
For one, Tolkien said:

Quote
"The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work," he wrote, "unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. That is why I have not put in, or have cut out, practically all references to anything like "religion", to cults or practices, in the Imaginary world. For the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism" (Letter 142).
http://www.ewtn.com/library/HOMELIBR/TOLKIEN.HTM

In what ways specifically is LotR a "fundamentally religious and Catholic work?"

Thank you.

I think the work is "fundamentally Christian and Catholic" because that's what Tolkien was and he poured himself into his pages.  The work certainly doesn't beat the reader over the head with overt Christian references the way that some other works do.  (I know that many people on these boards are C.S. Lewis fans, and I certainly don't disparage him - I love The Screwtape Letters and appreciate Mere Christianity - but I'm not a Narnia fan.)  I would say that Tolkien's work is more organically Christian in its exploration of the themes of:

+the corruption of souls
+the perversion of creation and good things and how they come to deviate from the course their Author intended for them
+good vs. evil
+how man relates to his environment
+how he relates to those he (mis)identifies as "the other"
+how the hand of God (or "Providence") is at work in even the darkest situations and all things work together for the good
+how we respond to seduction and temptation
+how evil is really impotent and incapable of creation, only of twisting that which is good

I could go on, an if you ask for specifics illustrations of what I've posted above, I can provide them in a general sense (I won't be Tolkien proof texting - lol)., but this is my read on the work after living with it (and the Hobbit) for the better part of the past 30 years.

If I had to pick up one Tolkien book which one should it be in your opinion?
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Offline Severian

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Re: The Tolkien Thread
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2015, 11:22:38 PM »
I would say LotR
"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." -The Lord Jesus Christ

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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: The Tolkien Thread
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2015, 09:40:50 AM »
I would say LotR
Yes, start with Lord of the Rings.
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: The Tolkien Thread
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2015, 09:45:31 AM »
Start with Lord of the Rings, but my favorite is Silmarillion. Don't read it first though, because it won't make much sense that way.
Guys! They're not intercoursing. It's just an unfortunate angle.

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: The Tolkien Thread
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2015, 10:10:09 AM »
I would also like to reread "The Lord of the Rings" every Summer.

I used to do precisely that for a period of about five years in the early millennium, but I don't have time anymore.
For one, Tolkien said:

Quote
"The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work," he wrote, "unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. That is why I have not put in, or have cut out, practically all references to anything like "religion", to cults or practices, in the Imaginary world. For the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism" (Letter 142).
http://www.ewtn.com/library/HOMELIBR/TOLKIEN.HTM

In what ways specifically is LotR a "fundamentally religious and Catholic work?"

Thank you.

I think the work is "fundamentally Christian and Catholic" because that's what Tolkien was and he poured himself into his pages.  The work certainly doesn't beat the reader over the head with overt Christian references the way that some other works do.  (I know that many people on these boards are C.S. Lewis fans, and I certainly don't disparage him - I love The Screwtape Letters and appreciate Mere Christianity - but I'm not a Narnia fan.)  I would say that Tolkien's work is more organically Christian in its exploration of the themes of:

+the corruption of souls
+the perversion of creation and good things and how they come to deviate from the course their Author intended for them
+good vs. evil
+how man relates to his environment
+how he relates to those he (mis)identifies as "the other"
+how the hand of God (or "Providence") is at work in even the darkest situations and all things work together for the good
+how we respond to seduction and temptation
+how evil is really impotent and incapable of creation, only of twisting that which is good

I could go on, an if you ask for specifics illustrations of what I've posted above, I can provide them in a general sense (I won't be Tolkien proof texting - lol)., but this is my read on the work after living with it (and the Hobbit) for the better part of the past 30 years.

If I had to pick up one Tolkien book which one should it be in your opinion?

