- Title: The Battle for Middle-earth: Tolkien's Divine Design in The Lord of the Rings
- Author: Fleming Rutledge
- ISBN: 9780802824974
- Page: 264
- Format: Paperback
J R R Tolkien s Lord of the Rings has long been acknowledged as the gold standard for fantasy fiction, and the recent Oscar winning movie trilogy has brought forth a whole new generation of fans Many Tolkien enthusiasts, however, are not aware of the profoundly religious dimension of the great Ring saga In The Battle for Middle earth Fleming Rutledge employs a distincJ R R Tolkien s Lord of the Rings has long been acknowledged as the gold standard for fantasy fiction, and the recent Oscar winning movie trilogy has brought forth a whole new generation of fans Many Tolkien enthusiasts, however, are not aware of the profoundly religious dimension of the great Ring saga In The Battle for Middle earth Fleming Rutledge employs a distinctive technique to uncover the theological currents that lie just under the surface of Tolkien s epic tale Rutledge believes that the best way to understand this powerful deep narrative is to examine the story as it unfolds, preserving some of its original dramatic tension This deep narrative has not previously been sufficiently analyzed or celebrated Writing as an enthusiastic but careful reader, Rutledge draws on Tolkien s extensive correspondence to show how biblical and liturgical motifs shape the action At the heart of the plot lies a rare glimpse of what human freedom really means within the Divine Plan of God The Battle for Middle earth surely will, as Rutledge hopes, give pleasure to those who may already have detected the presence of the sub narrative, and insight to those who may have missed it on first reading.
Recent Comments "The Battle for Middle-earth: Tolkien's Divine Design in The Lord of the Rings"
Rutledge has written an extraordinary commentary on Tolkien's theology in The Lord of the Rings. Having read the trilogy at least 5 times, I have long been aware of the Christian undertone in Tolkien's writing; but having it so exhaustively laid out was almost more than I wanted to hear. Like C.S. Lewis, Tolkien wanted his Christian faith and ideas to be underlying, not particularly evident. Also like Lewis, Tolkien believed that the story was tantamount. Yet, saying all this, this book helped m [...]
The deepest book I've read on the theology of LotR. Rutledge explains the "deep narrative": the active agency of God, and human freedom within God's divine plan. In drawing her biblical parallels, Rutledge reaches at times, making unnecessary and (in my opinion) incorrect connections. She's also a bit long-winded, making the book longer than necessary. Rutledge is obviously intimately familiar with Tolkien's works. The book references The Hobbit and The Silmarillion, and is replete with quotes f [...]
While the format is helpful, since it goes section by section of the book, I wish it had been a more concise book. But for the Tolkien fan, this is great addition. Fleming Rutledge is an Episcopal priest and a renowned theologian (check our her well-received and massive tome on the crucifixion), so I was surprised when she told me, “My Tolkien book is still my favorite of all my books.”
This was a good read, and although it took me a while to finish (I have to blame Brandon Sanderson for chewing up all of my reading time), I am glad that I took the time to read it. There is a lot of good in this book. The theological metaphors Rutledge makes are, for the most part, inspiring. I will admit that there were moments where Rutledge paralleled a connection from The Lord of the Rings to the Bible where I shook my head and silently mumbled "That is not what Tolkien was going for." But [...]
Fleming Rutledge may be the ideal critic of The Lord of the Rings. An ardent student of English literature, an orthodox (Episcopal/Anglican) priest, and a gifted writer, she brings to bear impressive resources in analyzing an often- or over-analyzed work. In doing so, she builds an impressive case in support of a seldom-heard conclusion: Tolkien's masterpiece is a masterpiece not only of storytelling, but also of theology and, perhaps, evangelism.In making this case, Rutledge relies not only on [...]
Absolutely fantasticTheological and literary and deeply-Christian appreciation of, perhaps, the greatest novel written in terms of scope of vision and depth of understanding of the human predicament, the Personal nature of Evil and Goodness, and the Spiritual warfareAs I was totally and wonderfully moved at the conclusion of the novel - indeed, brought to tears - so was I equally-affected as I finished "The Battle for Middle Earth". For those who knew 'something deeper' was being described (even [...]
Rutledge maintains that beneath the storylines of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Tolkien communicated a spiritual message. Rutledge's thesis is most convincing when she demonstrates that ways in which Tolkien's basic worldview shaped the story. For instance, she rightly highlights the theme of providence that runs throughout these works. She is less convincing when she tries her hand at allegory. Did Tolkien really intend the rangers of Ithilien to represent the base communities of South A [...]
Rutledge writes not an academic but a theological study of Tolkien's timeless saga, and it is rich with insight. Her best work comes when she analyzes some of the thorniest parts of the books, notably the Mt. Doom scene. I left with new appreciation for the series, but especially for the Power that works within me.
Having read 'The Lord of the Rings' books a number of times. This book took me back to them to read them in a completely new way. A brilliant book, whether one agrees with everyting she writes it will open your eyes.
Written by an Episcopal priest, this book looks at the theological content of J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings." The book is well written overall, but I found most of the author's arguments to be intuitive. There weren't many surprises.
I heard two talks by Rev. Rutledge at LSU, and bought her book (which she inscribed "May the Star of Eärendil the Mariner give you joy!"--how cool is that?!?) at the end of the second. She's a compelling speaker and I very much look forward to reading her book.
This book is a must-read for anyone who appreciates or wants to appreciate better Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. It was enjoyable, enlightening, and very inspirational.
Definitely a book worth reading. Although I'm a nonbeliever, I found his investigation (for that's what it seemed to me) was ingenious. Very enjoyable.
I really wanted to like this book. It was recommended by Orson Scott Card here and he uses this book in his course at Southern Virginia University on Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. I love the Lord of the Rings. I believe that Lord of the Rings does have deeply Christian overtones. However, I just couldn’t force myself to get past the halfway mark of this book. Why?First, Mrs. Rutledge is a bad writer. Or, as she might write, “Of incredibly breath-taking importance, therefore, is the fact that Mrs. [...]
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