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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    That alone should tell you something.
    You take something, without evidence, as true IF it is consistent and consistent over time. Not ONE or two statements.

    And the fact he said it in PRIVATE and to a CATHOLIC PRIEST while being criticised by Catholics is hardly a rational example. Context is everything, remember. What next? You claim that Jews love to convert to Catholicism & you choose Spain's historical period of the Spanish Inquisition to prove it?

    We've already heard these dumb arguments like that Stalin was a tyrant because he was an atheist. JFK had to declare that he wasn't elected a Catholic President of the US, just a President who happened to be Catholic to get people to shut up about the issue.

    Some religious people take personal beliefs waaaay to seriously and seem to have a problem about consistency or separation of events or ideas. You share in that flaw
    [B]Hitchens[/B](r9 warg)[B], [/B][B]Glasgow[/B](R9 LM), [B]Lintalthir[/B] (R10 Hunter), [B]Rithun[/B] (R6 Captain) Brandywine server.
    [I]I fought alongside Silverest & Wuffles on Gladden when LOTRO began, nowadays on Brandwyne's PvP [/I]

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by CarltheRed View Post
    And the fact he said it in PRIVATE and to a CATHOLIC PRIEST while being criticised by Catholics is hardly a rational example. Context is everything, remember.
    Quote Originally Posted by Context of Letter 142
    Father Robert Murray, grandson of Sir James Murray (the founder of the Oxford English Dictionary) and a close friend of the Tolkien family, had read part of The Lord of the Rings in galley-proofs and typescript,
    and had, at Tolkien's instigation, sent comments and criticism. He wrote that the book left him with a strong sense of 'a positive compatibility with the order of Grace', and compared the image of Galadriel to that of the Virgin Mary. He doubted whether many critics would be able to make much of the book – 'they will not have a pigeon-hole neatly labelled for it'.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tolkien
    I think I know exactly what you mean by the order of Grace; and of course by your references to Our Lady, upon which all my own small perception of beauty both in majesty and simplicity is founded. The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision.
    You provide NO evidence that Tolkien was feeling the need to defend himself when he wrote that letter. The Catholic priest in question was a friend of the family from whom Tolkien himself requested criticism. The statements Tolkien made concerning LOTR being a fundamentally religious work were made in reply to Murray's positive statements, not to any criticism of the work's Catholicism. If context is everything as you assert, then it is incumbent on you to get the context right.

    As for the rest of your post, that you compare this issue dealing with Tolkien's writing with Stalin or Kennedy, indicates that religious people are not the only ones who may have a problem with the "separation of events or ideas". For instance, the letter in question was written 8 months before the Lord of the Rings was even published. So can you provide me any evidence that the work was being criticised by Catholics before it was even published?
    Last edited by Ceredig; Mar 31 2013 at 09:08 PM.

  3. #53
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    I didn't say his friend criticised the work, that's your invention.

    "the letter in question was written 8 months before the Lord of the Rings was even published. So can you provide me any evidence that the work was being criticised by Catholics before it was even published?"

    Just because a book isn't published doesn't mean other people don't read it or know its contents or don't discuss it. There was a 4 year opportunity for people to read & discuss it before publication. Nor on its initial publication date is that the end of the publication story. There is a very fragmented publication history, going all the way to 1966.

    Tolkein was always frustrated about how other perceived/treated the book, both before and after publication. From it storyline, structure to the title. The religious issue was only one
    [B]Hitchens[/B](r9 warg)[B], [/B][B]Glasgow[/B](R9 LM), [B]Lintalthir[/B] (R10 Hunter), [B]Rithun[/B] (R6 Captain) Brandywine server.
    [I]I fought alongside Silverest & Wuffles on Gladden when LOTRO began, nowadays on Brandwyne's PvP [/I]

  4. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by CarltheRed View Post
    Just because a book isn't published doesn't mean other people don't read it or know its contents or don't discuss it. There was a 4 year opportunity for people to read & discuss it before publication. Nor on its initial publication date is that the end of the publication story. There is a very fragmented publication history, going all the way to 1966.

