1892 - 1973
Scholar and author.
Tolkien, a Catholic
, was influential in the conversion to Christianity
of his friend, C.S. Lewis
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, Englishman, scholar, and storyteller
was born of English parents at Bloemfontein, South Africa on Jan. 3, 1892 and died in England on Sept. 2, 1973.
Tolkien was a scholar by profession.
From an early age he had been fascinated by language, particularly the languages of Northern Europe, both ancient and modern. From this affinity for language came not only his profession but also his private hobby, the invention of languages. He was more generally drawn to the entire ''Northern tradition'', which inspired him to wide reading of its myths and epics and of those modern authors who were equally drawn to it, such as William Morris and George MacDonald. His broad knowledge inevitably led to the development of various opinions about Myth, its relation to language, and the importance of Stories, interests which were shared by his friend C.S. Lewis
. All these various perspectives: language, the heroic tradition, and Myth and Story (and a very real and deeply-held belief in and devotion to Catholic Christianity
) came together with stunning effect in his stories: first the legends of the Elder Days which served as background to his invented languages, and later his most famous works, the Hobbit and LotR.
Does The Lord of the Rings Teach Salvation By Works?
The authors of Tolkien's Ordinary Virtues
and J. R. R. Tolkien's Sanctifying Myth
talk about whether Tolkien was too ignorant of evil and other subjects. A conversation between Brad Birzer and Mark Eddy Smith, Christianity Today, Dec. 19, 2002. (Part 2
Intro to the Inklings
Christianity Today, May 18, 2001. Some information about the extracurricular Oxford club of which Tolkien, George McDonald, C.S. Lewis, and others were part.
Tolkien Canonized "Should the creator of the Lord of the Rings be acknowledged as the foremost author of the twentieth century?"
. By Aaron Belz, Books and Culture, Jan/Feb. 2002
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First posted: Nov. 26, 2001
Last Updated: Jan. 3, 2002
Editor: Anton Hein
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