Lord of the Rings, to be sure. Tolkien viewed the work as one book, though his publishers split it into three parts.
Worship is theology, so a church which brings Evangelical and Charismatic "praise & worship" into its corporate life is no longer Orthodox.  It is, by definition, heterodox.  Those "Orthodox" leaders who make theological arguments for the incorporation of heteropraxis into the life of the Church are heretics.

http://returntoorthodoxy.com/

Offline Severian

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Re: The Tolkien Thread
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2015, 11:57:28 AM »
From what I gather:

LotR -> the Hobbit -> the Silmarillion -> Unfinished Tales -> the Children of Hurin
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Offline Arachne

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Re: The Tolkien Thread
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2015, 12:22:11 PM »
Yes to the three first. Beyond that, mix and match as you want; not everything is Middle-Earth. Don't neglect the short fiction; some of his best works are there. (My first brush with the Professor was 'Smith of Wootton Major'.)

I definitely recommend Tree and Leaf (an essay on fairy stories + 'Leaf by Niggle'). And whatever you do, when you come to The Children of Húrin, invest in the illustrated edition. Easily Alan Lee's finest moments.

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Offline Severian

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Re: The Tolkien Thread
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2015, 08:23:25 PM »
Must one read the "History of Middle-earth" in chronological order? Or can I just read a specific volume that captivates my interest?
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: The Tolkien Thread
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2015, 08:56:46 PM »
This thread lacks Ebor...

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: The Tolkien Thread
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2015, 09:03:46 PM »
Must one read the "History of Middle-earth" in chronological order? Or can I just read a specific volume that captivates my interest?
You can try, but some have been arrested for lesser offenses, so be forewarned...  :P
Guys! They're not intercoursing. It's just an unfortunate angle.

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Re: The Tolkien Thread
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2015, 09:09:46 PM »
Must one read the "History of Middle-earth" in chronological order? Or can I just read a specific volume that captivates my interest?

I say read them in whatever order you feel like reading them.  It's all "behind the scenes" stuff (not in-universe stories) anyway.
Worship is theology, so a church which brings Evangelical and Charismatic "praise & worship" into its corporate life is no longer Orthodox.  It is, by definition, heterodox.  Those "Orthodox" leaders who make theological arguments for the incorporation of heteropraxis into the life of the Church are heretics.

http://returntoorthodoxy.com/

Offline Severian

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Re: The Tolkien Thread
« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2015, 01:57:35 AM »
Could someone kindly direct me to a succinct and easy-to-appreciate summary of the appendices of the LotR?
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Offline Rhinosaur

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Re: The Tolkien Thread
« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2015, 02:51:53 AM »
I've read somewhere that Peter Jackson is going to be doing an adaptation of the Silmarillion.

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: The Tolkien Thread
« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2015, 02:57:59 AM »
I don't have a link to a summary of the appendices, but fwiw I do have this link, which is pure awesomeness...

http://lotrproject.com/

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Re: The Tolkien Thread
« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2015, 05:40:48 AM »
I don't have a link to a summary of the appendices, but fwiw I do have this link, which is pure awesomeness...

http://lotrproject.com/

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Offline Ebor

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Re: The Tolkien Thread
« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2015, 07:48:23 AM »
This thread lacks Ebor...

You rang? 
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Offline Ebor

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Re: The Tolkien Thread
« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2015, 07:50:21 AM »
Must one read the "History of Middle-earth" in chronological order? Or can I just read a specific volume that captivates my interest?

No, I don't think that's necessary.  I happened to come across "Unfinished Tales V. 1" first iirc.  but then didn't get to V. 2 for a while and read some of the others.
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Offline Ebor

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Re: The Tolkien Thread
« Reply #25 on: July 20, 2015, 07:56:09 AM »
"Farmer Giles of Ham" and "Smith of Wootton Major" are often put in the same volume and I highly recommend them both.  They are not in Middle Earth but they are fine shorter works and the Pauline Baynes drawings that are in my copy are just right.  "Tree and Leaf", as Arachne mentioned is also a good one to read.

My first was "The Hobbit" which I read as a child when my mother got a copy for me when I was sick one time.  Then it was on to LotR
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Offline Severian

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Re: The Tolkien Thread
« Reply #26 on: July 20, 2015, 11:14:41 AM »
I've read somewhere that Peter Jackson is going to be doing an adaptation of the Silmarillion.
Probably unsubstantiated rumor. The Tolkien estate has not sold the film rights to the Silmarillion.
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