    Tolkein was always frustrated about how other perceived/treated the book, both before and after publication. From it storyline, structure to the title. The religious issue was only one
    None of which answers the question I asked. What evidence can you provide that indicates that Tolkien's statement in that letter was made in an environment of Catholic criticism? It is an important question since part of your argument dismissing the statement as being a truthful one hinges on a context for which you provide absolutely no evidence.
    Last edited by Ceredig; Apr 01 2013 at 12:50 AM.

  5. #55
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    It is an important question since part of your argument dismissing the statement as being a truthful one hinges on a context for which you provide absolutely no evidence.
    No, hinges on his public stand on the issue of allegory. Which is on public record from interviews, documentaries to the forward to the second edition.
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    [I]I fought alongside Silverest & Wuffles on Gladden when LOTRO began, nowadays on Brandwyne's PvP [/I]

  6. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by CarltheRed View Post
    No, hinges on his public stand on the issue of allegory. Which is on public record from interviews, documentaries to the forward to the second edition.
    His numerous statements refuting his work as allegory are not at odds with his statement that the work is fundamentally Catholic. You seem to ignore this fact though it has been pointed out to you previously. Tolkien firmly believed, for instance, that he and humanity lived in a Fallen world. His Catholicism was the basis of this belief. The Fall is a Christian concept which is one of the major bases of his mythology. The thing I think you fail to take into account is the difference between sustained and extended symbolism (that is to say, allegory) and exemplification (or applicability as Tolkien phrased it). Tolkien's writing's on his own works list countless examples of how characters and events is his mythos exemplify Christian themes which he viewed as part and parcel of his reality.
    Quote Originally Posted by Letter 215
    I do not like allegory (properly so called: most readers appear to confuse it with significance or applicability) but that is a matter too long to deal with here.
    So if your belief that his statement concerning the fundamentally religious and Catholic nature of his work is untruthful because you see it as in conflict with his numerous refutations that his works are allegorical, then your belief is founded on a false premise. I wouldn't feel too bad about that since Tolkien himself realized that most readers like yourself make that mistake.

  7. #57
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    his mythos exemplify Christian themes
    ANY writer's work has 'his mythos exemplify Christian themes' if the author is Christian. Whether they say it does or not. That's what they ALWAYS say when a Christian author comes out with a book.

    if your belief that his statement concerning the fundamentally religious and Catholic nature of his work is untruthful because you see it as in conflict with his numerous refutations that his works are allegorical, then your belief is founded on a false premise
    Saying so doesn't prove so. Nor is saying that if a book has a character resurrect after death than that ALWAYS is a allusion to Jesus Christ BECAUSE the author is Christian.

    Like with Stalin, how many more times are we going to be told that atheist political figures are ALWAYS commiting bad policies BECAUSE they're atheists by religious people? My prediction is never. That argument never gets old for them either. We even get told Hitler was so bad for being atheist even though he wasn't an atheist. So it doesn't matter what the facts are; the religious crowd on these issues are so desperate to improve their faith's image that they will say anything.
    [B]Hitchens[/B](r9 warg)[B], [/B][B]Glasgow[/B](R9 LM), [B]Lintalthir[/B] (R10 Hunter), [B]Rithun[/B] (R6 Captain) Brandywine server.
    [I]I fought alongside Silverest & Wuffles on Gladden when LOTRO began, nowadays on Brandwyne's PvP [/I]

  8. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by CarltheRed View Post
    ANY writer's work has 'his mythos exemplify Christian themes' if the author is Christian. Whether they say it does or not. That's what they ALWAYS say when a Christian author comes out with a book.

