J.R.R.Tolkien's Sanctifying Myth, Understanding Middle-earth: Bradley J. Birzer, Published in 2002

Lamp of the Valar
Lamp of the Valar.
© Ted Nasmith.
Click on image to enlarge.

"I look East, West, North, South, and I do not see Sauron. But I see that Saruman has many descendants. We Hobbits have against them no magic weapons. Yet my gentle hobbits, I give you a toast: To the Hobbits. May they outlast the Sarumans and see the spring again in the trees."

...to a Dutch audience.

J.R.R.Tolkien's Sanctifying Myth, Understanding Middle-earth by Bradley J. Birzer, was published in 2002, after the release of Peter Jackson's first part of his movie trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring. It represents a fresh study of Tolkien's work in reference to the world of today.

In Sanctifying Myth Birzer analyzes the age old conflict between good and evil, and finds it perhaps easier to relate to the ideals of Tolkien's mythological world more readily than our own "post modern" world. He is very persuasive in making his case.

Of Special Interest:
♦ Myth & Sub-creation: Birzer's discussion of Tolkien's "vastly complex and nuanced" world of mythology is very compelling. He calls Tolkien's world "invitingly real and awesomely complete." His analysis considers Tolkien's intriguing suggestion that "God authored the history of Middle-earth in all its manifestations."

♦ Heroism: Here Birzer focuses on the five heroes in The Lord of the Rings, Frodo, Sam, Gandalf, Aragorn, and Faramir. They all "represent different heroic acts: Gandalf is the prophet, Aragorn is the 'Christian' king, Frodo is the sacrificial priest, Sam is the common man, and Faramir is the man who knows and respects his place in God's creation."

J.R.R.Tolkien's Sanctifying Myth, Understanding Middle-earth contains a very complete bibliography with many books that will be enticing additions to your own Tolkien library. Students of Tolkien will find it a treasure trove of information.
Last edited: 20 July 2007 09:27:58