Tuesday, November 2, 2010
The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy
Can superhuman Power be used for good or does its exercise always addict the user and end badly? Will nature rise in revolt against technology? Would we find everlasting life a bore and a burden?
These are among the distrubing questions raised by Tolkien's enthralling epic of adventure, The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien himself hoped that his stories would help his readers become better people, and he consciouusly drew upon some of hte most troubling and challenging themes from mythology, religion, and philosophical tought.
Professors Bassham and Bronson have recruited a Fellowship of scholars trained in philosophy and also steeped in the lore of Middle-earth, to delve into some of the fascinating issues raised by The Lord of the Rings. The writers' Quest was to steer clear of both "the webs of wizards" and "the haste of fools," to arrive at a truer understanding of the most magnificent tale of our time.
I've got to own up to my fangirlishness and admit that I was completely and totally in love with J.R.R. Tolkien's trilogy (and supplementary books) for four years of my life. They are still my foundation on which I compare other fantasy epics. So a book of essays about the moral questions raised in The Lord of the Rings? I'm so there.
I mean, really, how is a book not awesome when the dedication is "To the entwives--wherever they may roam."
If you love LotR and you like to think deep thoughts, then you should definitely check this one out.
Favorite essay: Tolkien and the Nature of Evil (pg. 99)
Four out of five stars.
Release Date: August 2003
Reading Level: Grade 9+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection: Not owned by Dunlap.