Traffic's up with searches and refers from Nathan and Eric.
Nathan says, good-naturedly, that I'm taking this Tolkien stuff too seriously. He may be right. I simply find that I'm not willing to leave it. I could read other stuff, but I don't want to leave Middle Earth. So after finishing the Tolkien biography I started in on part of the Silmarillion. He writes:
I really need to get together with Sean and talk about Tolkien and God. There are plenty of crossovers there as well; Tolkien was a Catholic and infused many of his writings with a near-deist conception of an all powerful creator with little power or volition to intervene. The creation story in the beginning of The Silmarillion is reminiscent of Paradise Lost, especially the part about the rebellion in heaven.
I'd love to, Nathan. Short answer: Tolkien hated allegory. He wanted to write a 'true' story/history that readers could draw lessons and applications from in various ways, not just the limited ways of allegory. As to Tolkien's faith, it was certainly sincere, but different in practice than mine. I find myself asking, almost unwittingly, 'How can a Christian be so into mythology?' I haven't answered that question. There are other things to be said as well, but we'll start there.
Bonus quote: Tolkien esteemed the Germans and their hard work and patriotism, so he said he had a grudge against that 'ruddy little ignoramus Hitler' for spoiling them. Nice.
Some of you are coming over via Eric who says in his siderbar redesign that my site is one of the 5 he reads everyday (one of the 5 being mega-A-lister Brad). I am honored and humbled down to my soles. Thank you, Eric.