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(Washington Post)   Why "The Hobbit" is a Christian film   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 121
    More: Interesting, Christian film, Nordic countries, Lexington, Kentucky, C.S. Lewis, liberal arts colleges, subtext  
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4866 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 15 Dec 2012 at 9:22 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-15 08:22:34 PM  
Tolkein was a staunch Catholic, but he wasn't particularly overt in his books. Well, as long as you don't count all the goddamn singing his characters do.
 
2012-12-15 08:27:23 PM  
Because Jesus Christ, how long can you stretch this story out?
 
2012-12-15 08:48:24 PM  
So was all the shiat that CS Lewis wrote. So what? The question is whether it's a good story or not.

And let's face it, Tolkein was a pretty boring storyteller.
 
2012-12-15 08:58:58 PM  
I'd follow Gandalf or Aslan over most of the bible.

They kick ass and are intelligently designed.
 
2012-12-15 09:00:08 PM  

Lsherm: Tolkein was a staunch Catholic, but he wasn't particularly overt in his books. Well, as long as you don't count all the goddamn singing his characters do.


I don't view them as religious stories, except in that Tolkien's religion would have informed his world view and his sense of what is right and what is wrong. Frodo and Bilbo are not allegorical Jesuses (Jesii?) they're more along the lines of Joseph Campbell's hero with a thousand faces.
 
2012-12-15 09:02:43 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy: And let's face it, Tolkein was a pretty boring storyteller.


I tried reading The Hobbit in middle school. I didn't get very far before I was bored out of my skull. I preferred Stephen King and Michael Crichton over Tolkein.
 
2012-12-15 09:09:12 PM  

antidisestablishmentarianism: AverageAmericanGuy: And let's face it, Tolkein was a pretty boring storyteller.

I tried reading The Hobbit in middle school. I didn't get very far before I was bored out of my skull. I preferred Stephen King and Michael Crichton over Tolkein.


Try Bored of The Rings

/much more entertaining
//Tolkein bored me sh*tless, too
 
2012-12-15 09:14:04 PM  

MaudlinMutantMollusk:
Try Bored of The Rings

/much more entertaining



I got a copy of that from Bogey's Books in Davis, but I'll be damned if I can remember what happened to it.
 
2012-12-15 09:25:44 PM  
i1079.photobucket.com
 
2012-12-15 09:26:21 PM  

antidisestablishmentarianism: AverageAmericanGuy: And let's face it, Tolkein was a pretty boring storyteller.

I tried reading The Hobbit in middle school. I didn't get very far before I was bored out of my skull. I preferred Stephen King and Michael Crichton over Tolkein.


What do you think of the Twilight series?
 
2012-12-15 09:27:17 PM  
Pfft! Next thing you'll be trying to tell me The Chronicles of Narnia is some kind of Christian allegory.
 
2012-12-15 09:27:27 PM  
IMO the case for LOTR being a religious morality play is much stronger The Hobbitt grew from a series of bedtime stories Tolkien told his children - while there may have been some nugget of a religious moral to the stories buried here and there it wasn't really meant as such.
 
2012-12-15 09:29:14 PM  
Yes, with all the Norse themes and Celtic imagery, it's easy to see the Christian basis in there.

....why do people keep trying?
 
2012-12-15 09:32:25 PM  
Only in the sense that Tolkien wrote fiction that reflected his worldview. You can't separate Tolkien's faith from his work because you can't separate his faith from his life. His work is going to reflect that because it was important to him, just like his work reflects his love of nature and his belief that industrialized factories were dehumanizing.
 
2012-12-15 09:34:11 PM  
a professor of English at Asbury University, a Christian liberal arts college near Lexington, Ky

"What a waste of time."
 
2012-12-15 09:35:38 PM  
Jesus.
 
2012-12-15 09:40:47 PM  
I'll join in with the group that says Tolkiens writing was boring. It was, I'm not saying that they weren't interesting just that they did little to hold my interest. And yes, I am a reader of real books
 
2012-12-15 09:42:12 PM  

fusillade762: Pfft! Next thing you'll be trying to tell me The Chronicles of Narnia is some kind of Christian allegory.


