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Topic: Religion and Middle Earth

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Rohan peasant - Rank 2
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Posts: 40
Date: Jan 26, 2010
Religion and Middle Earth

I have a question. Why did the elves and men never practice religion? They did not perform any religious ceremonies as far as I can tell.

Lucas used "the force" in Star Wars. Religion was universal in the epic tales. Why did Tolkien not have a similar theme in his works?

Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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Posts: 217
Date: Jan 26, 2010
Hairy Hand bags

I think that our earthly religeons require an element of faith.

Where in middlearth no faith was required as the gods were fact.

Those elves who had seen the light of Amman must have been quite a sight.

Love Light and Peace
Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Posts: 563
Date: Jan 26, 2010
At each first gathering of fruits Manwe made a high feast for the praising of Eru, for example. And there was a place hallowed to Eru upon the Pillar of Heaven (Numenor).

With respect to The Lord of the Rings, in his letters Tolkien noted that: 'Almost the only vestige of religion is seen on II pp. 284-5 in the 'Grace before Meat'. He explained that there had been a hallow on Mindolluin as well, only approachable by the King, where he had anciently offered thanks and praise on behalf of his people, but it had been forgotten -- it was re-entered by Aragorn, and there he found the sapling of theWhite Tree.

Interestingly JRRT also noted that he does not think: 'Hobbits practised any form of worship or prayer (unless through exceptional contact with Elves)' -- this is part of a footnote to draft letter 153 -- in which JRRT speaks more about the measure of religion or worship in his world, and how folk viewed the Valar.

Rohan peasant - Rank 2
Status: Offline
Posts: 40
Date: Jan 27, 2010
Thanks Galin and Filli,

Thanks for the quotes. I am glad to know that there were religious rites celebrated in Middle Earth. I think people need a place to center their lives and have spiritual renewal.

Tom Bombadil
Status: Offline
Posts: 1886
Date: Jan 29, 2010
There is a book, called " Following Gandalf " that addresses this subject. A scholarly work, not enjoyment reading.


Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo!
Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow!
Tom Bom, Jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo!

Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
Status: Offline
Posts: 2960
Date: Jan 30, 2010
In 2001 a book was released by SaltRiver publications of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
The title is "Finding God in The Lord of the Rings".
It is written by Kurt Bruner and Jim Ware.
Both men have connections to seminaries and have other publications which explore the divine in Tolkien's work and explore the religious dimensions within the Inklings.
They use a quote from Tolkien on their back cover;
"God is the lord, of angels, and of men---and of elves." J.R.R. Tolkien

It is only 120 pages including the endnotes.
But it is thought provoking.
The dedication on the cover page is;
To all who search for light in Middle-earth:
Eala Earendel engla beorhtast
Ofer Middangeard monnum sended.

(Hail Earendel, brightest of angels
Sent to men over Middle-earth)

Some might want to give it a look...


Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit
Called or uncalled, God is present

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