    Saying so doesn't prove so. Nor is saying that if a book has a character resurrect after death than that ALWAYS is a allusion to Jesus Christ BECAUSE the author is Christian.
    So because they ALWAYS say it means that they are ALWAYS wrong? Heck a broken clock can still be right two times a day.

    Please, have you actually read Tolkien's Letters? Tolkien makes such statements over and over and over again. This is not something people are reading into his work, this is people actually reading his own commentaries on his works. And some of these people, myself included, have no religious stake in this issue. I for one am an athiest. So please answer this simple question: have you read his published letters? If not, please do. If so, how can you make such claims in light of letters such as 131, 156, 181 and 212 which clearly indicate the impact Tolkien's Catholicism had on his works? Sorry, I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are truly ignorant as opposed to willfully so. Because in the case of the latter, you would be a hypocrite accusing religious people of what you are in fact doing: trying to remake Tolkien in your own image by discarding anything and everything you find discordant with your own beliefs.

    And as a matter of course, please provide evidence that Tolkien's statement that "The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision" was in response to prepublication criticism of his works Catholicism or lack thereof, as you conjecture.
    And as a matter of course, provide an honest rebuttal of my argument that his refutation of allegory does not constitute any form of proof that this statement is disingenuous by references I have made to the author himself.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarltheRed View Post
    You take something, without evidence, as true IF it is consistent and consistent over time. Not ONE or two statements.

    And the fact he said it in PRIVATE and to a CATHOLIC PRIEST while being criticised by Catholics is hardly a rational example. Context is everything, remember. What next? You claim that Jews love to convert to Catholicism & you choose Spain's historical period of the Spanish Inquisition to prove it?

    We've already heard these dumb arguments like that Stalin was a tyrant because he was an atheist. JFK had to declare that he wasn't elected a Catholic President of the US, just a President who happened to be Catholic to get people to shut up about the issue.

    Some religious people take personal beliefs waaaay to seriously and seem to have a problem about consistency or separation of events or ideas. You share in that flaw
    That sort of loose talk will get you precisely nowhere because I'm an atheist myself; my religious beliefs therefore can't enter into it, as I don't have any, and so all you've done there is to display your own bias. What matters here is what Tolkien believed, and as he was a devout Catholic and privately admitted that his work reflected his beliefs, that is more than sufficient evidence to prove the point. Having been brought up Catholic originally, I can damn well see the religious influence present in his work. You don't need to believe in order to recognise it for what it is.

    It's not hard to imagine why he didn't publicly say that the work was 'fundamentally religious and Catholic': he didn't want to force things like that on his readers, he believed in leaving them freedom to interpret it for themselves and said as much (he also took his friend C.S.Lewis to task over how the latter's tales of Narnia were so overbearingly Christian in character). But privately, Tolkien admitted that yes, there were Catholic undercurrents in his work. I suggest you make an honest attempt to deal with that fact, rather than contriving excuses to avoid having to.
    Last edited by Radhruin_EU; Apr 01 2013 at 06:52 AM.

  10. #60
    LOTR has a religion in a sense that the characters sometimes sing old songs that hearten them in times of peril. They don't attend services weekly... they don't judge each other about religious views. The dwarves revere "Caves" while the elves wildernesses.

    The good characters behave good, the bad characters bad. They play their roles.

    The characters have a spiritual rather than religious nature. There's a creation myth involving Illuviatar in "The Silmarillion." But this brings in Mythology.

  11. #61
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    Is there a religion or faith within the world of middle earth? To answer the implications of your question, the answer is yes.
    Look into things about the Maiar and the Illuvatar. Those two things should be enough to get you started.
    Last edited by Untg99; Apr 01 2013 at 09:47 AM.

  12. #62
    Maybe I should go back to my original answer? That being "NO!"

    They don't go to church on Sundays etc etc etc

    Tolkien created a mythology for his characters as well as several ages of elven history and he gave them spirituality but not, certainly not, religion as we know of it today.