It's not. C.S. Lewis specifically asserted that while he was playing with Christian themes, Narnia was not to be read as allegory but rather as a fairy tale. The Narnia books are Lewis playing around with Tolkien's assertion, in his academic writing, that fairy tales follow the same basic framework and themes of the gospel story.
 
2012-12-15 09:46:05 PM  
I would contend that the bible, and Christianity in general, is a fairy tale. The Brothers Grimm did it better...
 
2012-12-15 09:46:14 PM  
Is it a Christian film? Well, I saw it and nothing biblical occurred to me. Especially the brown wizard who was played by Doctor Who, who seemed more like a Druid (nature worshipper who uses earth based magic and is more concerned with the health of the forest than anything else) than as anything Christian.

Personally, I hate it when people look to popular movies or stories to prove that the story or characters are Christian tales or characters.
 
2012-12-15 09:48:35 PM  
"an everyman who has no ability, a total dolt who has no skills," as Jane Chance, professor emeritus of English at Rice University and editor of "Tolkien and the Invention of Myth," put it.

The hell you say.

Bilbo made a mean batch of seed cakes and put together one hell of a spread on the shortest possible notice. And he had a cellar for his beer, which makes him aces in my book right off the bat.
 
2012-12-15 09:48:44 PM  
Time to pull this out again:

"I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence. I much prefer history - true or feigned- with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers. I think that many confuse applicability with allegory, but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination of the author." - JRR Tolkien

No, neither The Hobbit nor The LOTR is an allegory for the Bible or for World War II or for communism or your burnt popcorn, for that matter. Get over it.
 
2012-12-15 09:51:43 PM  
Bilbo fought a dragon, just like jesus.
 
2012-12-15 09:52:37 PM  

Wayne 985: Time to pull this out again:

"I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence. I much prefer history - true or feigned- with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers. I think that many confuse applicability with allegory, but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination of the author." - JRR Tolkien

No, neither The Hobbit nor The LOTR is an allegory for the Bible or for World War II or for communism or your burnt popcorn, for that matter. Get over it.


Didn't read the article, eh?
 
2012-12-15 09:54:42 PM  

Trade Secret: I'll join in with the group that says Tolkiens writing was boring. It was, I'm not saying that they weren't interesting just that they did little to hold my interest. And yes, I am a reader of real books


Agreed. Now don't get me wrong, his ideas and world development are amazing, and a big part of why I turned into such a huge nerd. That being said, it took me five attempts to completely read LotR because I would find myself skimming until something interesting was happening, and I gave up on the Simarillion fast.
 
2012-12-15 09:58:38 PM  
Thought the movie was good. Just finished seeing it. Do not understand all these reviewers shiatting all over it.

Felt they set up the next two movies and did a good job explaining things. Wasnt bored at all then again I am a fan of these books.

Dont really think the movie could have been done another way satisfyingly. Not that Bakshi didnt try.

Thought it was well made and a sharp movie. King kong on the other hand....dear lord.

The christian aspect? Yeah I do believe like the bible there are many made up stories that could be compared to the bible. Like the Middle earth stories or anything else we just pull out of our asses.

As long as it is entertaining I am ok with it. Now actually beleiving that shiat is real....dear me.
 
2012-12-15 09:59:03 PM  
I had to write a paper in college about the religious overtones in the Shawshank Redemption.
 
2012-12-15 10:04:07 PM  
Tolkien was indeed a devout Catholic and one can certainly see that influence in the cosmology of Middle Earth as well as numerous mythological elements (particularly Eru Illuvatar as an expy of Yahweh), but beyond that it's not very prominent.

It's very Hero's Journey, with an extra splash of homespun Hobbityness, not Christian allegory.
 
2012-12-15 10:09:39 PM  
Is 'The Hobbit' a 'Christian' film? Yes and no.

FTFthem
 
2012-12-15 10:10:05 PM  

s2s2s2: Wayne 985: Time to pull this out again:

"I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence. I much prefer history - true or feigned- with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers. I think that many confuse applicability with allegory, but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination of the author." - JRR Tolkien

No, neither The Hobbit nor The LOTR is an allegory for the Bible or for World War II or for communism or your burnt popcorn, for that matter. Get over it.

Didn't read the article, eh?


