Summary and Info
Peter Jackson’s film version of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and the accompanying proliferation of Rings-related paraphernalia, has once again brought the work of J. R. R. Tolkien to a popular audience. There are, however, few full and accessible treatments of the religious vision permeating Tolkien’s influential works. Bradley Birzer has remedied that with his fresh study, J. R. R. Tolkien’s Sanctifying Myth: Understanding Middle-earth. In it, Birzer explicates the religious symbolism and significance of Tolkien’s Middle-earth stories. More broadly, Birzer situates Tolkien within the Christian humanist tradition represented by Thomas More and T. S. Eliot, Dante and C. S. Lewis. He argues that through the genre of myth Tolkien is able to provide a sophisticated—and appealing—social and ethical worldview.