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Special: Book Review – The Christian World of The Hobbit

October 5, 2012

The Christian World of The Hobbit

Unless you live “in a hole in the ground” you know a movie version of Tolkien’s The Hobbit will be released before the end of this year (or, at least part one of three). So, it’s no surprise that this fall there are many books just releasing that relate to this event. The Christian World of The Hobbit by Devin Brown is among them. Some of you may recognize his name, as he has written three books related to The Chronicles of Narnia.  

Regular readers of this blog are aware that although Lewis and Tolkien were close friends, I haven’t read very many books about or by Tolkien. However, this may not be too much of a disadvantage, as it also means I’m able to read material like this with “fresher” eyes. That said, I found Brown to be a useful guide in his short book (five average size chapters and less than 200 pages). As the book title suggests his chief purpose is to explore the “Christian” aspect of The Hobbit.

I believe he accomplishes this goal, while maintaining what he notes in the book as avoiding two extremes. Brown neither ignores the religious element and does not find them everywhere. He keeps a balanced perspective that highlights what IS there without forcing anything to come to light that wasn’t. He begins by underscoring the fact that Tolkien was a Christian and that Tolkien himself stated this is noticeable in his writings. This is followed by an examination of three aspects where The Hobbit displays its Christian elements: in terms of Providence, Purpose and its Moral Landscape.

Disclaimer: I received an advance copy of this book directly from the author. I was in no way required to write a positive review in exchange for this privilege.

 

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