I did. The author quoted someone else who paraphrase the Tolkien quote, and yet he disregarded it.
 
2012-12-15 10:13:26 PM  
Has anyone read the Koran?

I swear a Christian must have written it. And don't get me started on Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, wow, it's like Jim Jones wrote it.
 
2012-12-15 10:13:32 PM  

Blasphemous Knave: Tolkien was indeed a devout Catholic and one can certainly see that influence in the cosmology of Middle Earth as well as numerous mythological elements (particularly Eru Illuvatar as an expy of Yahweh), but beyond that it's not very prominent.

It's very Hero's Journey, with an extra splash of homespun Hobbityness, not Christian allegory.


Yeah its fun to notice humans just make shiat up. I am sure there are some serious nerds who believe this stuff happened too....

I am talking about the bible if you didnt know.
 
2012-12-15 10:15:13 PM  
Of course it is. The problem is when certain persons try to interpret this type of "Christian" story only as a sermon. There are many "Christian" stories which are good literature, yet when you try to make them sermons or the the most shallow kinds of parables, and so put them on the level of all the other drivil called "Christian media," is doing the story, and the reader, a disservice.

Of course, when your entire religion consists of "saving souls and following rules," you won't appreciate that problem in the first place.
 
2012-12-15 10:17:40 PM  
Tolkien may have been a devout Christian, but he was also extremely opposed to the idea that his stories contained any sort of allegory, so I'm gonna go with "no" on this one.
 
2012-12-15 10:30:48 PM  

Great Janitor: Is it a Christian film? Well, I saw it and nothing biblical occurred to me. Especially the brown wizard who was played by Doctor Who, who seemed more like a Druid (nature worshipper who uses earth based magic and is more concerned with the health of the forest than anything else) than as anything Christian.

Personally, I hate it when people look to popular movies or stories to prove that the story or characters are Christian tales or characters.


In this case, it's because the books were written by Christians who admitted their religion influenced their work. It's more an exploration of the literature, not the movie.
 
2012-12-15 10:32:34 PM  
So are we gonna get a review from our fine friends at CapAlert?

capalert.com

Wonder how this falls on the W I S D O M meters
 
2012-12-15 10:37:40 PM  

Lsherm: Great Janitor: Is it a Christian film? Well, I saw it and nothing biblical occurred to me. Especially the brown wizard who was played by Doctor Who, who seemed more like a Druid (nature worshipper who uses earth based magic and is more concerned with the health of the forest than anything else) than as anything Christian.

Personally, I hate it when people look to popular movies or stories to prove that the story or characters are Christian tales or characters.

In this case, it's because the books were written by Christians who admitted their religion influenced their work. It's more an exploration of the literature, not the movie.



Cool hand luke...lol.
 
2012-12-15 10:38:58 PM  
I think I recall that C.S. Lewis, JRR Tolkien, and G. K. Chesterton were drinking buddies.
 
2012-12-15 10:45:35 PM  

antidisestablishmentarianism: AverageAmericanGuy: And let's face it, Tolkein was a pretty boring storyteller.

I tried reading The Hobbit in middle school. I didn't get very far before I was bored out of my skull. I preferred Stephen King and Michael Crichton over Tolkein.


Here's how boring I thought The Hobbit was: I preferred Solzhenitsyn.
 
2012-12-15 10:49:26 PM  

Thunderboy: antidisestablishmentarianism: AverageAmericanGuy: And let's face it, Tolkein was a pretty boring storyteller.

I tried reading The Hobbit in middle school. I didn't get very far before I was bored out of my skull. I preferred Stephen King and Michael Crichton over Tolkein.

Here's how boring I thought The Hobbit was: I preferred Solzhenitsyn.


Watched hobbit cartoon as a kid. its not boring. so the book was fine. enjoyed it easy read.

this is final farewell to the tolkien univserse. peter jackson seems to have it right so far.
 
2012-12-15 10:53:19 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy: So was all the shiat that CS Lewis wrote. So what? The question is whether it's a good story or not.

And let's face it, Tolkein was a pretty boring storyteller.


Methinks me remembers that J.R.R. and C. S. were close friends.
 
2012-12-15 10:53:36 PM  

graggor: this is final farewell to the tolkien univserse. peter jackson seems to have it right so far.


