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Tolkien’s Theology of Beauty

Majesty, Splendor, and Transcendence in Middle-earth

  • Lisa Coutras

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Lisa Coutras
    Pages 1-4
  3. On Myth

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 5-5
    2. Lisa Coutras
      Pages 7-29
    3. Lisa Coutras
      Pages 31-43
  4. On Creation

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 45-45
    2. Lisa Coutras
      Pages 47-64
    3. Lisa Coutras
      Pages 65-76
    4. Lisa Coutras
      Pages 77-87
  5. On Language

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 89-89
    2. Lisa Coutras
      Pages 91-103
    3. Lisa Coutras
      Pages 105-122
  6. On Good and Evil

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 123-123
    2. Lisa Coutras
      Pages 125-135
    3. Lisa Coutras
      Pages 137-147
  7. On Tragic Heroism

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 149-149
    2. Lisa Coutras
      Pages 151-168
    3. Lisa Coutras
      Pages 169-184
  8. On Women

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 185-185
    2. Lisa Coutras
      Pages 187-215
    3. Lisa Coutras
      Pages 217-233
    4. Lisa Coutras
      Pages 235-254
    5. Lisa Coutras
      Pages 255-257
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 259-279

About this book

Introduction

In this book, Lisa Coutras explores the structure and complexity of J.R.R. Tolkien’s narrative theology, synthesizing his Christian worldview with his creative imagination. She illustrates how, within the framework of a theological aesthetics, transcendental beauty is the unifying principle that integrates all aspects of Tolkien’s writing, from pagan despair to Christian joy.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Christianity is often held in an unsteady tension with the pagan despair of his mythic world. Some critics portray these as incompatible, while Christian analysis tends to oversimplify the presence of religious symbolism. This polarity of opinion testifies to the need for a unifying interpretive lens. The fact that Tolkien saw his own writing as “religious” and “Catholic,” yet was preoccupied with pagan mythology, nature, language, and evil, suggests that these areas were wholly integrated with his Christian  worldview. Tolkien’s Theology of Beauty  examines six structural elements, demonstrating that the author’s Christianity is deeply embedded in the narrative framework of his  creative imagination.   

Keywords

Tokien Beauty Gender Women Theology Transcendent Transcendental aesthetics Theological aesthetics

Authors and affiliations

  • Lisa Coutras
    • 1
  1. 1.London, United KingdomKings College London, United KingdomLondonUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-55345-4
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, New York
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy
  • Print ISBN 978-1-137-55344-7
  • Online ISBN 978-1-137-55345-4
  • Buy this book on publisher's site