Friday, December 6, 2013

The Spiritual World of the Hobbit

I love Tolkien’s work, love The Hobbit and love LOTR. I am also a passionate Christ follower and so couldn't wait to see the connection between the two. I found The Spiritual World of the Hobbit to be a beautiful guide to the masterful story. Having finished reading The Silmarillion and The Hobbit just days before embarking into this book I was curious to how James S. Bell would weave the spiritual world into The Hobbit. The Silmarillion made the spiritual world obvious, it was hard to miss the connection and similarities between J.R.R. Tolkien’s Iluvatar and the God of the Bible; however I found it rather difficult to see the spiritual connections in The Hobbit. That’s where this book opened up my eyes to the themes and relations I wouldn't have otherwise seen or guessed.

Reading The Silmarillion was hard work! It was a complex book, but without it the reader will miss much of the spiritual context of The Hobbit. James S. Bell does a fabulous job filling in the reader about the character backgrounds, how they were created, where they came from, and what their purpose was in Middle-earth. To anyone that has not read The Silmarillion, this book will fill in many of the missing pieces of The Hobbit and LOTR and provide a depth of understanding to the rich story.

As for the spiritual aspect, I was thoroughly pleased how James S. Bell weaved the spiritual into the mythical. Bell did not use allegory to explain the spiritual, as J.R.R. Tolkien never intended to use allegory, but instead displayed a beautiful parallel between Tolkien’s work and the Bible.

Any LOTR lover will love this book. Thank you to Bethany House publishers for providing me with a copy of this book to review. May God bless you as you enjoy this book.

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