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Do you read Tolkien? C. S. Lewis?

Some of us non-believers love fantasy. But it's widely known that some authors (like Tolkien and Lewis) were either writing religious metaphors or inserting somewhat religious concepts in their writings.

Do you think that detracts from their works in a any way?

By MrLizard8
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I don't mind it, I regard religion as a contributor to the culture of the time. Much of literature has biblical references and I think my bible literacy helps me to understand it better and give it more depth and more enjoyment for me.



Coldo Level 8 June 3, 2018

Never read Lewis, but in Tolkien's case, I'd say no. That stuff all makes for great fantasy storytelling.

IAMGROOT Level 7 June 3, 2018

I don't think so. Those stories are all fantastic. Any religious alnalogies I found were easy to ignore.


I prefer Tolkien's world building to Lewis. Religious aspects less obvious in Tolkien and I like to think of them more as good vs evil vein.

Donna_I Level 7 June 3, 2018

No. Nothing wrong with good vs evil.

kltuckmn Level 7 June 3, 2018

Read Tolkien and never thought gave thought to any . I read it as a boy long before it became movie material. Thought of the stories as mystical and magical.

Mark013 Level 7 June 3, 2018

Tried several times....most pointless claptrap I have ever tried to slog through, sorry.


I would like to read C.S. Lewis because I'm always interested in religious conversations and many references are made to the arguments in his books.

brentan Level 8 June 3, 2018

Not for me.


haha no and that did NOT come in handy having to choose a registered name for my dog as his breeder is a HARDCORE TOLKIEN person. Her prefix is Tolkien based as are all the dog's reg& call names.

Qualia Level 8 June 3, 2018

The Inklings were a product of their times. Lewis's Space Trilogy is still on my bookshelf and sets beside Tolkien. Agatha Christie is there as well. Lewis was a racist but so were a lot of people in his time.

BillF Level 7 June 3, 2018

I love that Tolkien, at least in part, based the fiery wastes of Mordor on the Black Country, the benighted industrial landscape close to where he lived as a boy, darkened by the incessant soot and smoke from iron foundries as late as the Seventies.


To me, Tolkien is the better writer and able to cloak his observations in a believable mythology, whereas Lewis is too heavy-handed in his use of allegory (the Aslan/Christ figure, fore example.


The Chronicles of Narnia are reflective of Christian ideology, but Christian ideology is based on pagan ideology. When I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I see the myth of the dying and resurrecting deity from various religions.

No, their beliefs do not detract from their works.


I read them, but I'm not sure they did me much good. Certainly the religious allegories never penetrated deeply beyond just a surface similarity without much to say. The conflict of good vs evil stayed with me for a long time, and I've come to believe that the tendency to typify other people as evil is the source of much suffering in human history.
In the end i think that the Buddhists are right, and that the sources of suffering are inside the human mind. You don't blame a lion for killing an antelope, but you can blame humans for taking slaves, they ought to know better.

Denker Level 7 June 5, 2018

Can't stand C.S. Lewis


C. S. Lewis i read


Many religious metaphors are allegories for human concepts. The framing, whether religious, philosophical, cultural or any other context are irrelevant if the text speaks to the individual. Consequently, whether Tolkien or Marx, there will be many parallels in well executed literature.


I loved C.S. Lewis, read and reread all of the Narnia books. Can't say I'm very fond of Tolkien; read one or two and watched some of the films though. I'm also a big fan of George MacDonald who was a similarly styled contemporary of Lewis. I have no problem with religion as mythos. In these stories, the Christian mythos is much more interesting. One of my peeves about the Bible is that so much of it is flat out snoresville. I lost all respect for the writers... since they obviously didn't respect me as a reader. smile009.gif


I honestly don't have a problem with the symbolism of Tolkien and loved The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but The Silmarillionwas a bit tedious. I was cognizant of any religious message when I read it and thought Tolkien was brilliant.

JimG Level 8 June 7, 2018

I hope people realize that Tolkien's work is basically his modified version of Norse Mythology. Historically it has shown the belief that Christianity came from Scandinavian belief. Ancient Greek texts on parchment had ideas of "old testament" occurrences, before they were anyone else's ideas. Ancient Romans took (stole) from Scandinavia and Greek and made their own. Tolkien and Lewis knew each other they part of a 4 member social book club on campus, they would compare notes, talk about students. C.S. Lewis is Christian differences between what each one believed in shows in their work. While I have read some of their works but it's been a long time since I have. Now their complete works are in my Amazon cart.

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