    Religion is when you do things as a crowd with a single, ideally "pious" person presiding over things who reads from a bible. Not being religious I can't really name the events. There is no padre character in LOTR or any of the other books. You get judged if you don't wear your nicest clothes to these things.

    But I would digress when I say "Cleanliness is next to Godliness" doesn't mean you have to wear a clean suit and tie with spit-shined shoes. God doesn't care if you're wearing a suit or a ten thousand dollar dress of some kind in "his" house. All he cares about is how clean your SOUL is and if you're relatively free from sins. The way religion is set up these days is afront to him. There's no room for greed or avarice or jealousy when truly speaking to God.
    Last edited by fack; Apr 01 2013 at 10:49 AM.

  13. #63

    Gods and Spirits

    LotR has a "religion". It isn't like a "human" religion.
    There is Eru Ilùvatar, the highest God.
    Then there are the Ainur, who are divided in Mayor Ainur and Minor Ainur.
    The Mayor ones are the Valar, the Lower gods. These are the main ones:
    - Manwe, Lord of the Sky, Valar-Lord, Supreme King of Arda
    - Varda, Manwe's wife, Queen of the Valar, Lady of the Stars
    - Ulmo, Lord of the Water
    - Aule, the Blacksmith, Lord of the Earth
    - Orome, the Great Rider, the best hunter and warrior, Lord of the Forests
    - Melkor, Morgoth, DarkLord, Udun's Flame, Creator of Evil, Lord of the Fire
    The Minor ones are the Maiar. They are many many high spirits. The most important and powerful are:
    - Eonwe, herald of Manwe
    - Ilmare, handmaiden of Varda
    - Sauron
    - the Five Wizards (Gandalf, Saruman, Radagast, Alatar, Pallando)
    - the Balrogs, spirits of Flames, Melkor's servants
    Last edited by Thorongir; Aug 12 2013 at 02:45 PM.
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  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thorongir View Post
    LotR has a "religion". It isn't like a "human" religion.
    There is Eru Ilùvatar, the highest God.
    Then there are the Ainur, who are divided in Mayor Ainur and Minor Ainur.
    The Mayor ones are the Valar, the Lower gods. These are the main ones:
    - Manwe, Lord of the Sky, Valar-Lord, Supreme King of Arda
    - Varda, Manwe's wife, Queen of the Valar, Lady of the Stars
    - Ulmo, Lord of the Water
    - Aule, the Blacksmith, Lord of the Earth
    - Orome, the Great Rider, the best hunter and warrior, Lord of the Forests
    - Melkor, Morgoth, DarkLord, Udun's Flame, Creator of Evil, Lord of the Fire
    The Minor ones are the Maiar. They are many many high spirits. The most important and powerful are:
    - Eonwe, herald of Manwe
    - Ilmare, handmaiden of Varda
    - Sauron
    - the Five Wizards (Gandalf, Saruman, Radagast, Alatar, Pallando)
    - the Balrogs, spirits of Flames, Melkor's servants
    That's not a religion in itself, that's just the existence of higher orders of being. Religion would be a social construct based around that, but Tolkien purposely omitted that from LOTR.

    Besides, the Valar weren't 'officially' gods at all, 'lower' or otherwise - Tolkien typically calls them 'gods', in inverted commas, because they have roles typical of pagan deities but they were only actually worshipped by Men who didn't know any better, and apart from Melkor the Valar had no desire to be worshipped. The Elves revered the Valar, stopping short of treating them as gods and worshipping them. There was only one God in Eä, Eru himself - he'd got the singular divine power of being able to create beings who were capable of living and thinking fully independently. He'd created the Ainur as the offspring of his thoughts.

    The Maiar were 'angelic', or demonic in the case of Sauron and the Balrogs. (One other thing: not all the spirits of fire followed Melkor and become Balrogs, there's the example of Arien the Sun-maiden in the Sil).

 

 
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