Just wait until he gets his hands on the Silmarilion. It'll probably end up being 16 four hour movies.
 
2012-12-15 10:55:06 PM  
The figure who gives his life to defeat evil and allow man's salvation was Gollum. Just sayin', is all.
 
2012-12-15 10:55:13 PM  
<b><a href="http://www.fark.com/comments/7488192/81309491#c81309491" target="_blank">b2theory</a>:</b> <i>I think I recall that C.S. Lewis, JRR Tolkien, and G. K. Chesterton were drinking buddies.</i>

Call it an inkling, if you will.
 
2012-12-15 10:56:04 PM  

MaudlinMutantMollusk: antidisestablishmentarianism: AverageAmericanGuy: And let's face it, Tolkein was a pretty boring storyteller.

I tried reading The Hobbit in middle school. I didn't get very far before I was bored out of my skull. I preferred Stephen King and Michael Crichton over Tolkein.

Try Bored of The Rings

/much more entertaining
//Tolkein bored me sh*tless, too


"Tolkein"?

Customer Not to worry, not to worry. Can you help me with 'David Copperfield'?
Assistant Ah, yes. Dickens ...
Customer No.
Assistant ... I beg your pardon?
Customer No, Edmund Wells.
Assistant ... I think you'll find Charles Dickens wrote 'David Copperfield', sir.
Customer No, Charles Dickens wrote 'David Copperfield' with two 'p's. This is 'David Coperfield' with one 'p' by Edmund Wells.
Assistant (a little sharply) Well in that case we don't have it.
Customer Funny, you've got a lot of books here.
Assistant We do have quite a lot of books here, yes, but we don't have David Coperfield' with one 'p' by Edmund Wells. We only have 'David Copperfield' with two 'p's by Charles Dickens.
Customer Pity - it's more thorough than the Dickens.
Assistant More thorough?
Customer Yes ... I wonder if it's worth having a look through all your 'David Copperfields'...
Assistant I'm quite sure all our 'David Copperfields' have two 'p's.
Customer Probably, but the first edition by Edmund Wells also had two 'p's. It was after that they ran into copyright difficulties.
 
2012-12-15 11:03:13 PM  
Don't worry guys. If The Hobbit is too boring I'm sure Michael Bay is working on something that'll be more your speed.
 
2012-12-15 11:04:38 PM  

Gyrfalcon: Yes, with all the Norse themes and Celtic imagery, it's easy to see the Christian basis in there.

....why do people keep trying?


Great Janitor: Is it a Christian film? Well, I saw it and nothing biblical occurred to me. Especially the brown wizard who was played by Doctor Who, who seemed more like a Druid (nature worshipper who uses earth based magic and is more concerned with the health of the forest than anything else) than as anything Christian.

Personally, I hate it when people look to popular movies or stories to prove that the story or characters are Christian tales or characters.


The Wizards have been explicitly stated by Tolkien to be minor spirits, the Maiar, in the guise of old men. The Maiar, along with their greater brethren, the Valar, were created by the Illuvitar, the one true god. See the Judeo-Christian influence? Two levels of angel under an omniscient god. Tolkien wrote his stories as if humans mistook the lesser agents of an almighty god for gods themselves.

To go further, ancient Jewish, Christian, and especially Muslim tradition assigns specific colors to angels. If you notice, the Wizards are all assigned a color. This is not an accident. The Wizards, as spirits, are equated with angels.

Tolkien stated that much of his story world came of his desire to reconcile his love of Nordic myth with his Catholic faith. So yes, the stories are heavily influenced by Christian and Catholic ideas. You should also note the dates used in LoTR; they are frequently associated with traditional dates used in the Catholic calendar, especially March 25.
 
2012-12-15 11:05:37 PM  
Seriously, you people south of the border need to get a grip. Are you really that hard up?
 
2012-12-15 11:06:36 PM  
Hah! In case anyone cares, at this very moment there's a story about finding Catholicism in Tolkien on the Catholic cable network, EWTN.
 
2012-12-15 11:08:36 PM  
Themes of universal interest to human beings tend to be in play in any legend or any tale that aspires to resemble a legend. They also quite naturally appear in human religions.
 
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